Category Archives: Announcements

4th Grade Passport Program

The Minnesota Ski Areas Association (MSA) wants to give Minnesota kids a chance to get out, have fun and get healthy this winter by hitting the Minnesota Slopes!

MSA has created a statewide program that provides every 4th grader the opportunity to ski for free.   Your passport includes a minimum of two visits to each resort. For Chester Bowl, passholders receive unlimited free day passes with their MSA Passport.  Please note that we do not offer day rentals of skis or snowboards, and anyone purchasing our season-long rentals must have a regular season pass.

MSA charges $19.95 for the passport (to cover printing and shipping).  Please see this website for more information and to purchase your passport.

Chester Bowl Ski & Snowboard Lottery Tuesday 10/24/17

The 2017 Chester Bowl Ski and Snowboard Lottery is Tuesday, October 24th, at the Vineyard Church (1533 W Arrowhead Road).

Registration begins at 5:30, with the program starting at 6pm. Because of the time required to park and register, we strongly recommend arriving no later than 5:45 pm so that we can start promptly at 6.

The Ski and Snowboard Lottery is a required event for anyone looking to rent gear for the season at Chester Bowl. All season rental families must also purchase a Chester Bowl Season Pass. Our rental system is different than most ski areas; we rent out equipment for the entire season, and it is yours to keep with you all winter, even using at other ski areas.  We do NOT offer daily equipment rentals.  Rentals packages are either a ski package (skis, boots, poles, helmet) or a snowboard package (snowboard, boots, helmet).

As you arrive, you will register yourself to have your family added to our lottery.  Once the event starts, Chester Bowl staff and volunteers will give a brief overview of the programs offered at Chester Bowl, as well as upcoming events and the required volunteering commitment.  We will then draw names of the families in attendance. When your name is called, you will go to the signup area and register your family for the earliest remaining fitting time that works for you. You are then able to leave the lottery.  Families that are new to Chester Bowl and those that completed their volunteer hours last winter are in the first pool to be drawn. Those that were prior participants and did NOT complete their volunteer hours will be in the second drawing.

You will also have the opportunity to begin signing up for your volunteer hours, and also to purchase tickets to November 10th’s Skis, Suds, & Slices fundraiser.

Fitting dates will be published soon, but we will have at least nine fitting nights on weeknights starting on the 1st of November.

Only one adult from each family needs to attend the lottery.  Children are welcome, but most families choose to come without them if possible.  No payments are required or accepted at the lottery. Payment is due at the time of purchase/rental at the fitting nights.

Last year we were able to pilot a snowboard rental program with 50 snowboards thanks to a grant from Essentia Health Community Contributions. Because demand last year far exceeded our supply, we did purchase additional equipment this offseason and have nearly doubled our snowboard inventory!  The snowboard fittings will be on the first fitting night. Families can sign up for both a snowboard and skis so that they have a ski fitting night reserved if they were not able to get a snowboard.

If you are not renting gear this year, and are just purchasing a season pass, you DO NOT need to attend the lottery.  If you are hoping to rent gear, but can not get someone to the lottery, please contact us as soon as possible AFTER the lottery, and we will add you to the fittings as space is available.

In many winters we do rent out all of our equipment to those who have come to the lottery, and may not be able to accommodate everyone who contacts us after the lottery,  so we STRONGLY recommend coming to the lottery if you want to rent gear this season.

With any questions about our winter program, please contact Sam at 724-9832 or sam@chesterbowl.org.

Key volunteers needed!

Chalet in fall

We need your help!

The Thom Storm Chalet is in need of an expansion and a complete renovation.   Our board and several volunteer committees have been working on the planning stages for well over a year, but our most challenging tasks remain- raising over $1 million dollars and facilitating the final design of the building.  We are confident that we can achieve these goals with the help of a Leadership Team that we are recruiting to coordinate the rest of the project.  Two Fundraising Co-Chairs, a Communications Chair, and a Building Design chair will be supported by the Executive Director as they lead this campaign.  These are key volunteer roles that are essential to our campaign success, and we are taking them as seriously as hiring new employees; that’s why we have implemented an application process.

Please check out our volunteer recruitment packet for more details, including a more detailed summary of the project, volunteer job descriptions (with estimated time commitments), a timeline, and more.  The preliminary building design plans are found here, with an exterior rendering below. We welcome phone calls for additional information (218-724-9832).

chalet drawing

Do you have the skills and talents to help us continue our positive impact on the families of Duluth for generations to come?  Please consider applying to be part of our Leadership Team.  To apply, simply send a cover letter and resume to Dave Schaeffer by email at dave@chesterbowl.org or by mail to 1801 East Skyline Parkway, Duluth, MN 55812.  Applications are accepted through September 16th, with volunteers selected and starting work shortly afterwards.

In recognition of the significant volunteer commitment of the Capital Campaign Leadership Team, the selected volunteers will receive priority registration for their immediate family for programming (including the Summer Adventure Program) and free season passes and rentals for themselves and their immediate family during our winter ski/snowboard season.

If this is not a fit for you as a volunteer, who do you know that may be a fit for one of these key roles?  Please give them a call and suggest it today!  If you would like to volunteer for the capital campaign, but not in one of these key volunteer roles, please contact Dave Schaeffer at the contact information above. Once the Leadership Team is assembled, they will be looking to fill dozens of volunteer positions within the capital campaign.

