Duluth City Council To Decide The Fate Of Spirit Mountain
The future of Spirit Mountain will be voted on tonight by the Duluth City Council as to whether it will open back up for the winter season at a cost of $300,000. Spirit Mountain has been closed since this Spring in the wake of the pandemic and has suffered a massive financial loss.
City Councilor Arik Forsman is on a task force to address all the issues that Spirit Mountain is facing at this time. He is in favor of spending the $300,000 to get the facility back up and running due to the major impact it has from a tourist stand point and a key recreational facility for the area. He said to WDIO :
The overwhelming amount of emails that I've been getting is that people, either parents or kids themselves are reaching out and saying, 'hey, this is the main thing we do in the winter, and with everything else that we've lost, please don't let Spirit Mountain also be one of those,' and I think that those, especially coming from the kids, those have been very impactful for me.
According to Forsman Spirit Mountain has not received any Federal Funding since the pandemic struck, and he is proposing to ask for emergency federal aid to help it make it through the winter season.
City councilor Derek Medved has said that he is concerned about Spirit Mountain because of worries that we will have another harsh winter or the pandemic will shut it down again once they have gotten it back up and running. Instead Medved is hoping that an independent or private party invest in the facility. In spite of all that he plans to vote in favor of the funding because he would like to see it stay open.
Medved went on to say that it is important to have the facility open and running smoothly to make it more appealing if it would be leased or sold to an independent party or private person. Last winter, the council approved a $235,000 bailout for Spirit Mountain to help them stay open.
For me personally it makes me feel bad that this great facility continues to struggle. For anyone who skis or snowboards this is an awesome place to go so close to the city of Duluth. When I lived in Milwaukee or even in the Minneapolis to have a place like Spirit Mountain that is basically in our back yards is pretty awesome. We can't control the weather and any ski resort knows it is a risk every year, but with all the other amenities it offers year round I am puzzled at how it seems to always be losing money. Maybe having this facility privately owned would be the best answer to this problem.