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Hope on the horizon as Spirit Mt. Task Force shares report

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DULUTH, MN-- After seven months, a task force is sharing what they believe it will take to reach a strong financial future for Duluth's Spirit Mountain.

That presentation was being given to the Duluth City Council at their Monday night meeting.

The Task Force was created in June 2020, as the ski hill and recreation area was already financially struggling and COVID-19 was only making matters worse.

Along with suggesting different business and leadership models, the group said it will take a significant capital investment to boost revenue.

They suggested updating old chair lifts, the Skyline Chalet building, and skiing and mountain biking trails.
The Task Force also recommended the city continue investing tourism tax dollars into Spirit Mountain but did not mention a specific dollar amount.

Officials with Spirit Mountain acknowledged they need to be held accountable for their spending.

"And that Spirit needs to be held accountable for performing with the use of those funds and to be strategic in how they use those funds," said Interim Executive Director Ann Glumac.

City Councilor Arik Forsman, one of the Task Force's leaders, said the city gets back almost $19 for every $1 of tourism taxes spent at Spirit Mountain.

"There should be a plan and a return on your investment for what you're getting," said Forsman. "And I think we have a path now with all this data and the report to say here's what the future could look like."

Forsman said the next steps are for the council and Mayor Larson to review the report and go from there.
He encourages Duluthians to share their thoughts as well.

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Emma Quinn

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