Spirit Mountain Asks Council for $235 Thousand to Make Up Lost Wages

Spirit Mountain is facing a financial crisis after their cancelled snocross event.

DULUTH, Minn.- Spirit Mountain needs cash.

The executive director of Duluth’s snowy tourist attraction says they’re struggling to meet payroll for employees heading into the holiday season.

Ironically, snow is holding the snow mountain back. The recent blizzard cancelled last weekend’s national snocross event and put spirit hundreds of thousands of dollars in the hole.

“There’s not an insurance policy that covers loss of revenue if it’s an act of God,” exeuctive director Brandy Ream said.

Spirit Mountain leaders are asking city councilors for $235 thousand.

That’s how much the business lost in ticket, food and beverage revenue from the cancelled snocross event.

“Spirit Mountain was never created to be completely self–funded and running as a private facility without that assistance and the help from the city of Duluth,” Ream said.

Ream tells Fox 21 those funds will get them through the holiday season, and that money comes from the city’s excess tourism budget built up over time, not directly from tax payers or the city’s general budget.

“It’s coming from the tourism tax and when the tourism tax was first created, it was created to help Spirit Mountain,” Ream said.

She says after 28 years total and the end of a recent three year renewal, the contract between Spirit Mountain and snocross will be closely reviewed.

Moving forward, they’ll continue to make operational changes as necessary to offset significant losses like this one.

“I am not closing this hill. If that’s what the question is, everybody back here,” Ream said. “We are not closing Spirit Mountain.”

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