Michigan Skier

 

 

Michigan Ski News

 

HEADLINES

NEWS AND DEALS ON MICHIGAN'S SKI SLOPES FOR 2014/15

WHAT'S NEW AT CRYSTAL MOUNTAIN 2014/15

WHAT'S NEW AT BOYNE HIGHLANDS AND BOYNE MOUNTAIN FOR THE 2014/15 WINTER SEASON

SHANTY CREEK MAKES BIG CHANGES FOR SKI SEASON

INDIANHEAD AND BLACKJACK SKI RESORTS MERGE

SKIERS NEED ICE



NEWS ARTICLES

NEWS AND DEALS ON MICHIGAN'S SKI SLOPES FOR 2014/15

Clarkston, MI (November 2014) – Coming off a cold and snowy 2013/14 winter, skiers and boarders can look forward to the coming season with plenty of places to enjoy Michigan’s snow-filled slopes and trails. With a combined total of 51 ski areas, boasting over 260 lifts, about 1,000 runs, more than 70 terrain parks and hundreds of kilometers of groomed cross-country trails, there is something for everyone.

According to the Michigan Snowsports Industries Association (MSIA), ski areas are always looking for ways to increase enjoyment for skiers and snowboarders. Through the years, slope maintenance and snowmaking capabilities have improved dramatically, so much so that even if there is no snow at home, the ski slopes can be covered when the weather turns cold. “Much of the technology that ski areas use to make snow was developed at a Midland Michigan company called SMI,” states Mickey MacWilliams, executive director of MSIA. MacWilliams adds that SMI celebrates its 40th year as one of the leading developers of snow making systems in the world this winter. They were responsible for making snow last winter in Russia, for the 2013 Olympics – not an easy feat.

The following is a rundown of improvements and special offers for the 2014-2015 season. For more information, visit www.goskimichigan.com, which has quick links to Michigan ski area websites.

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula slopes are busy getting ready for winter. The big news is that Norway Mountain in Norway is open again! After two years without an owner, Neil and Kris Urban of Wisconsin purchased the ski area and the lifts will soon be running. Improvements include a new Snow Cat for grooming, interior and exterior painting of the lodge and a new menu in the restaurant, prepared by Chef Dawn. Plans also call for expanding snowmaking for the coming winter. (906)282-9105 www.norwaymountain.com

Other big news comes from Bessemer and nearby Wakefield, where Blackjack and Indianhead Mountain Resort have merged operations. The two are now offering the BIG PASS, an interchangeable, all access pass to both mountains. Together, these two resorts offer 410 skiable acres, 54 trails, 15 lifts, and 4 terrain parks with an average annual snowfall of 17 feet. Blackjack: (906) 229-5115, www.skiblackjack.com. Indianhead: 1-800-346-3426, www.indianheadmtn.com

Big Powderhorn of Bessemer is celebrating its 50th Anniversary with special events in the works for the entire winter. This winter season pass holders will receive one free day of skiing at Mont Ripley, Pine Mountain, and Marquette Mountain. 1-800-501-7669, www.bigpowderhorn.net

Pine Mountain in Iron Mountain offers full-time college students a season pass for $99, which is a $399 value. (906) 774-2747 or 1-877-553-PINE, www.pinemountainresort.com

Mount Bohemia, Michigan’s extreme skiing area locatedin the Keweenaw Peninsula, has added more lodging. A new log cabin has a large front porch that overlooks Lac La Belle. The cabin is ski-in, shuttle out and is located on the hiking/cross country trails and sleeps up to five. (231) 420-5405, www.mtbohemia.com

At Marquette Mountain in Marquette all senior citizens (65+) and Military personnel can purchase a lift ticket for just $28, with no date restrictions. Family lift ticket packages (4 people) cost $139 for the day, or $299 for seven consecutive days, including rental equipment. (906) 225-1155 or 1-800-944-SNOW, www.marquettemountain.com

Owned by Michigan Technological University, Mont Ripley sits in the middle of the cities of Houghton and Hancock. The Weather Channel designated Hancock Michigan as the third snowiest city in the country and students at Michigan Tech can take advantage of this with a free season pass to Mt. Ripley. New this year Mt. Ripley’s website features a virtual tour interactive trail map, where viewers can experience every trail from many different vantage points, including that of a drone. This new product is the mastermind of two former Michigan Tech students who started a company called Trail Genius. (906) 487-2340. www.mtu.edu/mont-ripley

Ski Brule inIron River has added an Acrobag and its use is included with a lift ticket purchase. Acrobag will be available 1-3:00 on Saturday, Sunday and daily 12/26-1/5. The ACROBAG is an air pillow that cushions the landing after going off a jump. The idea is that this is a ‘safer’ way to practice the latest tricks. Both snowboarders and skiers are welcome. In addition, there are new lodging properties available this winter at Ski Bruule. Big Bear and Beaver Lodge are duplex chalets located in the Brule Village and accommodate four to fourteen guests. Both feature private hot tubs, full kitchens, daily maid service, linens, cookware, WIFI and an outdoor gas grill. Brule Village properties include daily maid service, linens, cookware and WIFI. 1-800-DO BRULE, www.skibrule.com

