IRON MOUNTAIN - The Northern Lights YMCA, in cooperation with the Kiwanis Ski Club, invites the public and all "step owners" to an open house at the Pine Mountain ski slide on Friday, June 29.
The open house will include opening and closing comments, as well as a "toast and official opening" by Steve Mariucci.
This past fall and spring, the YMCA and Kiwanis Ski Club held a fundraiser to reconstruct the Pine Mountain steps to a safe, prominent feature for the community to enjoy.
Together with Gunlach-Champion, the construction has been completed and plaques are in place.
The official opening of the Pine Mountain 500, as they are now named, will be Friday at noon at the top of the hill.
"The last work on the steps was accomplished over 15 years ago," said Nick Blagec of the Kiwanis Ski Club. "This project is long overdue."
Jennifer Nettell, director of the Dickinson YMCA Center, said the YMCA is thrilled to be involved with this project.
"It includes fitness, family and community, which goes along with everything we stand for," she said. "We couldn't be more proud of the outcome. There is a real sense of community pride now when you walk the steps."
The Pine Mountain steps are a tourist attraction and are used by many area residents for training and exercise regimens. Visitors to the area also enjoy walking the steps.
The steps were first built in 1937-38 with the first ski jumping competition being held at Pine Mountain in 1939.
At the top of the steps is the Upper Peninsula Veterans Memorial. The park is a tribute to those who protected and fought for our freedom.
A breathtaking view awaits those who take on the challenge of walking up the steps.
Lisa M. Hoffmann's e-mail address is email@example.com.