Money Earmarked for Detroit Convention Center Could Go to a Ski Jump Instead

The Northern Michigan Sports Commission hasn't even been created yet, but it already has funding clout in the state government.
December 14, 2017, 11am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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The Copper Peak Ski Flying Hill, pictured in 2008.

A committee in the Michigan House of Representatives approved a bill that would move financing around—benefitting the change would be a ski jump at Copper Peak in the city of Ironwood.

"The $1.9 million annual shift of funds would go into a Northern Michigan Sports Commission that hasn't been created yet, but would award grants to recreation projects across northern Michigan," report Kathleen Gray. "The bulk of the first year's tax shift would go to Copper Peak."

Gray adds that the $1.9 million was previously earmarked for improvements at the Cobo Center, a convention center located in Downtown Detroit, so the move has attracted controversy. "Democrats, Cobo Center officials, and the county executives of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties oppose the bill, saying that any diversion of money from Cobo's coffers could slow the convention center's recovery, just as the facility is beginning to operate in the black."

Supporting the shift in funding priorities, however, are "Upper Peninsula entrepreneurs and lawmakers who are hoping the money can be used to make improvements to the Copper Peak ski jump so it can become an attraction for world-class athletes and Olympians." The ski jump facility at Copper Peak last operated in 1994.

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Published on Wednesday, December 13, 2017 in Detroit Free Press
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