Heading into the Lower Peninsula Nub’s Nob Ski Area of Harbor Springs was just named to the Top 5 Midwest Resorts for 2015 by Transworld Snowboarding magazine. In addition Nubs has updated its rental fleet to provide high-end Rossingnol Snowboards and Bindings with Head Boots. The cross-country ski rentals were also updated with Fischer skis and boots. Professional Ski Tuner Pat Dueweke has joined the Nub’s Crew. As a professional Wintersteiger Ski Shuttle Mechanic and sought after race tuner, Pat’s sharp eye and hands-on experience will be an asset to all Nub’s Nob skiers and boarders. On the slopes, Nubs is adding 10 new in-house designed and manufactured snow guns to its fleet, bringing the total to 292 snow guns. (231) 526-2131 or 1-800-SKI-NUBS, www.nubsnob.com

Also in Harbor Springs, Boyne Highlandshas undergone numerous projects over the summer. Renovations include two newly remodeled pools for resort lodging guests at The Bartley House Hotel and Heather Highlands Inn condo-hotel. The resort has also renovated meeting space for group functions in the Main Lodge with updated lighting, new carpet, and fresh paint. This winter, skiers and snowboarders can get even more time in on some favorite terrain as the Interconnect and North Face chairlifts are expanding to daily operations. The Tubing Park will offer more excitement with an expansion from two side-by-side lanes to six individual lanes thanks to the purchase of a new tube lane cutter. The resort’s Burton Riglet Park, specially designed for 3-6 year olds, is being enhanced with new features and moving to the Camelot beginner slope. Additional lighting on the NASTAR course will make maneuvering turns even easier, and for park enthusiasts, Boyne Highlands continues to offer the only 13-foot Halfpipe in Michigan. Boyne Highlands has expanded rental equipment with the purchase of an additional 200 sets of Head skis and boots, as well as new Burton Learn to Ride (LTR) boards, boots and bindings for adults and children. On the trails, a new cross-country tracker will make for for more efficient grooming. 1-800-462-6963, www.boynehighlands.com

At Boyne Mountain in Boyne Falls, the resort’s Zipline Adventure Tour was expanded to include two new ziplines that will bridge the gap between current lines 8 and 10 with a tree canopy feature in the middle. Zipliners will also see new and exciting winter attractions along the walking trail between lines. Boyne Mountain’s popular Tubing Park is offering food and beverage concessions this winter. The Tubing Park offers six downhill lanes and has a rope tow for convenient up-hill access. Lively après ski parties in the Snowflake Lounge are scheduled each Saturday, 4-7 p.m., beginning Dec. 27, 2014. Parties feature entertainment and drink specials and the resort’s exclusive Everett’s IPA on draft, brewed solely for Boyne Mountain Resort by Petoskey Brewing Co. Continuing this winter, kids can also get in on the après ski action with their own parties in Stein Eriksen’s with music, dancing, kiddie cocktails, and more. The 2014/15 season also brings new Junior pricing and online ticket sales at Avalanche Bay Indoor Waterpark, improved lighting on McLouth, new features in the Burton Riglet Park and new Nordic signage, plus more rental equipment. Expanded lift hours on the Disciples II chairlift, set to run Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., will provide more access to the Disciples area. Glade clearing has continued in this region of the slopes, which accounts for approximately 30% of Boyne Mountain’s total 415 skiable acres. Providing the latest in rental equipment, Boyne Mountain has also added 200 new sets of Head skis and boots, as well as new Burton Learn to Ride (LTR) boards, boots and bindings for adults and children.1-800-462-6963, www.boynemountain.com

When staying on a package at either Boyne Mountain or Boyne Highlands, juniors ages 9-15, receive reduced rates and kids ages 8 and under sleep, ski/ride, and eat breakfast for free.

In Gaylord, Treetops Resort reports that again this winter it will be open seven-days-a-week. In addition, Olympic Snowboard Coach Tom Hutchinson will return to Treetops as an instructor. Treetops will open a natural Terrain Park this year that will peak the interest of more experienced riders. In addition, the resort will periodically feature a Boarder X course and will again have the BIG AIRbag training device for riders to perfect their tricks before taking them to any of the parks. Any student 8 and older who has a grade-point average (GPA) of 3.0 or above qualifies for a dramatically reduced-rate season pass and all students can get a School Card, which allows them to ski 10 times midweek after January 1 and get rentals and lessons for just $5 each. TOMMY TROPIC (famous juggler on skis) will perform each weekend and over the holidays this winter at Treetops. In addition to performances, guests can learn how to juggle which will ultimately lead to a guest competition in March. The winner will earn the opportunity to perform with Tommy Tropic next summer at Gaylord’s Alpenfest. (855) 318-0678, www.treetops.com

