Iron Mountain, Mich. (WZMQ) – The Kiwanis Ski Club hosted an open house over Memorial Weekend to raise funds for important improvements to the ski jump facilities. The tower, which is normally locked, was open to the public during the event. Nick Blagec, the Kiwanis Ski Club president, stated that they like to hold events during holidays when people are moving around, and this was the perfect opportunity to showcase the tower and sell some of the artifacts from the old tower.
“We like to come up here on the holidays when people are moving around or so. We are trying to refurbish the old ski tower and have a lot of different things up for sale from the old tower. We have an open house, normally the tower is locked and people can’t get up there. Today, or when we have these particular events, they’re allowed to go up on the tower,” commented Blagec.
As the club prepares for future events, including a world cup ski tournament, they are facing their biggest challenge yet – the elevator. The club has grant applications in progress, as they need to have an elevator in place for the world cup. Currently, they are hosting continental cup tournaments and are content with it. However, they are hopeful for a world cup in the future.
The international ski federation has many technical requirements that must be met for each event, including changes to the hill, gates, and starting positions. The Kiwanis Ski Club is well aware of these requirements and is working hard to meet them.
“It’s all very technical, a lot of people don’t realize it. It’s much more than jumping here one weekend and that’s it,” he remarked.
With a grant application in progress for the elevator, the club is hoping to raise enough funds to cover the $1.1 million cost. They recently spent $3.7 million on the tower refurbishment, and are eager to continue making improvements to the club for future events.
“But it’s also for the people that vacation up here, you see how many people are here today, it’s unreal. They drive up here and take a look around, it’s a beautiful day today. Our ski tournament, I don’t have the date for it yet this year but we’re trying for the end of February is our big thing. We don’t want to go into March, we got lucky this year for March but we like it in February, but we’re waiting for a date so we can continue on. ”