Copper Peak passes Commerce Committee, heads to Senate
On September 20, 2017, Copper Peak’s Fundraising Co-Chairs, Billy Demong and Bob Jacquart, along with Copper Peak’s Executive Director, John Heilig, made a trip down to Lansing, MI to testify on behalf of the future of Copper Peak. The Senate Commerce Committee was briefed on Copper Peak, a man-made “ski flying” launch in the Western End of the Upper Peninsula, more specifically Ironwood, MI, that was built in 1970, closed in 1994 and is coming back through a locally-led initiative. Jacquart said ski jumping is watched by 175 million people in Europe, one of the most watched sports on the continent, but the highest level of ski jumping competition doesn’t take place in the United States due to a lack of good venues. Updating Copper Peak and the surrounding area would create that type of venue.
To help this get off the ground, Senator Tom Casperson is sponsoring SB 0523, legislation that would steer money from the Convention Facility Development Fund to a new Northern Michigan Regional Tourism and Sports Fund.
“The project is so big, that I believe this thing has the power to help everybody,” Jacquart said. “I believe from the bottom of my heart that this is something that can help our whole state.”
As of September 26, 2017, Bill SB 0523 has passed the Senate Commerce Committee and now will go off to the Senate for full Senate approval. After passing the Senate, the bill will go through a similar process in the House and then off to the Governor for his final approval. Making this attempt at bringing ski jumping to Copper Peak the farthest this project has progressed in over 23 years.