Michigan's ski slopes and trails for the winter of 2016/17
Clarkston, MI (November 2016) – 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 50 open ski areas, boasting over 240 lifts, about 1,000 runs, more than 80 terrain parks and hundreds of kilometers of groomed cross-country, fat bike and snowshoe 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. “You can be sure that if the temperature drops below 28 degrees, the snow guns are on across Michigan,” says Mickey MacWilliams, MSIA executive director. She adds that if that is difficult to believe, the Webcam page on goskimichigan.com will prove the point. Thumbnails of webcams at ski areas statewide are easily viewed in real time with one click. In addition to more and better snowmaking and grooming equipment, ski areas across the state have made major slope and facility improvements.
The following is a rundown of improvements and special offers for the 2016-2017 season. For more information, visit goskimichigan.com, which has quick links to Michigan ski area websites.
Michigan’s Upper Peninsula slopes are busy getting ready for winter. Voodoo Mountain, which opened on a limited basis last winter, is primed and ready for a season of snow cat skiing. Located just south of Copper Harbor Michigan, Voodoo Mountain enters it’s second season with a major expansion to a second peak and now offers over 200 acres of terrain. Voodoo Mountain was developed by Mount Bohemia and is the only commercial snow cat ski operation east of the Rockies. Skiers ride a snow cat (18 to a cab) to the top and then ski down the mountain to then get picked up again by the snow cat for a return to the top. Voodoo will offer cat trips on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday this season.
Down the road at Mount Bohemia, major changes have occurred over the summer. Construction is complete on the Midwest’s first ski resort hostel. Located at the base of Mount Bohemia the new ski-in/ski-out hostel features 24 coed bunks in two different rooms, two bathrooms and an outdoor hot tub. All hostel reservations include dinner and breakfast. Atop the hostel is the new Log Cabin Bar, open seven days a week serving craft beer, mixed drinks, and wine in a relaxed comfortable atmosphere. Interestingly, according to the Bohemia folks, this is the only bar in Michigan which also has a sauna. But wait, there’s more. Adjacent to the bar is the new slope-side outdoor hot tub overlooking the slopes. With a capacity for 30, it is the largest in the Upper Peninsula. If you’ve ever wanted to stay in a yurt, your chances of doing that just doubled. A second yurt that sleeps 13 was also added to the base area. On the slopes the busy Bohemia team cut new trails as well. A new section called the Outback was cut between the Haunted Valley and the Outer Limits and promises to have some of the best snow on the mountain. There is also a new run in Outer Limits (231) 420-5405, mtbohemia.com
Ski Brule in Iron River has added 30 KM of Fat Bike Trails. Trail passes are $15 alone but are also included in the price of a daily lift ticket. Fat Tire Bike Rentals are also available for $30 half day and $50 full day. In addition, Ski Brule built a new facility to house their pump house, the heart of their snowmaking. This facility allows more snow to be made faster and more efficiently. Brule also purchased a new Prinoth X Bison snow groomer to help maintain all that new snow. 1-800-DO BRULE, skibrule.com
Heading into the Lower Peninsula, the crew at Nub’s Nob Ski Area of Harbor Springs were busy expanding their snowmaking system and making upgrades to their snow distribution infrastructure. To aid in grooming the snow is a new Pisten Bully groomer. Nubs also did some clearing in The Glades to create more lines for powder skiing through the trees. Also new this year is an entire new fleet of rental skis from Nordica. These specially designed skis utilize the latest ski technology to make the learning process fun and simple. (231) 526-2131 or 1-800-SKI-NUBS, nubsnob.com
Also in Harbor Springs, Boyne Highlands is offering new experiences for the 2016/17 winter season including nighttime cross country skiing and snowshoe dinners, as well as an expanded Tubing Park, and Rossignol snowboard demos. Enjoy solitude on the cross-country trails with the glow of oil lanterns and moonlight along a mile-long ski trail lit each Friday and Saturday evening. Trail passes are $10 after 4 p.m. and free for ages eight and under. Also after dark, three new snowshoe expeditions are planned this winter, each culminating with a gourmet three-course dinner. The events are scheduled for Jan. 6, 2017; Feb. 3, 2017; and March 3, 2017. On the slopes, the Tyler’s Tango glade has been expanded to triple its original size and has an additional access point. Boyne Highlands’ Tubing Park, which is moving closer to the Camelot Lift, will feature more lanes. Reconfiguring the park will allow it to open earlier in the season. Daily snowboard demos are available for the first time this winter through Boyne Country Sports at Boyne Highlands. Demos allow those interested in a new equipment purchase the opportunity to try before you buy. Demos are $55 per day, with the full cost credited towards the purchase of a new snowboard or skis. 1-800-462-6963, boynehighlands.com
