Norway Mountain re-opens this fall

By THERESA PROUDFIT

Staff Writer

NORWAY – Norway Mountain will be back up in operation for the 2014-15 ski season.

The new owners are Neill and Kris Urban, who along with their children, Matt and Kay are relocating to the area from southeastern Wisconsin.

“The Urbans bring with them a full resume of management and construction experience as well as a deep passion and many years in the ski and snowboard business,” according to a news release from Bob Wurzer.

Neill Urban is currently living in Norway and is working hard to have the business open this fall.

They are currently painting and remodeling the interior as well as working on some new additions to the hill.

“We are starting at the end of the month developing and building our downhill mountain bike courses. We’re going to have flow tracks, inline tracks, and pump tracks,” Urban said.

In addition, Urban was a professional racer for many years and said he knows a lot of racers that are coming up to donate their time.

“I think we are going to be building something really nice up here,” he said.

The plan is to run the business year-round. There will be white sand tournament-style volleyball courts, bocce ball and horseshoe courts available. They are also adding a seasonal restaurant to the building.

“We will be open year round, but it won’t be a year round restaurant,” Urban added,.

In addition, the snow making and grooming of the hills will be expanded this winter.

“The ski conditions will be improved, and we want racing back. We want people to know that the Norway team is going to be coming back,” he said.

A fun addition to Norway Mountain this year is the introduction of the Yeti mascot, who made his first appearance during the Fourth of July parades in both Iron Mountain and Norway.

The opening phrase, ‘Are You Ready for the Yeti?’ came from River Valley Bank vice president Todd Horton.

During the past two years that the ski area has been closed, River Valley Bank has been committed to keeping the area intact and ready to be sold as an operating entity.

Former bank president Steve Anderson was instrumental in this effort. He had seen firsthand what the rebirth of Granite Peak Ski Area in Wausau did in leading the revitalization of the entire Wausau area.

“Anderson believes Norway Mountain and the Urban family can have an equal effect in Norway. He also hopes the community realizes what an economic and social gem it has in Norway Mountain and will support it accordingly,” Wurzer said.

Urban has many plans for the mountain, but he doesn’t want to make too many promises just yet.

“I can promise a whole different level of service here at this business. The level of service that we will have here will be second to none when everyone is trained. I can also promise a high quality dining experience and bar experience,” Urban added.