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Spirit Mountain leaders present optimistic budget after previous economic distress

Published: Apr. 11, 2022 at 9:27 PM CDT
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DULUTH, MN. (KBJR 6) --Spirit Mountain leaders presented their upcoming yearly budget to Duluth’s City Council Monday night and spoke of some recent financial success compared to previous years.

After years of economic hardship coupled with a global pandemic cutting the operating season short, Spirit Mountain leaders said they are optimistic about the ski resort’s future going forward.

During Monday night’s council meeting, interim Spirit Mountain Director Ann Glumac spoke on the difficulties of operating a large recreation site.

“We want to make sure that our revenues will cover our operating expenses,” Glumac said. “Running this place is very expensive.”

Despite high operating costs, the fiscal year 2021′s operating profit of almost $345,000 was the highest the resort has seen in years.

Glumac said the resort’s three biggest revenue items will all bring in more profit in the coming years due to demand and inflation.

“Our passes are number one, followed by lift tickets during the winter season primarily, and after that is our adventure park,” Glumac said.

Now, going forward, Spirit Mountain is confident it will be more financially stable, thanks in part to a $440,000 tourism tax appropriation from the city.

“To be successful at it, I think is a great tribute to the support we get from the council, the administration, we have a great leadership team and a group of staff that works really hard at bringing this wonderful set of recreation opportunities to our residents and to visitors,” Glumac said.

The Spirit Mountain Taskforce formed in June 2020 found that Spirit’s average annual economic impact on the city of Duluth is around $22 million.

For a link to the proposed budget, click here.

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