Boyne Mountain in Boyne Falls is getting bigger this winter with the addition of two new retail stores – the Under Armour Store and The North Face. There is also a new activity fort for kids inside the Avalanche Bay water park. Nighttime skiers and riders can enjoy 30 acres more terrain this winter with the addition of lights in the Meadows area. The new lights will illuminate The Meadows, Idiots Delight, Thunder and Stein’s Mambo with lift access on the Meadows chairlift. Off the slopes, the new Spa at Boyne Mountain – which was formerly the Solace Spa – has received a significant makeover, transforming its salon, entrance, retail area, and fitness facilities. Inspired by the area’s natural beauty, warm earth tones complement a cool new modern setting – all with picturesque mountain views. With specialists in the science and art of reflexology, relaxation, massage, and wellness, The Spa offers an array of services within its 18 treatment rooms. As the largest spa facility in Michigan (19,500 square feet), The Spa rejuvenates and recharges active adventurers with full-service amenities, including cedar saunas, steam rooms, whirlpools, state-of-the-art fitness equipment, fitness classes, indoor/outdoor swimming pool, hot tubs, and more. 1-800-462-6963, boynemountain.com
In Gaylord, Treetops Resort has secured a $4.5 million USDA loan to aid resort renovations and improvements, with work in progress now. Renovations and improvements are on tap for both The Lodge and The Inn located on the main campus of the property. Public spaces will reflect the northern Michigan outdoors with subtle references to nature. The lobby areas as well as the entire collection of lodging rooms will be fully renovated with new flooring and furnishings. (855) 318-0678, treetops.com
Also in Gaylord, Otsego Club & Resort has a special Test Drive offer. Otsego is a private club but invites the public to experience the members-only ski privileges this winter for only $495. This offer allows families access to the entire club with no black-out dates, complimentary cross country skiing, snowshoeing, sledding, ice skating and sauna use and complimentary lift tickets for the immediate family when lodging at the Otsego Club. 1-800-752-5510, Otsegoclub.com
The crew at Shanty Creek Resorts has been busy over the summer improving their snowmaking infrastructure with additional snow guns, pumps and plumbing. They also added a new beginner ski area at Summit Mountain and improved their Nordic ski trails throughout the resort. The popular Alpine Tubing Park at Summit Mountain also got a facelift in order to increase capacity. Also popular, their fat biking program returns this year with a Fat Race Weekend slated for the end of February. For kids 8 years and under, Shanty Creek offers a real deal - a free season pass to all who take a Learn-to-Ski lesson. (231) 533-8621 shantycreek.com.
Hickory Hills Ski Area, owned and operated by the City of Traverse City, began operations in the winter of 1950-51 on 12 city-owned acres. Over the years adjacent land was leased or used by friendly agreement. Today, the city owns approximately 125 acres for Hickory Hills. The lodge that was constructed in the mid 1950′s is still in use today with a fireplace and snack bar. The big news for this city-owned facility is that ski and snowboard rental equipment is now available. 231-947-8566, traversecitymichigan.gov/hickory_hills.
Bay Mountain at The Homestead in Glen Arbor is focused on fun and safety. Their "hill-hugger" lifts are low to the ground, and run at reduced speed to reduce accidents. They have set a limit on ticket sales far below the legal capacity of their property to avoid overcrowding and the folks at The Homestead stress that small is good! Their limited terrain means that it's easier for parents and ski patrol to keep an eye on the little ones. (231) 334-5000, thehomesteadresort.com
Skiers who remember Sugar Loaf Resort in the Leelanau Peninsula will be pleased to hear that the long-shuttered ski area has a new owner. Los Angeles resident Jeff Katofsky recently closed on the purchase of the resort but doesn’t plan to have renovations ready or the ski area open for at lease a few years.
