by Duluth News Tribune
May 22, 2012 at 7:00 pm in Duluth News Tribune
As Duluth works to develop a master plan for Chester Park, the future of the park’s ski jumps appears to be up in the air.
Tags: Chester Park, money, ski 11 Comments »
Is this not private property, owned by the City? Does the city not close the park down at nightfall? If the answer to both of those is “yes” and there are signs posted, then if some half wit risks their life being stupid, the families of that person shouldn’t be able to sue, right? It was hard for everyone to get used to Park Point closing down the park at nightfall too, but with enough police presence, and signs posted, it became known that people caught there after dark would be TICKETED, or hauled off to jail if drinking. Fix the ski jump for prosperity and be done with it! Post one more sign that says the CITY will NOT be held liable for any injuries or deaths after park is closed! You can’t fix STUPID, but you CAN fix those jumps!
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 33 7
Preserving these ski jumps is a worthwhile project and should be paramount for the city. There is a lot of history in those jumps and they are worth saving. The city pees lots of money away on needless, useless projects, look at the money they are spending on the “proposed” highspeed rail line that may never be developed. Yet the city money is dumped down a black hole. Investing in these ski jumps, and the Leif Erickson ship for that matter, makes more sense and it preserves the city history, a story that needs to be shown as well as told in future generations.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 27 7
needless and useless is paying to renovate things with taxpayer money that effect so few people (in the jumps case) and things that produce no additional revenue through its preservation/maintenance (in the boats case). If you think any additional tourists will come to town just to see that boat or those ski jumps your sorely mistaken.
Like or Dislike: 1 1
Don’t forget Gene Kotlarek, who competed in the 1960 and 1964 Olympics! And his father, George, who was a US National champion jumper at Chester in the 30s.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 23 3
George Kotlarek, father of Gene, learned to jump in Chester and went on to jump at Soldier’s Field in Chicago after WWII on a huge jump with artificial snow, a unique and patriotic event rarely mentioned. His other ‘jumping son’ Glen, won many jumping honors in Chester Bowl and went on to Coach the US Olympic Ski jumpers after that. There is so much history in those old jumps! I’ll contribute to a ‘restoration fund raiser’ also.
Like or Dislike: 12 1
You know what, if we’re going to say we don’t have money for things like high speed rails (and I agree we do NOT) which would be sweet but ultimately financially untenable, then we have to be consistent and say we don’t have money to maintain these jumps right now either. The fact is the vast majority of Duluthians do not use these and given our current state and local budgets deficits, this is the kind of unfortunate thing we need to tighten the belt on. History is all well and good, but we also have a history of spending more money than we actually have and these kinds of things are going to be the casualties of that irresponsibility.
Like or Dislike: 16 11
If anyone wants to save the ski jumps I am sure your fundraising efforts will be greatly appreciated. Please also take into consideration the ongoing upkeep and management of the ski jumps going forward as this should not be ongoing burden to the city either. Between individuals and corporations I am sure a motivated group can get something done.
Like or Dislike: 17 4
I have to agree with those who say that these structures are worth saving. Put on a well-publicized fund raiser and I am sure the funds will be forthcoming. I have never used them but do appreciate seeing the WDSE film about the ski jumping champions of Duluth when it airs. If the cost of repairs is only $30,000 I’ll be the first to send my check for $500.00.
putting “razor” wire on it would not be a good idea Iam sure that it would be a lawsuit waiting to happen (you can say what you want about being closed at night-remember what happened at the canal park fountains)
Like or Dislike: 7 2
As for unwelcome night climbers, Hovland suggests access could be controlled by enclosing the jump with razor wire fencing.
“I want to save the structure and try to turn it into an asset instead of a liability,” he said.
Riiiight, because razor wire isn’t a liability… A ride that simulates jumping? My guess is that’s in the $500K-$1mil range.
Should we save the jumps… Yes. Should we save them that they are usable? Not unless a community group of jumpers pays for it.
Personally, I think the city should preserve the tallest jump (heck of a view!) in a many that allows vistors to get to the top safely which can also be locked out at night. I would envision stairs cuting back and forth up the back side to an observation deck. The smaller jump should be made inaccessable.
Bottom line, they are a liability to the city, no matter what common sense tells us. They can go away, they can be completely refurbished, or they can become tourist attracts…I think they should stay, but doubt there is a strong enough jumping community to bring them fully back to life.
Like or Dislike: 4 4
It would be a shame for the City of Duluth to get rid of the Ski Jumps at Chester Bowl, the history, the heritage, the Ski Jumps are a Diamond in the rough for the region. As a young adolescent, I was encouraged to Ski Jump through the likes of Mr. Thebarge and Mr.Storm and eventually had the privilege of being trained and brought along by the former Olympians, Mr. Jim and Jon Denney, Mr. Steve Sydow and many others that had Olympic and competitive Ski Jumping ambitions. Every bit of the regimented training now pays dividends with my own children, and other children/children’s parents, with whom choose to have and participate in active lifestyles, something that is on it way out. It is my thought that collectively between a few Corporations (won’t mention any here) and the Chamber to help promote, they could step up and help make the efforts of our predecessors a continued tradition. The other regional facilities are now World Class and even year round, places like Coleraine, Ely, Woodbury, but Duluth cannot make it happen? What a shame.
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