DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — The Duluth City Council has approved a bailout of financially struggling Spirit Mountain ski hill.
The council voted 8-1 Monday night to give Spirit Mountain $235,000. The money will come from excess tourism tax dollars that had not been set aside for other projects.
Skier visits to Spirit Mountain have dropped in recent years. Last month the Amsoil Snocross National race was canceled at Spirit Mountain due to the Thanksgiving weekend blizzard.
Residents told the City Council that the ski hill is an economic asset for tourism and holds memories for Duluth residents, the Star Tribune reported.
Council members said they support the emergency funding but said something must change.
Council member Arik Forsman called the ski hill a “cornerstone” of Duluth that “must sit upon a solid foundation. This is a short-term fix.”
But Forsman and many others said closing the ski hill is not an option.
“I can’t think of a Duluth without Spirit Mountain,” he said.