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Snow tubing revived in Mazeppa with re-opening Thanksgiving weekend

The Steeplechase Event Center will provide tubes for patrons. No other tubes, snowboards, skis or sleds will be allowed on the hill. Tickets are $13 for one hour and $20 for two hours.

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Owner Justin Steck, right, and Jon King prepare snow-making equipment at Steeplechase Event Center near Mazeppa Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021, to make snow later in the day. Steeplechase Tubing is planning for their grand opening next weekend. Joe Ahlquist / Post Bulletin
Joe Ahlquist
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MAZEPPA -- The timing was finally right in Justin Steck’s eyes to bring a small slice of winter fun back to Southeast Minnesota.

After more than a decade-long hiatus, Steck is leading the grand re-opening of snow tubing at the Steeplechase event center on Thanksgiving weekend at 59468 423rd Ave. in Mazeppa.

“It was something we wanted to do to keep us busy and keep expanding the property,” Steck said. “It’s really for the families. It’s a family fun thing.”

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A 750-foot snow hill with multiple lanes will be the main attraction come next weekend, but now that this hill is nearly finished, Steck already has his eyes set on a record-breaking expansion soon to come.

“We’ve built the longest snow hill in the state, one of the longest ones in the country,” Steck said. He hopes the facility will grow to be one of the nation's best.

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Icicles hang from the tow cable along the tubing hill at Steeplechase Event Center Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021, near Mazeppa. Joe Ahlquist / Post Bulletin
Joe Ahlquist

Steck and his crew spent the last four months refurbishing the old tubing in the snow-making machinery and lift equipment at Steeplechase, a task that required all hands on deck and a full-time work schedule.

“We spent 80 hours a week on the tubing alone every week for the last four months,” Steck said. “It got overwhelming, but we pushed through.”

The former skiing and tubing hill has been quiet since 2007. Steck said Steeplechase needed to get into a better financial position before the winter recreation hill could be tackled.

Steck and the event center will host a “Tubing for Tots” on Dec. 11-12 during which tubers will be asked to bring a gift or donation to be given to the Marine Corps Reserves Toys for Tots campaign.

The fundraiser is one the Steeplechase event center has been involved with before.

“We reached out (to Toys for Tots) and we figured out a date that would work best for everyone,” Steck said. “If you’re unable to come out, any type of money donation is accepted on the Toys for Tots website… There’ll be a drop-off location on site all winter as well.”

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Owner Justin Steck prepares snow-making equipment at Steeplechase Event Center near Mazeppa Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021, to make snow later in the day. Steeplechase Tubing is planning for their grand opening next weekend. Joe Ahlquist / Post Bulletin
Joe Ahlquist

Steeplechase will be open 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 26; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Steeplechase will provide tubes for patrons. No other tubes, snowboards, skis or sleds will be allowed on the hill.

Tickets are $13 for one hour and $20 for two hours.

For more information on snow tubing at Steeplechase, click here for their website or go to www.steeplechaseevents.com/snow-tubing.

You can click here to make a donation to Toys for Tots or go to www.toysfortots.org.

Erich is a digital content producer at the Post Bulletin where he creates content for the Post Bulletin's digital platforms. Before he moved to Rochester, Erich worked as a sports reporter for Rivals.com covering the University of Illinois' athletic programs in Champaign, Illinois. Readers can reach Erich at 507-285-7681 or efisher@postbulletin.com.
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