Grassroots effort launched to save Detroit Mountain
Efforts to re-open Detroit Mountain ski area appear to be snowballing, judging by a campaign on email and Facebook.
An email message has been circulating widely, and more than 700 people have become members of a Facebook page called Bring Back the Mountain.
"The county commissioners have been presented with an opportunity to acquire the Detroit Mountain property by trading some tax-forfeited land," Lakeshirts co-owner Mark Fritz said in an email message to friends.
"The way I understand it, there would be little or no cost to the county and there would be zero tax consequences to the taxpayer," he added. "The county would in turn have a great asset and the potential for a super four-season recreational area."
People who like the idea can "vote with their feet" by showing up at an informational meeting set for 5 p.m. Thursday at the Detroit Lakes city council meeting room.
There will be a short presentation by County Administrator Brian Berg, outlining the proposal, a question and answer period, and time for comments.
"Please try to attend to show your support," Fritz said. "The bigger the turnout, the bigger impression we can make."
Fritz envisions a fund-raising campaign to restore the infrastructure at Detroit Mountain -- new towropes and repairs to the lodge -- and then a lease opportunity for a business interested in running the operation. But he says that's just his vision -- others may have other ideas.
"I feel this is a tremendous opportunity and one that the county should act on," Fritz said. "Where would our community be without the beach, the community center, the country club, and our great parks? This is the opportunity to make a great place to live, work and raise our children even better."
Jeff Staley and Tony Schmitz may not have anticipated the avalanche of support created when they set up a Facebook page on Tuesday to promote the idea.
They had 727 members as of Friday.
"Please help bring Detroit Mountain back to the area for use as a ski resort and as a four season recreation area!," the site says.
"Those who grew up there, skiing and snowboarding, can remember how much fun it was. Let's get it back and running so 'our kids' can enjoy it and we can enjoy it with them!"