Also in Gaylord, the Otsego Club offers private-club skiing for the family. Those interested in a membership can purchase a “Test Drive” for $495, which covers the entire 2014/15 winter season. Test drivers receive free lift tickets when staying at Otsego Club, as well as complimentary cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, sledding and sauna use. 1-800-752-5510, www.otsegoclub.com

A new ski rental facility, a new ski school registration center and a new beginner ski area are the big changes at Shanty Creek Resorts in Bellaire. The changes are expected to improve operations and guest satisfaction, while adding value to each of its three villages across the 4,500-acre resort property. First, a new rental shop has been built in the lower level of the Lodge at Cedar River. This will provide guests with a more streamlined experience, ample day lockers and restrooms, and ski-in/ski-out access to the Purple and Red Lifts and all of Schuss Mountain. The ski school registration and lessons will also move to Cedar River Village, adjacent to ski rentals on the lower level of the Lodge. A new beginner ski area is also opening at the Cedar River Village where the Alpine Tubing Park had been in previous years. A new 400-ft magic carpet will allow beginners to either stay in the beginner area or access the rest of Schuss’ slopes when they’re ready. Then, at Schuss Village, the Snow Sports building at the base of the Yellow Chair Lift, where rentals and ski school had been previously, becomes a new day lodge complete with seasonal lockers, day lockers, plus tables and vending machines for guests who choose to bring their own meals and snacks. If that isn’t enough, the Alpine Tubing Park will move to the top of Summit Mountain behind The Lakeview Hotel at the resort’s Summit Village. Improving the experience, instead of handle tows as in years past, guests will now enjoy magic carpet access back to the top. Dining options are changing as well. The River Bistro, a new 12,000 sq. ft. restaurant and bar in The Lodge at Cedar River, features full-service dining in a casual atmosphere with fireplace and a 48-ft bar. With all these changes, parking will be expanded on Cedar River’s upper lot, and a new bridge will allow closer access to the lodge. (231) 533-8621 www.shantycreek.com.

The Homestead in Glen Arbor has completed one of the most ambitious remodeling efforts in its history. The updates have transformed the Stony Brook Lodge into the most modern, yet warm and rustic, lodging option at the Resort. From the beginning, the goal of the remodeling efforts at Stony Brook Lodge (originally built in 1998) was to create a magnificent lodging venue for Resort guests. Taking direction from great historic national park lodges in places such as Yellowstone, Banff, Bryce, and Glacier National Park, the redesign team sought to create a lodging venue that blended cosmetic style, local ambiance and flawless modern function. The overhaul of Stony Brook covered just about everything—from cabinets to countertops, from soffits to switches and even new flat-screen TVs. All this functional change was then wrapped in a newly improved and visually stunning package — a near total interior and exterior cosmetic makeover that better coordinated the room-to-room textures (think more wood, tile and stone) and overall décor. (231) 334-5000, www.thehomesteadresort.com

Crystal Mountain in Thompsonville will increase their slope count by two this winter with the addition of Last Call and Jester’s Alley. Last Call is a glades run that begins on North Face and wanders back to the front-side slopes. Crews are working this fall on Main Street and Giggles to create a new dedicated beginner terrain park named Jester’s Alley. In addition, a second Skier/Boarder-Cross course will be added, this time to the Ridge slopes. The course will be designed on Kaye Blue (Intermediate level) finishing in the flat just above the Ridge triple chairlift. Crystal has swapped out almost all of their snowboards and now have an entire fleet of Burton boards. Young, aspiring snowboarders will get an effective introduction to the sport on weekends within the new Burton Riglet Park, a flatland training where an instructor pulls students over features to build confidence and provide a feel for what it means to ride the terrain. Along those same lines, Crystal Mountain’s grooming crews will be maintaining subtle rollers and banks within Totem Park (the resort’s learning area) and beginner trails that naturally help beginners with speed control and engaging turns. In addition Crystal is adding new stretches of Fat Tire Biking trails and dedicated snowshoe trails through the Michigan Legacy Art Park, located in the woods at Crystal Mountain. Over the summer Crystal added a zip line course and it will be open for its inaugural winter season. Season pass holders receive discounts on lodging and lift tickets at Deer Valley in Utah and Grand Targhee in Wyoming. 1-800-968-7686 or (231) 378-2000, www.crystalmountain.com

Caberfae Peaks in Cadillac has been busy making improvements on the slopes and in the lodge. The slopes have 10 new low-energy SMI snowmaking fan guns, 10 new snowmaking towers on North & South Peak, over 500’ of snowmaking pipe & electrical wire, a new 12-inch, 300-foot well, allowing for another 1000 gpm of flow into the snowmaking reservoir. The additional water source will allow us to pump 3000 gpm around the clock, out of the reservoir and up the hill to over 125 snow machines. Lodge improvements include a renovated pool and hot tub deck area with heated concrete, the addition of a poolside, wood-burning fire pit for houseguests, and a renovated entrance to the 36-room MacKenzie Lodge. In addition, Caberfae has added over 250 pair of Rossignol snowboards complete with strap-in bindings and boots and over 1,000 pair of new rental ski boots. (231) 862-3000, www.caberfaepeaks.com.

