Silver Mine Invitational 2023 is canceled

Published: Nov. 21, 2022 at 6:12 PM CST
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EAU CLAIRE COUNTY, Wis. (WEAU) - One of the biggest winter sport events here in Eau Claire County is canceled.

The Silver Mine Invitational, a large scale two-day event that draws in thousands of people to the area, will not be coming back January 2023.

Dan Mattoon who directs the tournament said the large ski slope located at Silver Mine in the Town of Union is no longer safe to use.

“We found out this year that the steel is structurally good and strong, but it’s the wood decking that’s on top of that steel that we’re having some issues with,” said Mattoon.

He erred on the side of caution, despite the disappointment the decision may bring.

“We have periodical inspections of our tower and in and around of our ski jump to make sure it’s safe for not only athletes but the workers that are getting the hill prepared for the tournament,” said Mattoon.

The event, usually held in January, brings in up to 5,000 people each day. Up to 150 athletes from all over the country and the world also come to compete.

Benny Anderson with Visit Eau Claire said the cancelation could come with its economical impact.

“It’s a couple hundred thousand dollars of impact with, especially hotel guests. We look to find different things to advertise for that weekend,” said Anderson.

Mattoon said there will be a free smaller scale event for that weekend.

“We’re going to have a Washington event. It’s going to be a big ski jumping event for us here in Eau Claire. That’s going to be on January 8th,” said Mattoon.

Mattoon said getting Silver Mine back in commission is a big of an investment as the slope itself.

“We’re estimating with the architect right now to do the repairs and make it a fix that will last for a hundred years, it’s going to require an investment of probably around two million dollars,” said Mattoon. “Hopefully the community will get behind us to help get it repaired. It’s going to be an effort to be able to do this. But, I think we got it under our belt. We’ll get it done.”

And once it’s done, Mattoon said it will be bigger and better than ever. Anderson looks forward to how that will look like when Silver Mine gets the much needed repairs.

“We’re really looking forward to what they’ll do with that facility, and the future next couple of years, and some of the plans we’re heard talked about for how we can possibly grow it,” said Anderson.