ISHPEMING, Mich. (WJMN) — The City of Ishpeming has closed the Al Quaal Tube Slide hill and work operations until further notice.

Ishpeming City Manager Craig Cugini, along with city officials, made the decision to close the Al Quaal Tube Slide this winter because they could not guarantee the safety of their staff or the public at large.

“I can’t have 300 people sharing or could potentially sharing a virus and then taking it out through out Marquette County and beyond. It’s not responsible for the city to have those things,” Craig Cugini, Manager, City of Ishpeming said.

“So we look at the whole perspective. It wasn’t at all about funding and operational cost. I had the man power, I have the resources, I was ready to open, but I can’t because I can’t do it in a safe environment.”

The city manager said he has received many calls after the decision was announced, but the city wanted to make clear that this was not a funding or operational capability.

“It just seemed like an insurmountable challenge that would either greatly take away from the activity of the tub slide, could make it substantially less enjoyable and very difficult to manage and then the indoor warming facilities creates an even bigger challenge,” said Lindsay Bean, Mayor, City of Ishpeming. “When looking at those challenges at the health and safety of the community, it just seemed like not a good idea.”

Outdoor activities in the state of Michigan are allowed, so the city will not entirely close off the Tube Slide. The public is welcome to enjoy the hill, but the city does not plan on dedicating resources to the attraction.

“The Snow Tub area is going to be open. We will not be grooming the snow hill, we’re not going to be running the toe bar, we’re not going to be providing tubes, and I’m not going to have people on site, but if a parent wants to bring their kids down with a sled or a tube on their own, it’s available. It’s an outdoor event, be safe, bring your own equipment, stay out here when you can, stay as warm as you can, and do it as safe and as healthy as a family, but the city is not going to be operating tubing this year.”

Ishpeming City Manager Craig Cugini’s full statement on the closure:

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