Spirit Mountain Task Force Comes Out with Findings on Financial Stability

The 250-page report included recommendations to Spirit and to the City.

DULUTH, Minn.- After nine months of work, the Spirit Mountain Task Force has released its findings involving the ski resort’s financial stability.

The task force appointed by Mayor Larson found that for every one dollar in tourism tax Spirit Mountain produced an $18 economic impact return to the city.

The 250-page report included eight business improvement strategies.

The task force also made recommendations, like a so-called high-level investment into the resort by the city that they say would increase the resort’s economic impact from $22 million to $39 million a year.

And that’s on top of continuing to invest tourism tax dollars into the attraction.

“The Taskforce said the city should continue to invest and incest a consistent amount of the Tourism Tax proceeds commensurate with the needs at Spirit Mountain,” said Spirit’s Interim Executive Director Ann Glumac. “And then, Spirit needs to be held accountable for performing with the use of those funds.”

The task force says anything that involves selling the government-owned and operated entity is off the table.

Later Monday, mayor Emily Larson would not comment on anything specific in the report but agreed that selling it would be nearly impossible.

She said public input is the next step.

“What I would like to see happen next is for the public and decision-makers to weigh in with what they understand to be the variables that make the most sense to them,” Mayor Larson said.

“I’m not interested in kind of having a fistfight every year just to Band-Aid Spirit Mountain,” she said.

The 16-member task force was appointed by Mayor Emily Larson last June after the pandemic pushed the resort into a deeper financial hole and was unable to open last summer.

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