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State may buy Telemark Resort land

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources may buy up to 800 acres of the shuttered Telemark Resort and turn it over to Bayfield County. Proponents hope it'll make the landmark resort more attractive for potential buyers.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources may buy up to 800 acres of the shuttered Telemark Resort and turn it over to Bayfield County. Proponents hope it'll make the landmark resort more attractive for potential buyers.

Telemark is the starting point for the American Birkebeiner cross country ski race. But it's also a year-round resort dating back to 1947. Since it closed in May, reopening the lodge has been a top priority for Bayfield County. County Administrator Mark Abeles-Allison hopes to get funding from the DNR to buy most of the land around Telemark. He says the land has "tremendous resources" and that there are many people interested in the site.

The proposal is still in its early stages so details are still being hashed out. But Bayfield County Board member Brett Rondeau says up to 800 of Telemark's 975 acres would be purchased by the state and turned over to the county to manage. He says it will preserve the trails for the Birkebeiner, and be a "natural fit" for the county. He says buying the land will make it easier for private groups to buy the Telemark Lodge.

"With the plans I've seen, they've got a real chance to bring in some money to bring it up to what it used to be like and to refurbish it and bring it back to the destination it used to be years ago," Rondeau says.

He says the preliminary plan would use $750,000 in DNR land acquisition money to buy up to 800 acres.

Related Topics: BAYFIELD COUNTY
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