Cross Country Ski Headquarters in Roscommon purchased a new Kubota Tractor and carbide-tipped ice power tiller that can turn hard-packed, ice-covered trails into skiable, groomed snow in one pass. In addition, they will feature a new snowshoe trail that will grow in length as the winter progresses and the ground freezes. Projected overall length will be about 5 kilometers (3 miles) as it heads east through some very tall Norwegian pines and continues through aspen, maple and oak forests before heading north into a primitive lowland populated by ancient pines. (989) 821-6661 www.crosscountryski.com

Hanson Hills Recreation Areain Graylingoffers an affordable date option called “$1 Friday Nights.” Beginning January 9, 2015, on Fridays anyone (whether on a date or not!) receives a lift ticket for $1 and ski or snowboard rental equipment for just $4 more. New this year, Hanson Hills invites guests to ride their fat bike on a newly developed maintained and groomed six-mile trail.1-888-876-2196, www.hansonhills.org.

Mt. Holiday, located near Traverse City, has made several improvements over the summer. The ski area will open a new glade run and mogul slope this winter as well as providing additional features in the terrain park. Mt. Holiday recently added a Zipline Challenger Course, which will be available all year long. Holiday’s day lodge now remains open Tuesday through Saturday nights offering dinner and libations. (231) 938-2500 www.mt-holiday.com

There is big excitement at Snow Snake Ski & Golf in Harrison this year with the installation of a Magic Carpet lift on the beginner hill. The addition of the Magic Carpet will ensure that all ski and snowboard learners have a great experience. Also new this year is the introduction of a reduced membership price. For $150, guests can purchase a season pass that is good every day, from the first day of the season to the last day of the season. Snow Snake also updated the interior of the lodge, made improvements to snow making equipment, and added to its rental equipment. (989) 539-6583, www.snowsnake.net

The folks at Cannonsburg in Belmont, provide a lot of good reasons to get out on the slopes. Every Tuesday beginning January 7, Adult Daytime lift tickets (10am-4pm) are just $10 during Take Off Tuesday. For those that can’t make it out during the day, Thursday Radio Night tickets are $10 as well. (616) 874-6711 www.cannonsburg.com

The 2014/2015 season marks the 30th Anniversary for the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex in Muskegon. To celebrate, interested businesses can Adopt-A-Luge and display their logo, via decal, on one of 30 new luge sleds that were purchased this year.

Heading to southwestern Michigan, Timber Ridge Ski Area of Gobles has a new mobile app! Information is available with a scan code on the ski area’s website (look under the News tab on the left) 1-800-253-2928 www.timberridgeski.com.

Moving to Southeast Michigan, after a $10 million renovation of the lodge, ski school, chair lifts, terrain park and snow making system last winter, Mt. Brighton in Brighton is at it again for the 2014-2015 season with Phase Two of its improvements. Purchased by Vail Resorts in 2013, Mt. Brighton underwent a top-to-bottom facelift last year that took its dated, 1960s look and feel into an aesthetically pleasing and technologically advanced ski area. This season Mt. Brighton will introduce new online ticket sales (desktop and mobile) to improve the guest experience, an expanded Children’s Center, a new beginner surface lift (for a total of three), new programs including Lindsey Vonn’s Ski Girls Rock, Women’s Ski Academy and Women’s Race Academy and a new terrain park layout. In addition, Mt. Brighton Preferred Program members will now receive the price of their Mt. Brighton ticket as a discount off lift tickets at resorts including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone. Mt. Brighton season pass holders receive half off paid tickets at those resorts. 1-888-222-7521 www.mtbrighton.com

Earthmoving, excavation and a new chairlift highlight the changes at Pine Knob in Clarkston. Crews were busy removing chairlift #3 and replacing the older chairlift with a brand new Skytrack variable speed triple chairlift that goes to the very top of the existing hill, unloading between the Phase One Chair and the Quicksilver Chair. The loading area at the bottom of the hill is located in roughly the same area as before but is now considerably lower. These changes result in a longer and consistently steeper run adding an additional 40 vertical feet, and are part of a long-term strategy to reshape and better utilize hill space. Hill improvements are designed to enhance the race arena and mogul terrain as well as relieve congestion on other chairlifts. In addition, they have added fully automated snow machines on “The Wall,” which will allow for an earlier season opening of that area. (248) 625-0800 www.skipineknob.com

