Sheriff asks for help patrolling ski tournament | News, Sports, Jobs

IRON MOUNTAIN — Dickinson County Sheriff Scott Rutter will begin discussions with the Kiwanis Ski Club about security needs for the annual Pine Mountain Ski Jumping Tournament after telling county council on Monday that he was exceeding the means of his department.

The Continental Cup tournament from February 4 to 6 was “a great event” Rutter said, but more planning will be needed in the future.

“It’s not going to diminish” he said, highlighting the likely return of World Cup competition. “We can’t do much with the resources we have.”

The sheriff’s office, which patrols the tournament grounds, has eight to 10 people available for an estimated crowd of 10,000 or more at its peak.

“We end up watching a lot of smaller events after the main event,” Rutter added. “The most important thing is safety.”

The sheriff said he wanted to see the “family atmosphere” kept on the site, but modifications may be necessary.

Commissioner Joe Stevens, who chairs the county parks committee, agreed that a meeting with the ski club should be arranged.

The 2022 Marshfield Clinic-Dickinson Continental Cup tournament attracted 36 jumpers from seven nations. This year marked the start of the non-profit ski club’s $3 million renovation to raise the Pine Mountain facility to current International Ski Federation, or FIS, standards. The 2021 tournament has been canceled due to pandemic restrictions.

The stewards, in general, praised the event and the dedication of the ski club members. Commissioner Ann Martin said she heard “only positive” after participating in this year’s tournament.

Pine Mountain has been the world-class ski jump site since 1939 after the county helped the federal Works Progress Administration build a giant scaffold and landing hill. The facility is on county property, but the tournament is conducted under the direction of the ski club, which rents the ski jump area for a nominal fee.

Pine Mountain last hosted the men’s World Cups in 1996 and 2000 and the FIS has suggested a combined men’s and women’s tournament.

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