SnoCross Draws Thousands of Fans and $5M to Northland

By KBJR News 1

November 23, 2012 Updated Nov 23, 2012 at 10:48 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.COM) --- Thousands of racers and fans are in Duluth this weekend for the Amsoil Duluth National Snocross.

The annual race is in its 21st year.

It's the first big snocross racing circuit event of the year and both professional and amateur racers are testing the limits and sizing up the competition.

"First time you get to see all the top riders, you get to see all the new machines, and see how everyone stacks up," Levi LaValle, a racer said.

"Just to see where everybody is at, and speed wise, and people changed some teams, so I think it's just awesome the first race," Tim Tremblay, a racer said.

"It can be a little game of survival, we'll see who can get through it without getting knocked off their sleds," Andrew Lindholm said.

Between 30,000-35,000 fans and racers are expected to turn out, generating about $5M into the Northland economy.

"That includes hotels, motels, restaurants, and convenient stores, Gene Shaw of Visit Duluth said. “It's just another reason to come to Duluth on Thanksgiving weekend."

Spirit Mountain has been making snow for the big weekend and organizers say the nearly 4 inches of natural snow that came over Thanksgiving has really played a factor in drawing crowds.

"I think this early season snow has people really thinking about winter activities that people missed last year,” Renee Mattson, Executive Director of Spirit Mountain said. “It's certainly helpful for the race, it really puts people in the mood to come out and enjoy some really good racing."

Tickets are still available at Spirit Mountain.

Round one of the races start Saturday around 11:00 a.m.

On Sunday the championship races start at 9:00 a.m. with the opening ceremony starting at 12:00 p.m.

Spirit Mountain will be open to Skiers and snowboarders starting next Friday.