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Telemark Lodge: Is it lost forever?

Telemark Lodge near Cable, WI is the epicenter for many Midwestern XC Skiers and Mountain Bikers. The famous ski area was founded by Tony Wise (Tony also founded the Birkie and the World Loppet XC Ski Race Series) in 1946 and the current lodge was later built in 1972.

Sadly, since the grandiose lodge was built, it has encountered funding challenges on numerous occasions, particularly over the past 20 years. Most recently in 1999, the a group of the resort's timeshare owners have banded together to form the Telemark Interval Owners Association (TIOA). However, this group has also struck very hard times and the resort has been for sale now for a while.

Beautiful Telemark Lodge on a sunny winter day. Photo Credit: Travel Wisconsin

Hopes were raised when Telemark Partners LLC placed an offer on the property in addition to sharing their ambitious plans for the lodge and nearly 900 acres of surrounding land. These exciting plans include spending $20 million on extensive renovations of the lodge, reopening of the ski hill (with lift service), and a partnership with CXC on creating a Nordic Skiing Olympic Training Center, modeled after the US Ski Team's Center for Excellence in Park City Utah. The focus of this Olympic Training Center would be on XC Skiing, Mountain Biking, and snowboarding/adaptive skiing. Additionally, rumors have circulated that there are additional plans for various new retail stores within the lodge.

As exciting as these plans are the money simply has not come through yet from Telemark Partners, LLC. As Telemark reportedly lost over $100,000 during the month of March, they simply cannot afford to keep the doors open and officially closed the lodge on May 5. The TIOA is still hopeful that a deal will be worked out with Telemark Partners, LLC as their vision for the property aligns with that of Tony Wise and generations of Midwestern silent sports enthusiasts.

Regardless of what happens with the above mentioned deal, the fact of the matter is that the new owner must do things differently with Telemark than has been done in the past. This lodge and property needs a steady flow of people coming through staying in rooms, buying food/drinks, etc. Telemark's biggest problem is that of a lack of cash flow and that requires paying customers. If this cash flow can be realized with the grand plan that Telemark Partners LLC has put together, I and thousands of other silent sport enthusiasts will be thrilled!

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