While the folks at Mt. Holly Ski Area of Holly are busy gearing up for the winter, skiers who love rock & roll (are there any who don’t?) can take a tour down memory lane by clicking on the Motor City Rock & Roll link on Mt. Holly’s home page. The Mt Holly crew has been busy adding10 new “TOPGUN” snow machines to add to the fleet of 130 high output low energy snow guns. The energy efficient TOPGUN is manufactured at Mt Holly and is designed to get the resort open early and create great snow conditions all season long. The Rental Department has new equipment so guests out in all that snow will be able to ski their best. In addition, Mt. Holly has also added a brand new PARK BULLY GROOMER to its grooming fleet! (248) 634-8269 www.skimtholly.com

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WHAT'S NEW AT CRYSTAL MOUNTAIN, WINTER 2014/15

THOMPSONVILLE, MI - This winter Crystal Mountain increases its number of downhill slopes to an even 50, clicks off a few more miles of fat tire bike trails and partners with Burton to launch a Learn-to-Ride Center. Whether it's two wheels or snowshoes, skis or a snowboard there's a little something new for everyone at Crystal Mountain this winter.

NEW! Two New Slopes -- Crystal Mountain's slope count will increase to 50 this winter with the addition of Last Call and Jester's Alley. Last Call is a glades run that begins on North Face and meanders toward the front-side slopes. Crews completing a snowmaking upgrade on Main Street and Giggles are also creating a new dedicated beginner terrain park named Jester's Alley.

NEW! Partnership with Burton Snowboards --If you rent a board at Crystal Mountain this winter it will likely be from industry leader and legend Jake Burton. The resort has swapped out nearly its entire fleet of rental boards with those from Burton but that's only the beginning of this partnership.

NEW! Burton Learn-to-Ride Center -- Crystal Mountain will be one of only six resorts in the Midwest designated as a Burton Learn-to-Ride Center. These group lessons offer small student-to-teacher ratios with personal attention and combine it with the latest Burton snowboards, boots and bindings specifically designed to help riders' progress. The new fleet of boards from Burton feature beveled bases for easy steering and stopping that build confidence to assist riders' advance their skills.

NEW! Burton Riglet Park & Terrain Based Learning -- Young, aspiring snowboarders will get a positive introduction to the sport within the new Burton Riglet Park (open weekends). This is flatland training in which students are pulled by an instructor using a Riglet Reel to build confidence and provide a feel for what it means to ride different features. Within Totem Park Learning Area and on select runs like Kaye Blue (intermediate run), Crystal Mountain's grooming crews will maintain Terrain Based Learning features including gentle rollers and banks that naturally help beginners more easily control speed and engage turns.

NEW! Tank Line in Tuck's Terrain Park -- Crystal's terrain park design philosophy of lower and longer features will be most noticeable in Tuck's this winter on the Tank Line. These modified and repurposed propane tanks will welcome new riders while challenging experienced boarders and freestyle skiers to hit every feature in one clean, continuous line.

NEW! More Fat Tire Bike Trails -- Fat Tire Biking is one of the fastest growing and most popular off-slope activities at the resort. Five 2014 Fuji Wendigo bikes have been added to the rental fleet. Crystal will also open an additional three miles of groomed trails as well as some single tracks exclusive to fat bikes. As a result of the trail expansion, the Einstein Cycles Fat Chance Race (January 4) will be run on a new nine mile loop.

NEW! Exclusive Snowshoe Trails in Michigan Legacy Art Park -- Michigan Legacy Art Park will dedicate most of its trails to snowshoeing this winter. Over a mile of trail offers the chance to view and contemplate 47 outdoor sculptures but blazing a path through the deep snow that collects on these rolling hills is what provides a true snowshoe experience. While most of Art Park will be exclusive to snowshoers, a portion of Flying Squirrel will continue to allow access to cross-country skiers.

NEW! Adding Some Edge to the Winter Adventure -- Thousands tested themselves on the rickety bridge, swings, Burma bridge and zip line of Crystal Mountain's new ropes course this summer. Elements provided by Old Man Winter will add a new challenge on the Edge Adventure Course, two stories above the Park at Water's Edge. Open Saturdays, holidays and available to reserve for private groups.

NEW! A couple more perks for passholders -- Those purchasing a 2014/15 Crystal Mountain Season Pass can receive a 20% discount on lodging and lift tickets at Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah (plus $50 dining certificate) and free skiing or snowboarding at Grand Targhee Resort in Alta, Wyoming when booking a stay of two nights or more.

 

Provided the weather cooperates, Crystal Mountain targets November 27 (Thanksgiving Day) to open the slopes. Once the resort ramps up to regular season hours (visit the Snow Report at www.crystalmountain.com/snow for updates) chairlifts will be open daily with night-skiing available Wednesday through Sunday and all week during the December (December 22-January 4) and February (February16-22) breaks. Info: www.crystalmountain.com

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WHAT'S NEW AT BOYNE HIGHLANDS AND BOYNE MOUNTAIN FOR THE 2014/15 WINTER SEASON

BOYNE FALLS, Mich. (September 9, 2014) - BOYNE’s last two seasons have offered enthusiasts over five months of skiing and snowboarding, and hopes are high for the 2014/15 season to be a threepeat. Never leaving winter to chance, BOYNE consistently invests to ensure maximum efficiency in snowmaking and also delivers a slew of new offerings. This winter, Boyne Highlands and Boyne Mountain have installed state-of-the-art snowmaking control systems that streamline management of each resort’s colossal snowmaking fleet. And that’s just the start of what’s new.

