As the demolition of the former Telemark Lodge continues for a second week, the Record dug into the long history of the lodge, a recreation destination for thousands of people for 40-plus years and an epicenter of cross-country skiing in the upper Midwest starting with the first American Birkebeiner in 1973.

The book “Telemark Memories” was published by Deb Nelson in 2002 — the 55th anniversary of the resort’s first development by entrepreneur Tony Wise. The lodge, with its massive stone fireplace, lobby, large convention rooms, 200 hotel rooms, ski shop, bars, restaurants, nightclub and theater, was built at a cost of $4 million in 1972.

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