A letter to the editor earlier this week from Ted Sojka proposed using the old Nor-Ski hill for a sledding and tubing hill in Decorah. Since then we've learned that the Decorah Parks & Recreation Department's 99-year lease of the land was canceled because Park-Rec stopped using the hill for skiing. That means a new lease would have to be written between Luther College and the City of Decorah. Still, several readers urged the city to pursue the idea:
Carol Hagen: "I like the idea shared by Ted Sojka about an "official" sledding hill in Decorah, and in particular, the old Norski hill for such a purpose.
When we first moved to Decorah our kids, along with many others, enjoyed Luther's Sunnyside hill directly behind our house for sledding. Then Luther, at the advice of their insurers, advised "closing" Sunnyside to sledders, including their own students. There had been some close calls due to sledders going into the street, not to mention the possibility of other accidents. Luther actually fences off the old runs in winter.
Luther may not want any liability associated with Norski being a sledding hill, either, although it's worth exploring. Could there be a new "10 year lease" as a trial, I wonder? Sledding is an inexpensive, fun winter activity that gets kids and families outside and active. It is not without risk, but what is?"
Cliff and Pat Carey, The Roundhouse Retreat:
My wife and I own and operate a guest retreat known as The Round House Retreat, which is located on the Bluffton Road. We rent out our facility year round, with the winter business increasing each year.
I agree with Ted Sojka's statement about the need for a Sledding and Tubing hill. One of the first questions I hear from many families who rent our facility is, do you have a sledding hill anywhere near by? I also get E-Mails from people looking for a place to retreat which has a sledding hill. These people come from all over the area, and many from other states. They come here for many reasons and they spend money while they are here. I'm sure most would love to drop the kids at the sledding hill and shop Decorah.
If you make it, they will come!"
Finally, one reader told us about a You Tube video that is called "NorSki Eulogy." Enjoy it at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXhD9vlFw70.