Grand Marais fishing tournament canceled
The Grand Marais Lake Trout and Salmon Fishing Tournament has officially been canceled, according to both the Grand Marais Chamber of Commerce and former Event Director Aleta Hubbard in independent reports. The event brought in dozens of teams from across the Upper Great Lakes and added depth and quality to the U.P.’s competitive fishing schedule, but organization of the event came into question after a change in leadership of the chamber.
“Apparently the (Grand Marais) Chamber (of Commerce) has officially cancelled the GM Fishing Tournament, as it is no longer listed on their event schedule for this year. Besides being a fun event, the financial blow to the businesses here for that weekend are substantial,” wrote Aleta Hubbard on the event’s official Facebook page.
why the event was canceled. Aleta’s son Luke Hubbard works for the Fox Motors family of businesses and was an important part of solidifying the sponsorship. The family stepped away from all Chamber of Commerce activities after Aleta was not reelected the chamber president in a vote last October at the end of her two-year term. Hubbard was the president of the chamber when the tournament started.
New chamber leadership said that while the tournament was a great event, it did not have the positive return for the community as Hubbard claimed. According to new Chamber President Brandi Taylor, teams spending the entirety of the day out on the lake and then returning to a post-event fish fry at the community building did not generate the business necessary to justify the amount of time and money it took to keep things running.
“Aleta did the event, and she took full reigns of it. Her, her family, they donated a ton of money to make it happen and they did an excellent job and it was great. The flip side was that it cost the chamber $1,800 for prizes while the people were out on the lake and not in town,” Taylor said. “As far as it bringing in business, it just didn’t happen.”
The chamber is not blocking Hubbard or any other groups in the area from taking on the tournament, Taylor said. The tournament was removed from the annual list of events after none of the current chambermembers were able to take on the event. The official Facebook page for the event is still under control of Hubbard, and there is no evidence saying that the chamber itself ever had control of it.
Taylor credited Hubbard for her dedication and ability to make the event successful and believes there would be support if the event was continued by the people that made the event special in the first place.
“This was Aleta’s baby and she put a lot of effort into making this work, so when it comes to the brass tacks, she could do it and find the money to have what is a good event,” Taylor said. “People continue to do things without the chamber by getting those donations and finding those volunteers. If there are people that still want to do this, there’s no reason why it couldn’t continue.”
Hubbard cited a changeover in the GM Chamber of Commerce and the withdrawal of primary sponsor Fox Marquette as to “(Hubbard), her family, they donated a ton of money to make it happen and they did an excellent job. The flip side was that it cost the chamber $1,800 for prizes while the people were out on the lake and not in town.” Brandi Taylor Grand Marais Chamber of Commerce President