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Andes makes big improvements

Echo Press photo by Kelsey Risbrudt Construction crews worked on an addition that is being built on to the chalet at Andes Tower Hills. The addition will include 100 new indoor lockers and two banquet rooms for private parties, overflow and corporate events.

Despite the lack of snow on the ground, Andes Tower Hills is staying hard at work during the summer months.

The ski hill is undergoing some constructive changes this summer. They are adding on a few new improvements for skiers and snowboarders to enjoy in the winters to come.

"This is a response to our customers' needs," said Jon Buettner, the general manager and Alpine Ski Race director. "They needed more space and more expert terrain."

Andes Tower Hills is adding onto the chalet, making it wider and able to accommodate more people. This addition will include 100 new indoor lockers and two new banquet rooms for private parties, overflow and corporate parties.

Andes has also redone all its outdoor and indoor lighting to help improve convenience for customers. This lighting is expected to reduce electrical energy by 40 percent and will be a higher quality. New outdoor lighting will enhance the security for night skiers and snowboarders.

"This energy efficient lighting will be a way not only to help out the company, but also the environment," said Buettner.

A new run off of the Little America chair lift is under construction as well. This run will be an extension off of Wormgear.

This run will be for expert skiers who are looking for expert quality terrain. Andes is hoping to expand its variety of hills to bring in more customers, Buettner added.

"We want to make this the number one ski resort in Minnesota," said Buettner. "We are purposefully looking at possible improvements on all the hills."

This is the third year that Andes has taken actions to improve the ski lodge and runs. It has remodeled the kitchen and made some improvements to the snow pump in the past.

Andes is beginning to rent out seasonal lockers and book events for the winter. It will be at the Douglas County Fair across from the Energy Park, where customers can find out what else is new at the resort.

There will also be an grand opening for the new addition during the pre-season sale October 17 through 21, which will consist of live music and fun for the family.

Andes is hoping to open the weekend before Thanksgiving, weather permitting of course.

"We are happy, proud and excited," said Buettner, "and we can't wait to start makin' snow!"