In an effort to partner with The American Birkebeiner, Telemark resort has laid out the following win-win proposal to keep the start and many of the Birkie functions solidly located at its original home at Telemark Resort.
Some of the challenges the Birkie is facing is the uncertainty of access across several parcels of private land including the Cable/Union airport as well as several parcels of private land north of McNaught road. The financial security of Telemark Resort has also been a concern given past closures and ownership changes.
Telemark believes that the two can help offset each other to provide a secure future. Telemark has the trails, meeting/expo space, parking and infrastructure, while the Birkie has the event with its 9,600 participants and the millions of dollars they bring to the area.
A successful partnership between Telemark Resort and the Birkie also translates to the success of other events in the area that use Telemark Lodge (Fat Tire for example) currently and potential events that can come to the area (IPC World Cup for example). A successful Telemark Resort also translates to more jobs, increased tourism in the area and more traffic for local businesses. It’s not just a win-win partnership between Telemark Resort and the Birkie, but a big win for area, businesses and the residents.
Telemark is amenable to any or all of the following solutions:
- Allowing guaranteed easements to all existing trails on Telemark property for the weeks of Birkie, Birkie Tour, Birkie Trail Run and future events as necessary.
- Providing Birkie Trail access to the public 365 days of the year with no fees.
- Offering similar easements on other Telemark lands for construction of an alternate start area closer to Telemark resort, and new trail to connect to the existing Birkie and/or Classic trails.
- Offering permission and support to continue improvement and redesign of trails across Telemark property.
- Telemark to construct a heated expo center, (possibly the old Coliseum pad or Hytte location) which could greatly increase Telemark’s ability to handle Birkie Expo, Registration, bib pickup and more in addition to the 25,000 sq. ft of meeting space currently available at Telemark.
- Offering Birkie land options to construct maintenance/storage building(s) in close proximity of Telemark Resort and/or Birkie trails.
- Providing office, secretariat and headquarter space during events or year round at no charge.
- Provide a permanent space for a Birkie museum at no charge to preserve history and legacy of the events.
- Providing additional parking space for participants which will help for the growth of the event and actively work with The Birkie in finding solutions to traffic congestion, bussing routes and reducing skiers walk distances.
Telemark is proposing the Birkie to agree to the following:
- Staging of the Birkie, Korte, Haakon start, the Birkie Expo, registration, Bibb pick-up to be returned to Telemark Resort.
- Finish for the Korteloppet, Haakon, Birkie Trail Run and Birkie Tour to remain at Telemark.
- Lease the new expo center for the week of the Birkie and/or other Birkie events for a 10 year renewable term.
- Provide Telemark Resort reasonable marketing access to Birkie participant database for promotions and non-competing events.
- Annual event usage fee for Telemark Resort to remain the same.
In summary, Telemark feels it is important to create a solution that is good for the community as a whole. With the right approach along the lines of what is detailed above, the ski community and the Bayfield County businesses and residents will benefit and the legacy of the Birkie being located at Telemark will be preserved.