The Duluth City Council approved $300,000 in relief for Spirit Mountain ski resort on Monday in the latest effort to keep the destination afloat.
Spirit Mountain was already facing challenges before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, when a historic snowfall over Thanksgiving weekend cancelled a national snocross event. The council approved a $235,000 bailout in December.
The pandemic then cut short the mountain’s ski season in March, although it plans to reopen in November. Spirit Mountain’s executive director and general manager both resigned last month.
Council members on Monday argued Spirit Mountain’s closure could be devastating to local businesses and Duluth’s tourism industry as a whole.
“We’re going to lose more money if we keep it closed,” said Council Member Janet Kennedy during the meeting. “Sometimes you have to spend a little money to make a little money.”
A city-appointed task force is also currently examining the future of Spirit Mountain, including its current financial challenges and infrastructure needs.
The task force will give its first report to the City Council in February.