Could downhill skiing return to Potawatomi State Park?
DOOR COUNTY (WLUK) -- With all that snow from Winter Storm Abigail settling in, outdoor enthusiasts may think downhill skiing sounds like a good plan.
And there could be another option some day if an old Door County ski hill is restored.
While trudging through a snow-covered path at Potawatomi State Park, Brian Madigan says Friday's weather puts him in the mood to hit the slopes.
"It's exciting to be out. Bluebird skies today. The sun is out. If the hill was here, I'd be skiing right now," said Brian Madigan, Restore Potawatomi State Park Ski Hill.
But there hasn't been skiing for decades. A non-profit group operated the hill at the state park from about the 1950s to the late 1990s.
"The old lodge was kind of right down by that white pine, and the chairlift wasn't too far away from it," said Madigan.
Madigan is behind an idea to bring back skiing to Potawatomi. He started a Facebook page, and a feasibility study too.
"I've been reaching out to different successful community ski hills. Trying to get their lessons learned," said Madigan.
Madigan says, among other things, the hill will need staff, snow making equipment, groomers, lights, and a tow system too.
"Initially, probably $500,000 is going to be kind of a starting amount. And then all the way, depending on what you want do with it, but the feasibility study will lock down those numbers concrete," he said.
"I have kind of heard that there is some kind of buzz in the local community that there is some interest," said Erin Brown Stender, Potawatomi State Park Superintendent.
Park leaders say a state committee is reviewing the ski hill idea, and thousands of others received during a recent Master Plan public comment period.
"A determination is made whether or not they seem feasible, or something to be included in the future plan," said Brown Stender.
Back on the hill, Madigan is optimistic.
"I think it's all doable. I think it's manageable. I think ultimately it would be an asset for Northeast Wisconsin," he said.
The idea to bring back the ski hill is in its very early stages.
Even if plans move forward, it could still be at least five years before any skiing would resume.