DULUTH, Minn. — The City of Duluth approved a grant of $235,000 Thursday to help the Spirit Mountain ski area stay open.
The grant, which was passed by an 8-1 vote, is expected to help offset the financial losses due to the blizzard on Dec. 1 that resulted in the cancellation of the 2019 AMSOIL Duluth National Snocross race.
The race was expected to be one of the ski resort's biggest moneymakers of the year, but the cancellation cost the resort thousands of dollars in lost ticket, food, and beverage sales.
Without the funding boost, Spirit Mountain representatives told KBJR-TV that they would have been able to make payroll just one more time for the season, and then faced the prospect of shutting down indefinitely.
The city funding will come from a tourism tax fund, which currently has a surplus.
Spirit Mountain officials told KBJR that Spirit Mountain has a $37 million dollar annual impact for the city of Duluth.
The request is not entirely unusual; the city has provided varying amounts of funding for Spirit Mountain in previous budget requests.