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Beyond powder: New owners plan to make Buck Hill a year-round destination

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Buck Hill Ski Area in Burnsville has new owners, and they'll take over the 60-year-old property with new ideas about expanding the recreational opportunities there.

According to a news release, the founders of the south metro ski area sold the property to their longtime general manager.

Chuck and Nancy Stone have run the business since starting it in 1954. On Thursday, the couple announced the deal to sell it to Don McClure, who has worked at Buck Hill for four decades.

McClure is bringing in new business partners David and Corrine "Chip" Solner. The new owners indicate they want to expand on Buck Hill's summer opportunities, to turn it into what the release called "a year-round, world-class sport training facility combined with a sustainable, community-based entertainment destination."

"We ultimately want to create a year-round entertainment destination that focuses on winter and summer sports," Solner told the Pioneer Press.

The newspaper reports expansion plans include opening the the hill to more summer mountain biking, and adding an indoor training facility where skiers and snowboarders can practice jumps and tricks using large trampolines and foam pits year-round.

They're also considering the addition of "dry slope" products that would make it possible to ski and snowboard on the hill during the summer months.

A story published in the Travel section of USA Today once noted that the Burnsville hill has produced a disproportionate number of champions, considering its size, writing that it's "famous for the racers it has produced. Olympic gold medalist Lindsey Vonn learned to ski there, as did Kristina Koznick, who competed in three Olympics and won six World Cup races."

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