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Ski Returns April 12, 13, 14, 2016

Our season will officially end on March 20th, or sooner if the weather forces us to close the hill early.

Those of you with Chester Bowl rental gear will need to return it to us at the end of the season. We have scheduled the ski returns for April 12, 13, and 14th between 5:30 and 8:00 pm each night.  We have moved returns back this year to allow families to use their gear at the partner hills that stay open later than us (don’t forget to take advantage of all those free passes!), as well as for use on Spring Break if you are travelling to ski!

Please be sure that you have all of you gear for the entire family with you.  We prefer that equipment is wiped off, boots are fully buckled, and poles are rubber-banded together.  As a general guideline to space out the rush, we ask that families with last names A-J  come on April 12, last names K-Q come on April 13, and last names R-Z come on April 14.  If your selected night does not work for you, you MAY come on any night.  Our goal is for all skis to be returned in this three night period!

Ski and Snowboard Banquet March 30, 2016

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Join us to celebrate the end of the season!  Wednesday, March 30th is  Chester Bowl’s Annual Ski & Snowboard Banquet! The event is at 6:00pm at the Denfeld High School Cafeteria.  Come celebrate another successful ski and snowboard season with great food, people and awards for skiers, snowboarders, volunteers and the many others who make Chester Bowl possible.

This banquet isn’t just for skiers and ski racers! We would like everyone to come regardless if you participated in the races or Freestyle Fridays, the Ski Cadet or Freestyle Cadet program; all are welcome!

Cost is $7/each, with children 5 & under free, or a family rate of $25 if paid by Friday, March 25, at 5:00 PM. After that, it will be $8/each & $30/family until the Tuesday, March 29th, 5:00 PM deadline. Reservations must be paid for in advance, as we will be charged for the number of people we tell the food service staff are attending.  Forms can be dropped off at Chester Bowl or mailed in (1801 East Skyline Parkway, Duluth, MN 55812).  The banquet reservation form can be found here!

 

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End of 2016 Ski Season and Volunteering

“When will you close for the year?”

This is the question we are hearing the most as the days turn warmer and brighter.  The short answer is that our last scheduled day of the season is Sunday, March 20th.  However, we could be forced to close early for the season if the snow conditions deteriorate to an unsafe level, or if the creek melts out enough to flood the base of the hill and prevent us from getting to the chairlift.  Starting next Sunday, it looks like we could get at least 5 days in a row of mid-40’s temps without going below freezing at night.

The moral of the story?  We hope to see you out here as much as possible for as long as the season lasts!  If we do need to close the hill early, we will notify everyone through this web site as well as through Facebook and our email list .

Ski returns for rental gear will be April 12, 13, and 14, so you will still be able to take advantage of any partner ski hills that are still open with your CB passes and rental gear.

Have you met your volunteer requirement yet?  At next year’s lottery, we will draw names from all new families and returning families that completed this year’s volunteer requirement before drawing ANY names from families that did not meet this year’s requirement.  To make sure you are in that first group, please be sure to complete your hours!

You still have several ways for you to accomplish this.  You can sign up to help with our last ski race, Sunday, March 6th.  We have a variety of needs, but currently have NO gatekeepers signed up. It looks to be a great day to come out and get a sun tan on the hill while volunteering!  You can sign up at the chalet or by emailing sam@chesterbowl.org.

Our concessions stand still has many openings.  We will give volunteers credit for their volunteer shift EVEN IF we close before the shift occurs!  This allows us to be sure we are covered if we remain open until the end, while honoring your commitment to be there if needed.  Sign up for volunteer hours in concessions here.

Finally, we need 16 volunteers for each of the Ski Return nights April 12, 13, and 14.  Again, you can sign up at the chalet or by emailing sam@chesterbowl.org.

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 (Thanks to those who attended!)

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.  *** UPDATED AS OF 2/22/16***

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 

 

Race!

Chalet Renovation- public meetings!

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We have exciting news!  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!

 

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 Board of Directors 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

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

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

All public meetings will take place at: Central Hillside Center, 12 E 4th Street

 

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. At these meetings, the CBIC will present the process to date of the Mini-Master Plan and the needs and factors leading to the chalet redesign. LHB Corporation will then present the current design concept and solicit comments and feedback on the design. 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.

 

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.

 

You can see the press release from the City of Duluth at this link.

 

Please join us at the public meetings and invite your friends!  We need your ideas and participation to ensure that we build the best chalet possible!

 

 

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.

Duluth Minnesota