Progress report on the new jump at Bush Lake,
but don't call it the
Minnesota Holmenkollen

I have just returned from a 3000 mile motor trip to the Central for the Masters Nationals. I got five jumps for the whole trip, the Nationals were postponed due to lack of snow in Wisconsin Rapids, and I am still healing up from a nasty crash on my very first jump on that nice K-47 hill at Carver's Lake in St. Paul.

But the trip was not a total loss, I visited my sister and my brother and a lot of old friends, and took a tour of the new big-hill being finished by the Minneapolis Ski Club at Bush Lake. Here are some words and some pictures about the new jump.

Don West            Plattsburgh, NY, January 11, 2000


the new jump The very ambitious Minnesota Holmenkollen project fell short on fundraising, but the enthusiasm among the Minneapolis Ski Club folks did not die. They persevered, assembled some large and small financial pledges, and finally, broke ground for a new big-hill at their Bush Lake jumping complex. The jump stands on the location of the old K-65 meter hill, though the center line has been rotated a few degrees to the left.

the tower It looks like the popular Coleraine jump on steroids. Apparently there are political reasons for that, something about the Coleraine jump being already approved by one of the funding agencies. And it looks sweet, a fully modern jump with wide tower and landing and a good looking curve. The official hill size is k-70 meters but, consistent with modern practice, Club officials anticipate jumps of over 80 meters.

the takeoff As you see, the jump was not dressed up for skiing during my visit, and naked jumps don't usually look like much, but you can get the idea. I understand that Club members did manage to snow the jump last week and a few jumpers took some rides. I won't list the names here, you can find out at the Minneapolis Ski Club web site.
(They don't have pictures yet, but we do! In the trade, we call that a scoop.)

the inrun So don't call it the Minnesota Holmenkollen (that project died) and don't say it is at Bush Lake, because funding was provided by another municipality. In fact, don't get in the habit of calling the new jump anything until the Club finds a title sponsor.
(Oh my! It looks like the Minneapolis Ski Club has brought the sport of ski jumping into the new millenium, not just in hill design, but also in financial management!)

Here is a year-old report from Ole and Swen


Oly sez to Sven, "So dat new ski yump in Bloomington, is gonna be a big one, eh?

"Ya – sure! You bet!" sez Sven. "I tink da yumpers can fly right over dat big mall if the wind is yoost right!" "But we ain’t got no snow and I don’t see no scaffold yet, and I tink this is December already! I’m kinda wondering if dey will ski this year?"

Oly sez, "Oh, dey got the contractor working good and hard on dis one, you betcha! I heard the steel is comin’ and the construction will finish in March, ya."

"Oh Oly", sez Sven. "What good is a ski yump dat is opens in March? Don’tcha know dat will to be too late to ski?"

"Ski??? I thought dey yoost wanna build da ting! Well, if ya wanna ski… We’ll have to… SKI YA NEXT YEAR!"

Finished in March is actually not a joke. I wish we were worried about the lack of snow, but we have the lack of a jump to put the snow on. This spring and summer had setbacks, but none of them were big enough to cause this type of delay for the project. So what went WRONG?!?

Imagine what John Glenn thought when he sat on that rocket the first time and said, "Imagine that everything around you was built by the low bidder." Glenn survived that ride because the QUALIFIED lowest bidder constructed the rocket. Now, no one knows how to qualify someone on a ski jump project. So if Moe, Larry and Curly Construction put in a bid on the ski jump, how could anyone tell if they were qualified?

It appears that the contractor, LS Black, did not understand the complexity of the project. LS Black is using qualified subcontractors for the steel fabrication and steel erection, but has not coordinated the project and has not addressed issues on a timely basis.

I want to remind (or inform) you that we had two construction contracts to build the K70. The above contract was funded by the State of Minnesota and the MSC and administrated by Hennepin Parks. That contract is to build the concrete foundations, steel and decking. The second contract, funded and administered by the MSC, built the retaining wall and grading of the landing hill.

The second contract, while only 90% complete at this time, would have allowed us to ski this year. (They need to seed the area next spring.) The contractor on this part of the project was Imperial Developers, who have not delayed the progress of this jump.

So, here is the long and short of it: The Minneapolis Ski Club is officially canceling the Senior Tournament on January 24th. The Junior Tournament on January 23rd is still scheduled, but remember that only the K10 and K30 jumps will be open. (Our K45 was taken down to make room for the new K70)

The Minneapolis Ski Club wishes to thank all of those that have supported us throughout the decades as we have tried to improve the Bush Lake ski jumps. In the years to come, we hope this setback will seem like a small speed bump on the road to building successful skiers and successful citizens.


Jack Broz,

President-elect, Minneapolis Ski Club