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Copper Peak Ski Jump set to receive $20 million in funding for renovations

The money comes after the State House and Senate passed a $4.8 billion infrastructure spending plan.
FILE - Copper Peak Ski Jump during the summer.
FILE - Copper Peak Ski Jump during the summer.(WLUC)
Published: Mar. 27, 2022 at 10:24 PM EDT
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IRONWOOD, Mich. (WLUC) - Some of the $4.8 billion from an infrastructure plan passed by state lawmakers will go to renovate the Copper Peak Ski Jump in Gogebic County.

“I want my sport at Copper Peak,” Copper Peak Ski Jump Planning Committee Chairman Bob Jacquart said. Jacquart recalls the former International Ski Federation, or FIS president telling him this back in 2013.

Now, FIS ski jumping could be just a few years away from returning to Gogebic County.

Thursday, the Michigan House and Senate passed a $4.8 billion infrastructure spending plan. It includes $20 million to restore and develop Ironwood’s Copper Peak Ski Jump facility to host FIS ski jumping events after nearly 30 years out of commission.

“The last time [Copper Peak] was jumped was 1994 and the actual style of ski jumping, they glide differently now so the angle of the hill has to get significantly changed,” Jacquart said.

Concrete will have to be poured on the jump’s runway and landing to host summer ski jumping. Jacquart says Copper Peak is slated to host one of the most important FIS events of the warm season after renovations are complete. “We will be the final event of the summer series which means we will crown the summer world champion,” Jacquart said.

State lawmakers expect Copper Peak to bring in $50 million of visitor revenue in its first four years of men’s and women’s competitive events. Jacquart says thousands of European ski jumping fans could travel to Gogebic County.

“We will get put onto the schedule about a year and a half before the meet, that’s how the process works with FIS,” Jacquart said. “I’ve been told a couple of times from Europeans that the minute we’re put on the schedule our hotels will fill up from Europe.”

Jacquart adds none of this would be possible without the work of Representatives Sara Cambensy (D) 109th State House District, Beau LaFave (R) 108th State House District, Greg Markkanen (R) 110th State House District, Senators Ed McBroom (R) 38th State Senate District, and Wayne Schmidt (R) 37th State District Senate. “Those five folks are key to this thing getting pulled off,” Jacquart said.

Jacquart says a FIS engineer is set to visit the ski jump this summer to begin drafting remodel plans.

He expects it to be finished by the end of summer 2024, with its first competition slated for winter of 2025.

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