Lutsen Mountains celebrates 75th anniversary and new chairlift

Lutsen opens the Raptor Express

Lutsen Mountains celebrated their 75th anniversary on Friday with the grand opening of a new chairlift.

This year marks 75 years since the ski hills at Lutsen Mountains were built. The resort celebrated the anniversary on Friday as well as the opening of a brand new chairlift, the Raptor Express.

To officially open the new chairlift, the current owners, Charles and Charlotte Skinner, skied through a banner alongside Cindy Nelson, the daughter of Lutsen Mountains founder George Nelson.

“It’s grown from one mountain to four mountains over all of those years,” said Charles Skinner. Two gondolas, and then this is our second high-speed chairlift.”

Charles’s daughter, Charlotte, was at the ribbon-cutting and other events Friday.

“One of the things that’s been really made this experience, what it is, is just hearing the stories from the people, from the employees. We’ve all been here for a long time and have been kind of waiting and seeing this transformation,” said Charlotte Skinner. “So we were able to celebrate this really monumental lift- it’s a main artery of the main side- ski experience to be able to combine that with 75 years. It’s just a really, really wonderful experience.”

With the Raptor Express, more people are able to move through with a shorter wait time.

“I love it, super fast. Pretty fast,” said skier Curtis Christenson. “You get the most, maximize our time, and it’s fantastic.”

Other events on Friday included a ribbon cutting on the Scandinavian Chalet with the Cook County Chamber of Commerce, an educational program about the history of the resort, and a celebration and storytelling gathering for the public.