Jaye White

U.S. Forest Service prepares to study impact of Lutsen Mountains expansion proposal

As WTIP has been reporting for several years, Lutsen Mountains would like to expand by adding more skiing opportunities to the recreation area. To grow, however, would mean use of U.S. Forest Service land. Lutsen Mountains is asking the Forest Service to consider leasing land to the ski hill to allow it to expand.

On April 28, the US Forest Service updated and published formal notice of their intent to conduct an environmental review that would provide a Special Use Permit to Lutsen Mountains to build additional ski runs.

Lutsen Mountains is requesting fewer than 100 acres on adjacent federal land, on what the ski area calls Eagle Mountain, and about 400 acres on Moose Mountain. If approved, the expansion would nearly double the size of the skiable area at the North Shore skiing destination.

WTIP spoke with Lutsen Mountains co-owner Charles Skinner in late 2019 about the proposal and he explained the project and the review process.

The environmental review will likely take two years to complete. There will be an opportunity for public comment as the process moves forward.

Lutsen Mountains was established in 1948. It is home to 95 runs across four mountains.

Past improvements at the ski hill include the installation of a high-speed, six-passenger chairlift in 2013 and an eight-passenger gondola in 2015.