Ski flying is coming back to the Upper Peninsula this winter. Copper Peak Ski Flying hill in Ironwood Township will host its first event in years.
It's been twenty years since Copper Peak was at its prime with international and national ski flyers. Now skiers will fly off the one of a kind hill this winter as USA Ski Jumping and Copper Peak will, once again, host a sky flying event.
"This is a world class event. There aren't many activities in the state of Michigan even or in the Midwest that have this stature. It's an international sight, international event and it carries the weight of that exposure. So it's very, very exciting to get it back in place and we're all thrilled about it," said Charles Supercynski, president of Copper Peak Inc.
It was originally built in 1969. It's one of six ski flying hills in the world and the only one in North America. Only the best of the ski jumpers would fly off if it, and it's 30 percent larger than Olympic hills with 170 meters.
Copper Peak is about 26 stories tall, and skiers jump about 600 feet to the bottom. The facility stopped hosting events because of finances. Over the years workers have made several improvements to the structure. Officials say bringing ski flying back will have a positive impact in the area.
"Make people aren't aware of what we have up here. The economic impact is usually pretty phenomenal, bringing people to the area for a particular event, not only the ski jumpers and their entourage; people that will hopefully come and watch the event," said Scott Erickson, city manager, Ironwood.
The ski flying event is scheduled for Feb. 28 through Mar. 2, 2014. Dozens of international and national ski jumpers are expected to participate.
However, work is still going on to get it ready.
"We have still got to complete our snow making system and safety fence and so forth. We have to test a lot of our systems for that event," Supercynski said.