Copper Peak Passes MI Senate & House Committees
IRONWOOD – On November 29, 2017, Copper Peak’s Fundraising Co-Chairs, Billy Demong and Bob Jacquart, along with Copper Peak’s Marketing Director, Kassi Huotari, traveled to Lansing, MI, to testify on behalf of the future of Copper Peak. The House Competitiveness Committee was briefed on Copper Peak, a man-made “ski flying” launch in the western Upper Peninsula, more specifically Ironwood, MI, that was built in 1970, closed in 1994 and is coming back through a locally-led initiative. Demong told lawmakers last month that Michigan is on the cusp of becoming an international destination for world-class athletes that will attract thousands of visitors to the Upper Peninsula and millions of viewers from around the world. “We are very focused on getting more Americans back on the (medal) podium by having the best training facility. That’s a huge competitive advantage,” he said.
To further Copper Peak’s endeavors, State Representative Beau LaFave, R-Iron Mountain, is sponsoring HB 5134, legislation that would steer money from the Convention Facility Development Fund to a new Northern Michigan Regional Tourism and Sports Fund.
“LaFave thinks the entire state should benefit more from taxes paid that now only support Cobo Center in Detroit. “I think this is an appropriate area to grab the funding because the entire state of Michigan is contributing to the liquor and cigarette tax, but the entire state is not getting the benefit of that,” he said during a hearing of the House Michigan Competitiveness Committee.
As of December 13, 2017, HB 5134 has passed the House Competitiveness Committee and now will go to the Senate and House floors, respectively. After passing through the Senate and House floors, the bill will go off to the Governor for his final approval. This attempt at bringing ski jumping back to Copper Peak is the farthest this project has progressed in over 23 years.
Pictured above, left to right: Kassi Huotari, Billy Demong, State Representative Beau LaFave and Bob Jacquart at the House Competitiveness Committee Hearing late November in the Michigan State Capitol Building