For the 2014/15 season, Boyne Highlands has also undergone facility renovations and is expanding lift hours on the Interconnect and North Face chairlifts, adding lanes to the Tubing Park and features to the Burton Riglet Park, adding lighting on the NASTAR course, offering improved Nordic grooming, introducing showshoeing expeditions, adding rental equipment, and boasting a new menu of culinary delights and beer and wine events.

At Boyne Mountain, the 2014/15 season also brings two new ziplines, concessions at the Tubing Park, lively après ski parties, new Junior pricing and online ticket sales at Avalanche Bay Indoor Waterpark, expanded lift hours on Disciples II, improved lighting on McLouth, new features in the Burton Riglet Park and new Nordic signage, plus more rental equipment.

More on What’s New at Boyne Highlands Resort in Harbor Springs, Michigan

Resort Renovations: Boyne Highlands Resort has undergone numerous renovations including two newly remodeled pools for resort lodging guests at The Bartley House hotel and Heather Highlands Inn condo-hotel. The resort has also renovated meeting space for group functions in the Main Lodge with updated lighting, new carpet, and fresh paint, and has a refreshed hotel lobby.

On The Slopes: This winter, skiers and snowboarders can get even more time in on some favorite terrain as the Interconnect and North Face chairlifts are expanding to daily operations. The Tubing Park will offer more excitement with an expansion from two side-by-side lanes to six individual lanes thanks to a new tube lane cutter. The resort’s Burton Riglet Park, specially designed for 3-6 year olds, is being enhanced with new features and moving to the Camelot beginner slope. Additional lighting on the NASTAR course will make maneuvering turns even easier, and for park enthusiasts, Boyne Highlands continues to offer the only 13-foot Halfpipe in Michigan.

On The Trails: Boyne Highlands has purchased a new cross country tracker for more efficient grooming and tracking of the resort’s 35 km of trails. For a twist on the trails, snow bikes were introduced last season, and will continue to be available this winter on exclusively tracked trails. New this winter, six enchanted snowshoe expeditions are planned, each followed by a gourmet dinner. Snowshoe event dates will be announced on boynehighlands.com.

New Rental Equipment: Boyne Highlands has expanded rental equipment with the purchase of an additional 200 sets of Head skis and boots, as well as new Burton Learn to Ride (LTR) boards, boots and bindings for adults and children.

Culinary Delights: Fueling up is part of the joy of a day on the slopes. New, and not just for kids, is a Macaroni and Cheese Bar with all the fixings. Let your mind run wild creating your own bowl of deliciousness with more than 20 topping options. Cap off your meal with a visit to the sweet and savory Crepe Station. Both new offerings are available in the resort’s cafeteria. To quench your thirst, Boyne Highlands is hosting tap takeovers with Michigan breweries every other Friday in the Slopeside Lounge beginning on Jan. 2, 2015. Also on Fridays are Vintner Nights in the Main Dining Room where winery representatives talk wines from around the world. On Tuesdays, the Slopeside Lounge is offering hand-rolled sushi.

More on What’s New at Boyne Mountain Resort in Boyne Falls, Michigan

The Fun Never Ends: Boyne Mountain is raising the fun barometer even higher this season. The resort’s Zipline Adventure Tour is being expanded to include two new ziplines that will bridge the gap between current lines 8 and 10 with a tree canopy feature in the middle. Zipliners will also see new and exciting winter attractions along the walking trail between lines. Boyne Mountain’s popular Tubing Park is offering food and beverage concessions this winter. The Tubing Park offers six downhill lanes and has a rope tow for convenient up-hill access. One- and two-hour, and full day passes are available and tubing is open to adults and children ages 5 and up. Lively après ski parties in the Snowflake Lounge are scheduled each Saturday, 4-7 p.m., beginning Dec. 27, 2014. Parties feature the always-entertaining David Cisco, as well as drink specials and the resort’s exclusive Everett’s IPA on draft, brewed solely for Boyne Mountain Resort by Petoskey Brewing Co. Continuing this winter, kids can also get in on the après ski action with their own parties in Stein Eriksen’s with music, dancing, kiddie cocktails, and more.

Avalanche Bay Makes Big Splash Online and with Juniors: Boyne Mountain’s Avalanche Bay Indoor Waterpark has introduced new Junior pricing for ages 3 to 10. Children ages two and under still receive free access with a ticketed adult. Michigan’s largest indoor waterpark is also launching a new website this fall that will feature the option to purchase admission passes online. Guests procuring online passes will expedite their purchasing process with an easy email confirmation guaranteeing access on peak dates and providing maximum family fun.