An $11 million expansion that includes eight new downhill trails, a triple chairlift and nine new miles of fat bike trails began last winter at Crystal Mountain in Thompsonville. Crystal Mountain’s downhill trail count increased to 58 with the addition of new terrain and a triple chairlift in ‘The Backyard.’ Moving forward with expansion plans for Crystal’s 60th Anniversary, The Inn at the Mountain is slated for an opening in the summer of 2017. The project represents the latest in $100 million of development at Crystal Mountain over the last two decades. The 31,000 square-foot building that features geothermal heating and cooling will include 25 new hotel rooms and suites, a lobby bar, specialty market and an open-air rooftop terrace. A park, named in memory of renowned Michigan artist and founder of Michigan Legacy Art Park, David Barr, will accent the addition with gardens, waterscapes and during winter, a new ice skating rink. To celebrate the 60th winter at Crystal, specials will be featured throughout the winter including 6-for-$60 lift tickets on December 16 and March 10 and spring celebrations every weekend in March. 1-800-968-7686 or (231) 378-2000, crystalmountain.com
The big news at Caberfae Peaks in Cadillac is the addition of a brand new Doppelmayr triple chairlift. The new chairlift has a top elevation of 1561 feet, which Caberfae says is the highest in Northern Michigan. It provides a panoramic, 360-degree view of the surrounding Manistee National Forest. The new chair is designed to better serve Caberfae’s North Peak complex of slopes with more uphill capacity therefore reducing lift lines. In addition, crews were busy over the summer reconfiguring the slopes to add an additional 15 vertical feet. Five new SMI fan snowmaking guns and towers and 500 feet of snowmaking pipe and electrical wire were put in place over the summer for more and better snow. Inside the MacKenzie Lodge, hotel rooms were spruced up with new windows, energy efficient PTAC units for heating and cooling, and wall-mounted flat screen TVs. The ski rental department also received 250 pairs of new Rossignol rental boots. 231-862-3000, Caberfaepeaks.com
Cross Country Ski Headquarters (XC Ski HQ) in Higgins Lake is amping up the fun with a host of special events that foster authentic, outdoor, winter experiences. On February 4 and March 5, they partner with Paddle Hard Brewing of Grayling to host “Ski the Beer Trail.” Tasting stations along the trail provide craft beer tastings to skiers and snow-shoers, and grill chef German Dave prepares a hearty barbeque lunch at Trapper’s Cabin. Skiers and snow-shoers can enjoy the magic of winter at nighttime, with torch lit trails, a bonfire, and free hot cocoa during Full Moon Night Skiing on December 16, January 13, and February 10. New this winter is the Women’s Wednesday Night Ski Tour. Starting on January 11 and continuing on subsequent Wednesdays from 5:00pm – 7:00pm, women are invited to gather, cross country ski, and receive coaching from a PSIA-certified ski instructor for just $5. All proceeds will go to the River House women’s shelter in Grayling. (989) 821-6661 crosscountryski.com
Snowsnake Mountain in Harrison makes skiing affordable on special days. Twelve Dollar Tuesdays mean lift tickets are just $12 and rental equipment is just $13 from 3 to 9 p.m. each Tuesday. On Wednesdays its Two-for-One Lift Ticket day, where you buy one and get one free. Thursday is Student's Day. Show a student I.D. and get $5 off a lift ticket. All programs begin in January.
At Cannonsburg Ski Area 15 minutes northeast of Grand Rapids, the goal is to expand into a year-round outdoor destination. To that end, in 2015 Cannonsburg opened the first Zipline Adventure Tour in West Michigan. (616) 874-6711, cannonsburg.com
The folks at Timber Ridge in Goebles want everyone to learn to ski affordably. Every Sunday from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. and on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 5:00 to 10:00 p.m., beginners can get rental equipment, a lesson and lift ticket all for $40. (269) 694-9449, timberridgeski.com
Moving to Southeast Michigan, after a $10 million renovation of the lodge, ski school, chair lifts, terrain park and snowmaking system over the past couple of years, Mt. Brighton in Brighton and its Ski and Snowboard School are partnering with Burton Snowboards and Elan Skis to create a program called “Mt. Brighton Ski and Snowboard School Free Gear Instructional Program.” Open to anyone seven and older, this four-week beginner program includes a weekly, two-hour lesson, lift ticket and rental equipment. At the end of the program, guests get to take home the new Burton snowboard and bindings or Elan skis and bindings that they’re now familiar with. The cost of the program, including equipment is $349. (810) 229-9581, mtbrighton.com
The team at Mt. Holly in Holly Mt. Holly is excited at the prospect of this upcoming ski and snowboard season. Cold weather will be a welcome sight after this summer’s extreme heat. Featuring the only high-speed detachable quad chairlift in southeast Michigan, Mt. Holly has upgraded its snowmaking and grooming capabilities over the summer. (248) 634-8269, skimtholly.com
Alpine Valley in White Lake has expanded its snowmaking capabilities and also enlarged its terrain parks. To help maintain their expanded parks, they purchased a new park groomer. Alpine Valley has also added a brand new fleet of rental skis. (248) 887-2180, skialpinevalley.com
Michigan Cross Country Ski Area Improvements
Clarkston, MI (November 2016) Michigan is home to 3,000 miles of cross-country skiing trails and with winter approaching, it’s time to get out and enjoy them. The Michigan Snowsports Industries Association announced changes and improvements to trails at ski areas across the state for the upcoming season.
Here's the lowdown:
Cross County Ski Headquarters in Roscommon acquired a new Kubota Tractor and ice power tiller and developed a new snowshoe trail that will reach 5 km long when finished.
