Up North: Spirit Mountain shows they can make more than snow

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Spirit Mountain is known around the Northland for its impeccable ski slopes, but recently the patrons have been strapping on the blades, as last Friday Spirit Mountain’s outdoor ice rink celebrated its grand opening.

“We probably had about 30 people here a lot of kids skating some grownups. We had some bonfires going along with some marshmallow toasting and hot coco, so it was really nice,” said the Interim Executive Director at Spirit Mountain Ann Glumac.

The new, lighted skating rink at the Grand Avenue Chalet is free to the public, giving winter sports enthusiasts yet another way to enjoy the outdoors at Spirit.

“We hope to create a community feel for this there aren’t a lot of these rinks left anymore. So we were really excited that people were here to celebrate with us,” continued Glumac.

The idea for the rink stemmed from the Spirit Mountain task force. For their 2021 recommendations to Mayor Emily Larson they strove to lower the barriers to participate in outdoor recreation.

“They suggested that we look to find ways that people can participate in outdoor recreation other than having to pay for it, so this is a free community rink. So we hope people will take advantage of it,” Gulmac added.

Ann Glumac also said Spirit’s staff was thrilled to work with, and learn how to create, a pristine ice sheet from rink experts at the city of Duluth Parks and Recreation Department.

“What we did is we consulted with the folks that built the city rinks and they explained what we needed to do in terms of leveling, and what kind of substrate. With that advice our team went about building this ice,” concluded Glumac.

The rink will be open and lit during regular operating hours, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.