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Thom Storm Chalet Remodel: Feedback Wanted

The Chester Bowl Improvement Club Board of Directors and staff are in the early stages of planning an expansion and renovation of the Thom Storm Chalet, and we want you to participate in the process!

PLEASE READ THROUGH THIS FULL POST for the background information on the project and what type of feedback we are looking for.  A link to the plans is included at the bottom.


In November, 2014, the City of Duluth approved the Chester Park Mini-Master Plan to guide future use and development in Chester Bowl Park. One specific concept included was a chalet renovation and expansion. Click here for more information on the mini-master plan and what it says about the chalet.


If you have spent time in the chalet during ski and snowboard season- or during summer camp- you have seen that our building is not large enough to fully accommodate everyone who wants to be part of our programs.  In fact, we had to limit summer camp registration based on the available indoor space for rainy days, and some days filled four hours after registration opened!  We also recognize that the building is deteriorating and is very energy in-efficient.  The building also does not meet ADA accessibility standards, with the second floor accessible only by stairs.


The Chester Bowl Board of Directors and Development Committee has been working with LHB Corporation to develop an initial design plan to present for public comment.  We have three meetings planned to gather public input on the proposed renovation and expansion to the Thom Storm Chalet and share our work on this project to date. The public meetings will take place on:

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016, 7:00 pm (Thanks to those who attended!)

Tuesday, February 16th, 2016, 6:00 pm

Wednesday, March 9th, 2016, 6:00 pm

All public meetings all take place at: Central Hillside Center, 12 E 4th Street.  The best option is to attend one of the public meetings because the conversation generates rich ideas and identifies opportunities for improvement.  Each meeting will build on the last as comments and changes may be worked into the design concept.


After the public process, the final plan will proceed to the Parks Commission, the Planning Commission, and the City Council for approval before fundraising and construction will begin. This project is a partnership between the CBIC and the City of Duluth, and the building is a City Building.
Key components of the plan include:

  • Modest increase to the footprint of the building (on plans, existing foundation walls are grey, with white designating new foundation walls)
  • Widening of hallways on lower level and inclusion of storage space for ski and summer camp gear
  • Addition of elevator to second level
  • Re-opening second stairway (it is currently there- concessions is built on top of it!)
  • Modifying bathrooms to become ADA accessible; remain open to outside when park is open but building is closed
  • Adding one single stall ADA accessible family restroom on lower level
  • Expansion of Ski Patrol space and storage space on lower level
  • Relocation of caretaker apartment from main level to new upper level (two residents are responsible for park maintenance and security)
  • Moving and remodeling concessions space – square footage is currently the same as current space on plan but based on feedback from meeting #1 we will be likely expanding the concessions space
  • Additional 437 square feet of open chalet space on main level (had been apartment space)
  • Addition of meeting room on main level
  • Two possible renderings are included – one in the traditional “Swiss Chalet” design and another that is more contemporary.  We want to know which you prefer!
  • We are unable to expand the building towards the creek in any way
  • The increase of open multi-purpose space, along with the increased concessions, will allow us to be a more attractive location for building rentals for parties and small weddings

How can you help?  Give us your feedback!  If you are unable to attend the meetings, you may email comments to Dave Schaeffer with the CBIC at dave@chesterbowl.org or mail comments to the Chester Bowl Improvement Club, 1801 E Skyline Pkwy, Duluth, MN 55812.  We are specifically looking to know what you like about the plans, what you don’t like about the plans, if there are needs that you perceive the building having that are unmet, and what additional ideas you have for improvements.  Please think about year-round use for all types of programs!

OK, ready to see the plans?  Check them out at this link.


CLOSED Monday January 18

Because of the extreme cold and wind chill (-25 wind chill expected at noon!) we will be closed on Monday, January 18th.  We will open again as usual on Thursday, January 21st from 4:30-8:30 PM, and open on Friday, January 22 during our DAY hours, 11:00-4:30.

Chester Creek Concert Series- musicians wanted!

Our Chester Creek Concert Series runs 10 Tuesday nights in the summer from mid-June into August.  If you have never been to one of our concerts, you will need to be sure to come out this year!

We have an open application process for bands interested in performing.  Chester Bowl staff and volunteers work with Duluth Parks and Recreation staff and commission members to select the lineup.

If you have a band or know someone who does, please consider applying or pass the information on!  The application process is detailed at http://www.duluthmn.gov/parks/chester-creek-concert-series-2016/.  Applications are due by February 14th.

Friday Night Lights






First Race January 3rd

Our first race is Sunday, January 3rd , and we hope your family will be part of it!

If your child can ride up the chairlift, they are ready to race!  For skiers, we have divisions from under-5 up to 16 years old., split by gender.  For snowboarders, we have a boys and a girls division.  Our races are $15 for the season (6 races) for one child, $25 per family.  Please plan on paying with either cash or check. Lunch is provided for racers.

You can register Saturday between 2:30 and 3:30, or Sunday between 11:00 and 12:30. There is NO late registration.  The race starts at 1:15 with the youngers skiers first.  The races tend to last about 1 1/2 hours, followed by an award ceremony.  Every child does get a medal at this first race, so be sure to stick around!!  Our races tend to be low key and fun, with a focus on everyone doing their best.  The racecourse is set up in advance, so skiers can practice on it earlier in the day.

Finally, as of 1/2, we do need additional volunteer gatekeepers tomorrow from 12:45 until as late as 4pm.  It is an outside job, but it shouldn’t be too bad in tomorrow’s nice weather.  Please reply to Sam at sam@chesterbowl.org or sign up in person tomorrow on our signup sheet in the lower level if you can help.

