Paul Bunyan Ski Hill making snow, could open soon in Oconto County
January 26, 2021
Eric Peterson, Fox 11
LAKEWOOD (WLUK) -- An old ski hill in the Northwoods, closed for decades, is showing signs of life.
The owners at Paul Bunyan Ski Hill in Lakewood are making snow, and gearing up for opening day.
"We're getting close now. We got off to a bumpy start with the snow making. We had a breakdown on our pump. We quickly replaced it. And then Mother Nature wasn't very cooperative. Then that warm front, and we finally started making snow again three days ago," said TJ Kerscher, Paul Bunyan Ski Hill.
Kerscher says getting Paul Bunyan open has been a long time coming.
"The hill's been closed for 25 years. And my wife, myself, and my two boys have spent the summer going through the whole place, getting it rebuilt again, ready to open again for this winter hopefully," he said.
There will be four ski runs to start, and coronavirus considerations too.
"We have a basement chalet, where they'll be able to rent their skis. We have a small bar. We have put up a social distancing tent for them to change their skis and boots out. And they can leave stuff out there. We're just not going to allow changing in the building," said Wendy Kerscher, Paul Bunyan Ski Hill.
Oconto County Tourism leaders say getting the hill open should boost the local economy.
"I think it will be a great addition to our area. When we don't have snowmobile trails, and they can make their own snow at Paul Bunyan, it will just be an extra thing for people to come and do," said Samantha Boucher, Oconto County Tourism Manager.
TJ Kerscher agrees.
"The end of January, first part of February, we should for sure be open. We're hoping to get into March. We'll see how it goes with the weather. But if we just get a good month out of this year, we'll be happy. Just get it going, and then next year, we'll be open early," he said.
Paul Bunyan Ski Hill officials say they want to add more ski runs next year, and in the future, there are plans for a tubing hill, and even an ice rink.
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