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Frost Fire flies in chairlift towers with helicopters

WALHALLA, N.D. -- The Frost Fire Ski and Snowboard Area is almost ready for winter. On Thursday, the recreation area got six of the eight towers needed for their chairlift, costing "north of $1 million," General Manager Scott Rao said. Frost Fire...

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The Frost Fire Ski and Snowboard Area installed chairlift towers Thursday. photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

WALHALLA, N.D. - The Frost Fire Ski and Snowboard Area is almost ready for winter.

On Thursday, the recreation area got six of the eight towers needed for their chairlift, costing "north of $1 million," General Manager Scott Rao said. Frost Fire used a helicopter from a third party contractor to set the towers. All six towers were set in less than an hour, Rao said. Each tower is approximately 50 feet tall.

"It was very slick and very well organized," he said.

The chairlift will be fully functional next Friday, Oct. 19.

The parts have been coming in for a while, Rao said, but getting the towers set was a big step in getting ready for the winter.

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The men in the helicopter communicated with men on the ground via radio to get the towers bolted and secured.

The chairlift is from SkyTrac Lifts, based in Utah.

"This is such a thrill for this community," Rao said. "The next generation will be able to get out and enjoy the winter weather with this chairlift."

The chairlift will take skiers, snowboarders and their equipment up the slope during the winter and take bikes up during the summer months.

"It will serve a dual purpose," Rao said.

Frost Fire also will expand its theatre in the spring to add more seating.

Rao said they are waiting on Mother Nature to open for the season. Those wishing to visit should call ahead or check the website at www.frostfireskiarea.com to see if the ski and snowboard area is open.

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