Chester Bowl Opening December 26

We are still on track to open for the season on Saturday, December 26th, at 11 am.  The 26th-30th is our ski camp, and is the best time to ski at Chester Bowl!  Please check out this link for more information about hours, free lessons, and more!

Ski and Snowboard Hill tentatively opening December 26th

Due to the unseasonably warm weather (and rain!) we have been unable to start making snow at Chester Bowl as early as we would have liked.  We also no longer have any natural snow on the hill.

We are tentatively scheduling our opening for the season for Saturday, 12/26, at 11:00 A.M..  This opening date is tentative based on weather and snowmaking conditions between now and then; we hope to start making snow on Monday, 12/14, but it is a 7-10 day minimum project to cover the hill and prepare for skiing.  It is possible (but unlikely) that we could open earlier.  If weather does not cooperate, it is also possible we will open later than 12/26.

Please continue to monitor our website, Facebook page, and email group for updates.

Thank you for supporting Chester Bowl!

Skis, Suds, & Slices Success!

We would like to extend a huge “Thank You!” and our sincere gratitude to everyone who was a part of making our Skis, Suds, & Slices event extremely successful!

Thanks to the generosity of the Chester Bowl community, we raised $8,211.88 for our scholarship fund, significantly exceeding our goal of $7000!  Together with the funds raised through gate donations at Fall Fest, this should enable us to grant a scholarship to any family that needs one to participate in our Winter Ski and Snowboard ($12,000 awarded last year) and our Summer Adventure Program ($3000 last year) in the coming year.  Thank YOU for your support.

This year we created a travelling trophy for the Twin Ports Best Pizza- as voted on by those at our event and tasting the samples provided by Midi Restaurant, Pizza Luce, Thirsty Pagan, and Vitta Pizza.  Our winner was THIRSTY PAGAN, so keep an eye out for the trophy when you next visit their restaurant!  In addition to our pizza providers, we also want to thank our other event and food and beverage sponsors, including Little Angie’s Cantina, Bent Paddle Brewery, Castle Danger, Michaud, Blacklist, Fitgers, Fitgers Wine Cellars, The Exchange, Wine Merchants, Bernick’s, Midwest Communications including Justin Michaels from Kat Country 98.9, and ShelDon.

For the first time, we had free babysitting at the event- a movie night in the theater next door for kids ages four and up- with almost thirty kids attending!  We expect to offer this benefit again next year.

The event also benefitted from dozens of volunteers, but special thanks go to our planning committee of Andrea Mistelske, Christy Jaros, Stephanie Balmer, Jesse Singer, David Anderson, Kevin Rapanna, and Amy Kranig.

We hope to see everyone at next year’s event!

Skis, Suds, & Slices- babysitting now provided!

Breaking news: we heard from many of you that you wanted to attend our annual fundraiser, but did not have child care for Friday night. So we now are providing babysitting on site!

Skis, Suds, & Slices is our annual fundraiser to raise money for our scholarship program- we awarded families $12,000 in financial support last winter to enable anyone to participate in our program regardless of income.

In addition to supporting a good cause, those attending will sample local pizzas (and vote for “Twin Ports Best Pizza” with a new travelling trophy) and try out the best wine and beer the area has to offer. There are over 100 items for you to bid on! The event is this Friday, November 13th, 6-9pm, at the Fitgers Building. Tickets are $35 in advance on our web site, at Fitgers Wine Cellar, or at the Chester Bowl Ski Fittings, or you can pay $40 at the door.

How does babysitting work?

The event is in the 3rd Floor Ballroom of the Fitgers building. We will have babysitters provided for a movie night for children ages 4+ in the theater room next door. We plan on having movies showing (to be determined, but appropriate for the youngest), and popcorn and water provided. Pizza or other dinner options are NOT provided, so please send your child with a full belly and any additional snacks they may want. Parents will be contacted to take their children to the restroom, so please bring your cell phone if you have one. The only charge is requested tips for the babysitters. Pre-registration is not required. Babysitters are youth 12+ with an adult monitor. Do you have an older child that wants to join the babysitting team? Call us at 724-9832.

Find out more about the event here, and we will see you on Friday!

Support Programs at Chester Bowl

CBIC is a 501(c)(3) organization. Your donations are fully tax-deductible.

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Hours & Events

Mondays, 4:30-8:30
Tuesdays and Wednesdays, CLOSED
Thursdays, 4:30-8:30
Fridays, 4:30-8:30
Saturdays, 11:00-4:30
Sundays, 11:00-4:30
Hours may vary on holidays


Thursday, February 11th, pre-race registration for Friday's race open 6:45-8:15pm

Friday, February 12th, Ski Hut night race, sponsored by Ski Hut. Pre-registration 4:30-5:30, event at 6:15.

Monday, February 15th through Friday, February 19th, open 11:00-4:30 each day during school break!!

Tuesday, February 16th, 6pm, Central Hillside Center (12 E 4th St), Public meeting to present and discuss planned Chalet Renovation


Chester Bowl Improvement Club
1801 East Skyline
Duluth, MN 55812
phone: (218) 724-9832

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Inclusiveness Policy

Chester Bowl Improvement Club (CBIC) is deeply committed to providing a diverse, inclusive and respectful environment in the park and in our programs. CBIC is committed to preventing bullying and harassment in our community and expect all program participants to sign our Peace in the Parks pledge. For both employment and access to programs and activities, the CBIC will not engage in discrimination against any person because of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, disability, or sexual orientation including gender identity.