Largest Ski Jump in The Western Hemisphere Set to Reopen in Michigan After Decades of Neglect

Luke Guilford | | Industry NewsIndustry News
Copper Peak’s plan for a year-round ski-flying hill. Photo Credit: Copper Peak’s Website

Tucked away in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, in the town of Ironwood, sits the Iconic Copper Peak Ski Jump. Hosting competitions between 1970 and 1994, Copper Peak was North America’s premier ski-flying hill. Copper Peak’s 469-foot jump hosted 10 ski-flying events during its lifetime. Not only is its jump massive, but Copper Peak aims to be the only ski-flying hill in the world with a year-round surface.

The hill shut down after the 1994 season to deal with erosion and a massive $300,000 debt. Unfortunately, this gap year has lasted 28 years and counting. Additionally, international events would only occur every two or three years, crushing Copper Peak financially. Since 1994, the monster jump has mostly operated as an attraction for people to experience panoramic views of the Porcupine Mountains or function as a landmark for mountain biking single-track trails that wind through the area. 

A shot from a past international competition at Copper Peak. Photo Credit: Michigan Live

Copper Peak has a comeback plan for the jump and to revolutionize the sport. The state of Michigan is supporting Copper Peak with a $20 million investment for the redevelopment project. Also, Copper Peak has stayed busy, spending significant time furthering relationships with the International Ski Federation (FIS), the United States Ski Association (USSA), USA Nordic, and others about making Copper Peak an International hot spot for ski-flying. 

The FIS approved construction for Copper Peak. Photo Credit: Copper Peak’s Website

You may have heard of Copper Peak through the Red Bull 400. Proclaimed as the world’s steepest 400-meter race, participants start at the bottom of the jump and race to the top. Copper Peak expects the renovation to be finished by the end of summer 2024, with its first competition to be set for the winter of 2025. Copper Peak hopes to transform into a training bed for Olympic-level athletes from the U.S. and around the world. The new-look facility will expect to generate $50 million for the region in visitor revenue over its first four years of hosting competitive events.

As shown above, athletes race up the 469-foot jump. Photo Credit: UpperMichiganSource.com

Related Articles

Got an opinion? Let us know...