Spirit Mountain tries to whet appetites for winterAfter a lackluster season due to a warm and mostly snowless early winter, Duluth’s Spirit Mountain sought to kick off this year with a bang Wednesday by hosting its first Winter Jamboree.
By: Alysee Shelton, Duluth News Tribune
After a lackluster season due to a warm and mostly snowless early winter, Duluth’s Spirit Mountain sought to kick off this year with a bang Wednesday by hosting its first Winter Jamboree.
The jamboree was 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Minnesota Power Plaza on the corner of Lake Avenue and Superior Street and gave people a chance to get an up-close view of a giant snow gun, play games and win prizes. The ski and snowboard recreation area offers a variety of trails and other outdoor activities.
“We hope to make this a yearly event," Briana Johnson, Spirit Mountain's director of marketing, said. "We eat, breathe and live snow, so we thought this would be a fun way to start winter.”
Johnson welcomed guests with a friendly handshake and hello. Guests ate cookies and drank hot chocolate while visiting vendors. Ski and snowboarding shops such as Damage Boardshop, Ski Hut and more came out to promote their business and talk to the public. The snow gun showed how Spirit Mountain makes the resort’s snow.
“We expected this to be a nice turnout today; the weather is nice," Ben Wilson, owner of Damage Boardshop, said. "We are eager to get people to snowboard this winter."
Last year, Spirit Mountain got off to a slow start due to low snowfall and warm weather. The snow gun showed that the facility was capable of making its own snow on the hills.
“The last four years, there hasn’t been a lot of snow, and it somewhat hurt our attendance," Renee Mattson, executive director of Spirit Mountain, said. "It’s really important for us to have a real Minnesota winter.
“We are a great community resource. We offer a fabulous variety of amenities that a lot of cities don’t offer. Even if you don’t know how to ski, we give you free hour-long lessons every Sunday in January. There is no reason not to visit us this upcoming season."
People visiting the jamboree received a variety of gifts. The first 200 guests earned a Spirit Mountain coupon book worth more than $100. Guests also were eligible for hundreds of dollars in door prizes. The biggest prize at the event went to the winner of the “King of the Mountain Scavenger Hunt,” which began Oct. 13. Guests who successfully completed the scavenger hunt and turned in their game cards before 2 p.m. Wednesday qualified for an all-access all-mountain pass. The pass includes use of adventure park rides, mountain biking trails, skiing and snowboarding for one year.
“We did a lot of brainstorming this past summer. We thought, 'What are some fun things we can do for people?' We thought this would be an exciting and enjoyable way for people to learn about Spirit Mountain," Johnson said. "It was a great way to attract people."