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Published September 18, 2012, 09:43 PM

Residents want the Detroit Lakes Mountain ski area to reopen

Detroit Lakes, MN (WDAY TV) -- For nearly 50 years it was a place where many learned to down hill ski and had some winter fun. But since 2004 the Detroit Mountain ski area has been closed.

Detroit Lakes, MN (WDAY TV) -- For nearly 50 years it was a place where many learned to down hill ski and had some winter fun. But since 2004 the Detroit Mountain ski area has been closed.

Tonight a group is asking for help from the city of Detroit Lakes to reopen the mountain.

The fall colors are beginning to show on Detroit Mountain but it's been 8 years since these slopes had any winter skiers on them but that could soon change.

Mark Fritz/DMRA Board: "We're a tourist community, first and foremost, not as much in the winter as we'd like. So brining that back really would add to the number of visitors."

To bring this old ski area back to life the Detroit Mountain Recreation Area wants to spend 6.2 million dollars to get the lifts up and running and other improvements.

Not only would this new proposal bring back winter time activities to Detroit Mountain, it would bring camping and the opportunity for hiking and biking on trails like this

but to get the chairs off the ground the group needs around 300,000 dollars from the city of Detroit Lakes.

Ron Zemen/Detroit Lakes Council Member: "Myself I personally think as a council member that we already have enough things on our plate here in Detroit Lakes right now and this may be a good project but I don't know if this is the right time to do it."

ownership of the recreation area would belong to the city which is a critical part of getting a majority of the rest of the funds from the DNR.

Ron: "What's going to happen to the project after this gets going and there is shortfalls, who's going to pick up that tab."

Mark: "Our groups said we would back any operational shortfall for the first 5 years and we're committed as long as we're involved to maintain it as long as it's out there."

Detroit Mountain will remain a grassy strip on a hill without the city ownership because it would not qualify for DNR funds and without that 2 million dollars the project won't move ahead.

Despite some reservations, the Detroit Lakes city council tonight unanimously approved supporting the project.

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