Crystal Mountain in Thompsonville developed new fat bike trails and dedicated snowshoe trails and added a zipline course.
Boyne Mountain in Boyne Falls added new Nordic ski signage. Boyne Highlands in Harbor Springs acquired a new cross-country ski trail tracker to improve trail grooming conditions.
Nubs Nob Ski Area in Harbor Springs acquired new cross-country ski rentals to update the fleet with Fischer skis and boots.
Mackinac Island has the President's Day Bash weekend on Feb 17-20, which includes cross-country ski events and the chili cook off.
Michigan Technological University is near Hancock, was named the third snowiest city in the U.S. by The Weather Channel.
Mount Bohemia in Houghton has new log cabin lodging overlooking the picturesque Lac La Belle and located right on their cross-country ski trails. It sleeps up to five people.
Boyne Mountain Garners Awards for Best Terrain
Boyne Mountain has been recognized by several authorities on skiing and snowboarding ranking the resort’s terrain among the best in the Midwest. For the second straight year, Boyne Mountain earned the No. 1 Terrain Park in the Midwest by TransWorld Snowboarding’s 2017 Park Poll. The magazine ranks the best terrain parks across North America and prints the annual list in its Nov. issue.
Adding another credit to the popularity of the resort’s terrain parks is a No. 2 ranking from Newschoolers’ 2017 Park Poll. The online site said, “Their park crew really stepped up to the plate and knocked it out of the park with creative hits and frequent resets. As one of Michigan’s first resorts to open every year, they are the go-to spot for early season shredding.” Boyne Mountain also claimed the Best Overall terrain, along with sister resort Boyne Highlands, in OnTheSnow.com’s 2016 Visitors’ Choice Awards, and was also credited with having the Best Nightlife in the Midwest.
Boyne Mountain offers 415 skiable acres and seven terrain parks with over 60 features of varying sizes. For the youngest riders, the Burton Riglet Park is specially designed for 3- to 6-year-olds entering the world of snowboarding. Beginner park riders can explore Fritz’s Terrain Park with numerous small boxes and rails, and Campbells Alley, a terrain based learning area. Ramshead Terrain Park is among the most popular at the resort with a large jump line and over 25 medium features. At the center of it all, North McLouth Park offers a massive jump line perfect for spectating for those not quite ready for the big time. Among the most unique is the Transfer Station, which utilizes natural log features and jibs in a wooded locale. Those looking for high-speed adrenaline can race on the Chmielew-ski skier/boardercross course.
To learn more about Boyne Mountain’s terrain and parks, visit boynemountain.com.
White Gold Card -- Ski 35 Areas for $269
The Michigan Snowsports Industries Association (MSIA) has produced a card that allows the holder to ski at 35 different Michigan ski areas this winter for just $269. Called the MSIA White Gold Card, it entitles the purchaser to ski one time at each of the participating ski areas during the 2016/2017 ski season. In addition to the 35 lift tickets, White Gold Card purchasers also receive one complimentary ski or snowboard tune-up, 3 hot wax sessions and a coupon for $20 off a purchase of $100 at participating retailers. The retail value is over $1,600!
The cards are available at participating retail stores throughout the state and at goskimichigan.com. Purchasers save the $8 shipping fee (per order not per card) by buying from a participating ski shop.
MSIA developed the White Gold Card as a fundraising endeavor and limits its production to 400 cards. “We’ve found from past years’ sales that they go quickly,” says Steve Kershner, MSIA Chairman and Director of Snowsports at Shanty Creek Resorts. He suggests that anyone interested in purchasing a card should do so as soon as possible.
The card looks like a credit card, divided into squares. Each ski area is assigned to a square and one square is designated for the ski tune-up. The purchaser takes the White Gold Card to the ski area’s lift ticket window, where the square corresponding to that ski area is punched out. White Gold Card skiers are allowed to ski one time at each ski area, midweek or weekend. The card is valid for the entire ski season, except for December 24, 2016 through January 2, 2017. The cards are non-refundable and non-transferable. To get the tune-up and hot wax services, White Gold Card purchasers take their skis or boards to one of the over 47 participating ski shops.
PARTICIPATING SKI AREAS: Alpine Valley, Apple Mountain, Big Powderhorn, Bittersweet, Blackjack Resort, Boyne Highlands, Boyne Mountain, Caberfae Peaks, Cannonsburg, Crystal Mountain, Cross-Country Ski Hdqts., Bay Mtn. at The Homestead, Hanson Hills, Porcupine Mountain, Indianhead Mountain, Marquette Mountain, Mont Ripley, Mt. Bohemia, Mt. Brighton, Mt. Holiday, Mt. