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Sports Commission Announces Support for Two Elite Events

Assists with financing World Cup ski jumping and national
equestrian events that will attract thousands to Michigan

LANSING, Mich. – The Great Lakes Sports Commission (GLSC) approved funding assistance for the Pine Mountain Ski Hill to promote World Cup ski jumping and for the Traverse City Horse Shows, LLC to move the American Gold from New York City to Traverse City. The two northern Michigan events are expected to draw elite competitors and thousands of visitors to Michigan.

The GLSC entered a participation agreement with First National Bank & Trust of Iron Mountain today in the amount of $3 million to be awarded to the Kiwanis Ski Club for renovations to Pine Mountain Ski Hill. The renovations will enable the community to host FIS World Cup ski jumping competitions in 2022. After the much-needed safety renovations are complete, the investment will generate a minimum of $16 million in additional economic activity for Dickinson County.

“Today’s announcement is a catalyst for further investment in northern Michigan’s sports and tourism industry,” said Rep. Beau LaFave, (R) from the 108th State House District. “We’re proud to be here today, supporting local economies in both the upper and lower peninsulas, increasing in-state spending, and showcasing that our great state is a premier destination for outdoor recreation and world class athletic championships.”

The Kiwanis Ski Club plans to use the funds to make upgrades to the historic venue to meet current International Ski Federation guidelines that include erecting a new slide and track, lighting, a warming hut and judges tower.

The GLSC also approved a match-grant amount of $250,000 for the move of the American Gold Cup, which is the longest running equestrian grand prix in the U.S. In addition to the move, competition organizers plan to extend the one-week event to two weeks and expand from hosting only jumping competitions to include hunter and equitation competitions.

“The support from the Great Lakes Sports Commission is a key element in making this move possible,” said Matt Morrisey, Flintfields Horse Park Event director. “This investment has the potential to create an annual economic impact to the local community, similar to the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival, which generates roughly $124 million in direct and indirect spending over six weeks.”

GLSC Board Chair, Doug Luciani, said these events are a perfect fit in terms of the GLSC funding; bringing world-class events to northern Michigan that will have a substantial impact on sports tourism and the local economy annually.

 “We are proud to be able to support this investment. Both projects anticipate a far-reaching impact on the entire state through national news coverage and world-class competitions, and both have the potential to offer year-round facility usage,” said Luciani.

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