Spirit Mountain prepares for upcoming season without Snocross

Published: Nov. 15, 2021 at 9:45 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 15, 2021 at 10:20 PM CST
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DULUTH, MN. (CBS 3 Duluth) -- The snow guns are now on at Spirit Mountain as ski season is just weeks away.

“We’re excited for winter and really looking forward to getting the smiling faces back here this coming winter,” said Jon Regenold, Co-Director of Resort Services.

While snow is being made to welcome in patrons for the season, one event won’t be happening this year, Snocross.

Typically, the day after Thanksgiving loud snowmobiles take to the slopes of Spirit, attracting racers and fans from around the country, and making a lot of money for the ski hill but Ann Glumac, Interim Director of Spirit Mountain, said it won’t be happening this year.

“I did have a number of conversations with the organizers and as it turns out, we were still in sort of uncertain footing as they were building their schedule out for the year,” Glumac said. “Everything sort of happened so quickly, that they went ahead and planned their season and then did not have space for us.”

The typical planning of Snocross happened to coincide with Spirit and city leaders finding a way to keep the resort alive.

While there won’t be snowmobiles this year, there is a plan for how to move forward.

Mayor Emily Larson pulled together a task force last year to assess what improvements are needed at the resort. In January, she’ll take recommendations from that task force to the legislature.

“I think people don’t really realize how much is happening at a facility that is underperforming in terms of what we invest in it - but has a team, has a community, has a plan, has a vision, and could maybe just be this incredibly strong asset for the next generation,” Larson said.

Organizers still hope to hold more Snocross events in the future, but in the meantime, the snow is almost ready for people to hit the slopes.

Spirit Mountain plans to open for the season on Thanksgiving weekend as long as the weather remains cold.

Other Northland ski hills and resorts plan to open in the next couple of weeks as well.

Mont Du Lac Resort has been planning to open Thanksgiving Day but now said it could be earlier, Giants Ridge is aiming for Black Friday, and Lutsen hopes to have its chairlifts running by Thanksgiving, depending on how much snow is made in the next week and a half.

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