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ABR Ski Trails gets national attention as it gears up for another cross-country ski season

ABR Ski Trails

USA Today is asking people to help it find the best Cross-Country Ski Resorts in the country.

Minocqua Winter Park and ABR Ski Trails in Ironwood have been holding the top two spots over the last several days.

With an average seasonal snowfall close to 200 inches, the Ironwood area is sought after by many winter sports enthusiasts.

For nearly three decades, ABR Ski Trails has grown to be one of the top cross-country ski destinations in the Midwest.

“You can always count on every single day at ABR during the winter at 9 a.m. the trails are going to be in pristine condition. You're going to have a great ski experience,” said Kyle Pallin, a groomer for ABR Trails who’s working his way to be chief groomer.

He and others who have long enjoyed the ski trails on 1,100 acres at ABR look forward to the scenic views and great trail conditions because of the effort that goes into grooming.

“I think that's really two major things that ABR acquired is just the natural amount of snow that we get and all of the technology and research and development that Eric and Angela have done and put into the grooming here to create the magic that that we have here at ABR,” he said.

Now, the trails are getting some national attention through USA Today’s reader's choice cross-country ski resort competition.

They’re up against 19 other Nordic ski centers across North America to be selected as the top 10.

Scott Anderson, brother of owner Eric Anderson, says Eric and his wife Angela are proud of the ski area they’ve built up over the years.

Scott says Eric was hoping to do this interview, but he’s recovering from open heart surgery. It’s his second one to repair damage to his heart as a result of cancer treatments when he was younger.

“He's really looking forward to being back to rehab at ABR,” said Scott. “In fact, he had his first morning meeting via telephone from the intensive care unit with the guys [Tuesday] morning talking about last-minute preparations.”

As he recovers in the hospital, Scott says hearing ABR move into the top spot in the USA Today has brought a smile to his face.

“We're just so proud. Eric and Angela, just are proud to be in that pool of just great ski resorts and trail systems,” said Scott. “They would like to be ranked high in that. They've been polling in the top three, but they want the customers to have a great ski experience most importantly and leave with a smile.”

No matter where they fall in the ranking, ABR Ski Trails is focused on creating the best ski experience for skiers of all levels.

Workers have been doing some trail configuration over the summer. ABR is building new trails and improving old trails.

“Eric really prides himself in professional design. His skilled workers, like Kyle, are providing narrow trails that are only five feet wide for classic skiers, people just love that intimate trail, to wide trails where they can skate skiing, or double striding side by side. They just love that,” said Scott.

Voting for the USA Today contest is going on now through November 20th.

You can vote once a day here.

ABR and Minocqua Winter have been at the top of the leaderboard for the last couple of days.

Join us tomorrow on WXPR to hear from Minocqua Winter Park.

Katie Thoresen is WXPR's News Director/Vice President.
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