 

In memory of Jonathan Swanson

Today we honor the memory of Jonathan Swanson.  Jonathan, 38, passed away on Friday, August 5th.  Jonathan learned to ski at Chester Bowl when 3 or 4 years old, and has been a fixture here almost ever since.  He was first hired by Thom Storm at 16 years old as a lift operator and ski instructor, and has continued to work at Chester Bowl ever over the years.  He was the friendly face at the race starting point and a lift operator as recently as two winters ago, and also spent hours in the summers waxing the skis for the next season.  Jonathan also spent many summers with the summer program.

We are saddened to hear of his passing, and share our condolences with his many friends and family.

You can read his full obituary at this link.   His memorial service is this Friday.

 

Donation made in memory of DJ Battle

We are very grateful to have received a $2200 donation in memory of DJ Battle.  DJ learned to ski here as a child, and received a scholarship to do so. This donation was made specifically to our scholarship fund to pass this opportunity on to the next generation of young children who will grow up skiing at Chester Bowl.  Thank you so much to everyone who was involved, either by directly donating funds (there were 68 individual donors!), helping to organize the fundraiser, or spreading the word.  We are deeply grateful!

As an incentive to give, one donor was chosen randomly to receive this beautiful handcrafted quilt!

You can learn more about DJ at https://www.gofundme.com/8xu3rf84.  Pictured below, left to right, are Kathleen Davey (the quiltmaker), Dave Schaeffer (CBIC Director), Beth Bombardier (DJ’s godmother), Sam Luoma (CBIC Program Manager), and Jackie Battle (DJ’s mom).

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Chalet Renovation Update

The Chester Bowl Improvement Club is moving forward with our renovation and expansion plans for the Thom Storm Chalet.  After three public meetings and numerous other opportunities for feedback, we have developed the preliminary design for the chalet.  We worked with LHB Architects, who provided these initial services free of charge!

We are presenting the plans to the Duluth Parks Commission on April 20th.  Once the plans are approved, we will then seek approval from the Planning Commission and City Council.  The next step is fundraising- this is about a $1 million project!- followed by construction ready design, and finally the construction itself.  This is a big project, so we anticipate that construction will take place several years from now.

The Chalet renovation includes several significant changes to the structure of the building, while retaining the “feel” of the traditional Swiss Chalet Style. The residents’ apartment will be moved to a new third level, allowing the second level to nearly double the open available space for the ski program, summer camp, and chalet rentals. The cramped concessions stand will be moved and expanded. The bottom level will be reconfigured for larger hallway access, better office space utilization, and expanded storage. We will become accessible by ADA standards through the renovation of existing restrooms, the addition of one single stall “family” restroom, and the addition of an elevator. The site immediately around the chalet will benefit from changes to the parking structure and the addition of a permanent bridge near the chalet. The building is currently very inefficient from an energy conservation standpoint, and improvements during redesign are expected to result in a net decrease in energy use despite a larger building.

We are very excited about these plans, and hope you are too!  You can view them by clicking here.  Please note that the first page is the EXISTING layout for comparison.  Any feedback can then go to Dave Schaeffer at 724-9832 or dave@chesterbowl.org.

Fun Slope Open

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Our Fun Slope is open, and our skiers and boarders are loving the new addition to the hill!  We held our grand opening on Friday, January 22nd.

Working with private contractors and city staff, the Chester Bowl Improvement Club was able to facilitate the addition of a new run- our “Fun Slope”. This newly skiable area is peppered with berms and waves of snow, creating a unique ski and snowboard experience that skiers and boarders of all ages are sure to love. We had another problem- this area was not adequately lit! Without new- and expensive- lighting, we would need to close this area off each day after darkness fell. This wasn’t a good option for us, so we sought out partners to make a lighting project happen.

I can’t overemphasize how much we rely on the generosity of individuals and businesses to help us accomplish projects like our FunSlope. As a very small non-profit with only 2 year-round staff, we could not make this happen otherwise.

Thank you to the following individuals and organizations who contributed to this project with a donation of time and/or materials:

For our lighting project: Scott Haedtke, Gausman and Moore, initial lighting plan; Brandon Smith, Holophane, donation of lighting materials; Jordan Oja, Corey Eye-lee, and Dale Tikka, Simco electrical work and materials; The Minnesota Power Foundation for a grant for the light pole and installation.

City Crews were also heavily involved in all aspects of this project: Joe Miller, overall planning and oversight; The entire Parks and Rec trails and trees crew, including Ben Sosnieki, Bob Bugbee, Bob Dunsmore, Billy Davis, Darrin Frankoviak (also our lead groomer who constructed the snow elements); Doug Rosas, Larry Abrahamson, Todd Halbakken.
The project also included a new lower lift building: Bryan Thoreson, Mark Kettelhut, Tony Livingston, Rick Hanson

As a volunteer driven organization, we also are indebted to our volunteer Board of Directors and Development Committee.  The idea began with recently retired Executive Director Thom Storm- Thank you for your vision, Thom

We appreciate all of the local media coverage we received.  You can see what everyone is saying about the Fun Slope at the links below.

http://www.northlandsnewscenter.com/news/local/Fun-Slope-at-Chester-Bowl-opens-366317901.html

 http://www.wdio.com/article/stories/S4026103.shtml?cat=10335

 http://www.fox21online.com/news/local-news/a-beloved-duluth-park-gets-a-new-attraction/37590728

 http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/video/1yjstIXT