Updated: Jan 5, 2022
Earlier today, Lutsen announced that long-term partner and Co-President of Lutsen Mountains, Tom Rider, has sold his 50% ownership to Charles Skinner. As a result, Charles Skinner will now be the sole owner and President of Lutsen Mountains and Granite Peak.
Here is what Tom had to say about the sale “Having devoted three decades of my life to Lutsen Mountains, the decision to sell my interest was difficult and comes with many mixed emotions. The main condition to selling was that the business be left in capable hands, and I am confident that with continued family ownership, and the superb team of key staff in place, that the future of Lutsen Mountains is bright.”
Charles Skinner & Lutsen Mountains
Lutsen Mountains was started back in 1948 by George Nelson, Jr. but sold to Charles' father (Charlie Skinner) in 1980. Charles and Tom (brothers-in-law) joined forces in the early 1990s to run the resort and split ownership 50/50.
“I am very happy that this transaction will enable Lutsen Mountains to continue as a family-run business”, said Charles. “I have long believed that the best model for destination ski areas of our size is multi-generational family ownership. And with both of my daughters, Charlotte and Caroline, having grown up in the ski business, and with MBA degrees, I am grateful that they have the interest and aptitude to lead the family business in the coming years. We also have an amazing team of senior managers”, continued Skinner, “many of
whom also are multiple-generation family employees of Lutsen Mountains, including the Vick, Buckman, and Plummer families. The family theme is an entrenched part of our business culture, and is something we are very proud of.”
Charles Skinner & Granite Peak
During the early 2000s, Charles started another venture, taking over the lease of Rib Mountain. He would sign a 30-year lease in 2000 and invest millions over the past couple of decades, forming the Granite Peak that we all know and love today.
Family Owned Future
This acquisition will allow both resorts to operate as a single operation and ensure both resorts remain family-owned and operated. Charles has opened expressed that the expansion plan for Lutsen was designed to pave the path for his daughters, Charlotte and Caroline, to continue the resort, and this purchase ensures that vision.
What Changes Can We Expect?
I would expect little change for this season; however, we will likely see more events, promotions, and products geared toward both ski areas in the coming years.
This purchase comes at a great time as both Granite Peak and Lutsen Mountains are in the process of possible expansions, which will make the process much smoother for both resorts. If you want to learn more about Lustens proposed expansion, please watch the video below.
Overall, this is excellent news for the resorts and Midwest skiers/riders alike and paves the way to ensure these resorts remain family-owned and operated for the next generation. I am excited to see what the future holds for both of these resorts, but it is certainly looking bright.
If you want to read the entire press release you can do so by clicking the link below. And be sure to check out our video highlighting Lutsen Mountains below. Hope to see you out there!