ISHPEMING, Mich. (WLUC) - Pine Mountain is in line to host an international World Cup ski jumping competition in 2021.
Federation of International Skiing Race Director Walter Hofer and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Wednesday afternoon the commitment to bring the event back to Michigan. Hofer and the governor addressed policy and business leaders at the US Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame in Ishpeming.
"Bringing an event back to North America has been a priority for us," said Hofer in a press release.
At 176 feet high, the Pine Mountain Ski Jump is one of the highest artificially created ski jumps in the world. Located in Iron Mountain, it hosts annual FIS Ski Jumping Continental Cup competitions and it held the FIS Ski Jump World Cup in 1996 and 2000.
The Upper Peninsula is also home to Copper Peak, the only ski flying venue in the western hemisphere, which would become the largest year-round event and training facility in the world in 2021. Copper Peak organizers are expected to submit a bid in early 2020.
"I'm pleased to see this commitment to bring world-class ski jump competition back to Michigan after a 21-year absence," said Billy Demong, Olympic gold medalist and executive director of USA Nordic Skiing. "This is truly a transformational opportunity for the entire state."
This announcement comes after a $10 million appropriation from state law PA 618 of 2018 for the Northern Michigan Tourism and Sports Fund and Great Lakes Sports Commission - in response to the leadership of many community leaders and their vision to promote northern Michigan as a venue for world-class sport competition.
The Great Lakes Sports Commission, a non-profit organization which promotes northern Michigan as a premier destination for sports and out-door recreation, says that this investment will not only create next-level competition, but will also enhance the economy and quality of life in Michigan.
"We are thrilled to facilitate investments that provide a winning edge for Michigan. While our work is just beginning, there are boundless opportunities to grow and attract events to northern Michigan, bring new talent, increase investment, and draw in many competitors and visitors that will generate millions of dollars for our region," said GLSC Chair Doug Luciani. "We especially would like to thank Governor Gretchen Whitmer for her leadership on outdoor recreation and women's sports."