Lifts, Slopes, and Trails: Those who love the Disciples area’s green and blue rollers, snow-covered trees, and sneaky stashes, will have even more access with expanded lift hours on the Disciples II chairlift set to run Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Glade clearing has continued in this region of the slopes, which accounts for approximately 30% of Boyne Mountain’s total 415 skiable acres.

Night skiers and riders will notice improved lighting on McLouth, and the youngest boarders will find new feature enhancements to the resort’s Burton Riglet Park designed for youngsters ages 3 to 6.

This winter also brings improved Nordic trail signage throughout the trail network as well as widened trails maintained by full size groomers for better consistency and quality of Boyne Mountain’s 35 km of cross country trails.

New Rental Equipment: Providing the latest in rental equipment, Boyne Mountain has also added 200 new sets of Head skis and boots, as well as new Burton Learn to Ride (LTR) boards, boots and bindings for adults and children.

The BOYNE experience offers snowsports on two mountains, Boyne Highlands Resort in Harbor Springs and Boyne Mountain Resort in Boyne Falls, located 27 miles apart, offering Lower Michigan’s highest vertical and longest runs. Lift tickets and season passes are interchangeable, providing the best value in Michigan. Early purchase discounts on season passes are available through October 13, 2014. Valuable preseason rates for Ski & Stay packages with breakfast are available now and for a limited time at Boyne Highlands and at Boyne Mountain. When staying on a package, Juniors ages 9-15, receive reduced rates and kids ages 8 and under sleep, ski/ride, and eat breakfast for free! For reservations, visit www.boynehighlands.com, www.boynemountain.com or call 800.462.6963.

 

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SHANTY CREEK MAKES BIG CHANGES FOR SKI SEASON
(August 21, 2014) BELLAIRE, MI – Shanty Creek is unveiling several big changes for the coming ski season, all are expected to improve operations and guest satisfaction while adding value to each of its three villages across the 4,500-acre resort property.

“We will solve several key issues by taking advantage of recently acquired space at the ski-in/ski-out Lodge at Cedar River, located on the north face of Schuss Mountain,” says Chris Hale, Vice President for Shanty Creek, “We will offer guests better facilities, better service, and a better overall experience that will extend to each of our three villages at Shanty Creek.”

From ski rentals and ski school to dining, the alpine tubing park, fat-tire biking, and more, the changes at Shanty Creek this season will be big.

  • Ski Rentals. The Rental Shop will now be located on the lower level of the Lodge at Cedar River. This will provide guests with a more streamlined experience, ample day lockers and restrooms, and ski-in/ski-out access to the Purple and Red Lifts and all of Schuss Mountain.
  • Ski School. Ski school registration and lessons will be located at Cedar River. The registration area will be adjacent to ski rentals on the lower level of the Lodge.
  • New Beginner Area. A new beginner ski area will be located the Cedar River Village where the Alpine Tubing Park had been in previous years. A new 400-foot magic carpet will allow beginners to either stay in the beginner area or access the rest of Schuss’ slopes when they’re ready.
  • New Multi-Purpose Trail. A new multi-purpose ski trail will be designed and maintained specifically for non-cross country skiing activities like snow shoeing, dog walking, and fat-tire biking. The trail head will be located near the Lodge at Cedar River.
  • Tubing. The Alpine Tubing Park will move to the top of Summit Mountain behind The Lakeview Hotel at the resort’s Summit Village. Improving the experience, instead of handle tows as in years past, guests will now enjoy magic carpet access back to the top.
  • Day Lodge. The Snow Sports building at the base of the Yellow Chair Lift, where rentals and ski school had been previously, is being transformed into a new day lodge complete with seasonal lockers, day lockers, plus tables and vending machines for guests who choose to bring their own meals and snacks.
  • Dining at Cedar River. The River Bistro, a new 12,000 sq ft restaurant and bar in The Lodge at Cedar River features full-service dining in a casual atmosphere. Its fireplace, outdoor patio, and 48-foot bar offer guests ample space to relax. Featuring regional and international beers, fresh-fruit cocktails, and pub games like pool, darts, foosball and more.
  • Dining at Schuss Village. With the changes being made to create a new Day Lodge for guests who bring their own snacks and meals, Ivan’s Mountainside Grill service will improve for its patrons.
  • Day Care. Now located inside the Lodge at Cedar River.
  • Parking and Egress. Parking will be expanded on Cedar River’s upper parking lot, and a new bridge to allow guests parking on the northwest side to access a new, closer lodge entrance into the lobby level.
  • Signage. Guests can expect increased signage throughout the resort’s 4,500 acres to help with way finding for these changes and more.
  • Immortalized. One of the runs on the Red Lift, formerly known as “Legend,” is being renamed “Brent’s Paradise” after Brent Nelson, the great vice president who passed away in 2012. During his tenure, Brent helped build The Legend Golf Course, open up the then-newly-developed Red Lift on Schuss Mountain, and much more.

“While change can be challenging, the quantity and quality of these changes will impact the entire winter experience at Shanty Creek” notes Steve Kershner, Director of Ski and Snow Sports, “Both inside and out, [Shanty Creek] will provide more of what our guests have been asking for, thereby increasing guest satisfaction, and that is always our number one goal.”

A New Setting for Alpine Tubing among the Big Changes at Shanty Creek -- A longtime favorite, the Alpine Tubing Park at Shanty Creek is moving to the resort’s Summit Village for the coming winter season, and the new setting changes more than its view. Beginning in winter 2014/15, alpine tubing will be atop Summit Mountain behind the resort's Lakeview Hotel where its majestic views of Lake Bellaire will be on display. The new location will also provide guests with easy access to the hotel's conference center restrooms and the Lakeview Restaurant.

"Being close to indoor amenities will definitely be a benefit for many guests," says Steve Kershner, Director of Snow Sports at the resort. And for many winter guests of Shanty Creek Resorts, Alpine Tubing Park is a crowd favorite. While skiing and snowboarding are the major draws, alpine tubing is where a lot of childhood excitement is shared by both children and adults alike. "Unlike skiing or snowboarding," Kershner adds, "tubing requires no athleticism or technique. It is essentially sledding except here you don't have to walk back up the hill!"

That's because a new 275ft magic carpet at Summit Mountain will allow guests to ride back up. "It’s like the moving walkways at most major airports," says Kershner. In the past, tubes were pulled back to the top with a handle tow. “The new magic carpet will be a big improvement.” The new and improved Alpine Tubing Park is among a number of big changes planned for the coming winter season at Shanty Creek.

All of these changes are expected to be complete by opening day of the 2014/15 ski season. For more information, visit www.shantycreek.com/bigchanges.

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INDIANHEAD AND BLACKJACK SKI RESORTS MERGE, PREPARE FOR SNOWMAKING AND UPCOMING SKI SEASON

 

Wakefield, Michigan – November 8, 2014 –With snow guns placed on the mountains ready to start making snow as early as Sunday, ski season looks to be right around the corner. That’s great news for Indianhead Mountain and nearby Blackjack Mountain.

 

Blackjack Mountain Resort and Indianhead Mountain Resort have merged operations, combining two of the best and most well known ski resorts in the upper Midwest into a single ski and snowboard experience. The resorts are located only a short distance apart and can be seen from each other’s slopes. Combined, the two resorts will now offer 410 skiable acres, 54 trails, 15 lifts and some of the biggest terrain in the Midwest. “We are extremely excited about the opportunity to combine these resorts to produce the best possible ski experience for Midwest skiers,” said Barry Bolich, General Manager of Indianhead. “We already have the best snow, and together we have the best terrain and the best runs, and the ability to offer all of this in a seamless one-ticket package,” he said. Each resort has its own distinct identity and offerings which offers incredible variety for skiers and snowboarders. “Indianhead is known for its wide open terrain and perfectly groomed runs. Blackjack is known for its terrain parks and powder days. Together, they offer the best of both worlds.” The new entity is known as Big Snow Resorts, owner and operator of Blackjack and Indianhead Mountain Resorts. A complimentary inter-resort shuttle service will be available to allow skiers to access both mountains. More at www.bigsnowresorts.com.

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SKIERS NEED ICE

All of us know how easy it is to get separated from companions at a ski resort. There's also the possibility of disaster just driving to and from a ski resort. That's why it's a good idea to have emergency contact information at the ready. Every minute a ski patroller or first responder saves is a better chance for a good outcome for you.

Every skier should know about and utilize ICE – In Case of Emergency. It’s an internationally recognized program which “enables first responders, such as police, fire and paramedics to identify victims and enable contact with next of kin, guardians or other entrusted persons to obtain important medical information or make emergency notifications. It encourages people to enter emergency contacts in their cell phone contacts list under the name ICE.” www.ems-options.com If you don’t have this information readily available to the responders, they have to search for medic alert jewelry, use visual clues and vital signs, or rely on witness descriptions to make treatment decisions. First responders know to look in a person’s contact list for the ICE listing, so it’s to your advantage to put as much information under your listing as possible.

However, if you have an iPhone there’s a more full-featured application (app) you can put on your phone. The app is called “smart-ICE” and there are free and paid versions. I downloaded the free smart-ICE app and it allowed me to enter emergency contacts, information about my regular doctors, the medications I use, my allergies, special instructions, and even my picture. The app also has a 911 button which I can push to call the nearest 911 operator (regardless of where I am) and then emits an alert noise so responders can locate me. EMS-Options.com recommends that “you place the smart-ICE Icon in the upper left-hand corner of the main page.” For more information about ICE, the Ice4Safety.com website has a wealth of additional information, including free kits and wallet cards you can print out or order. 

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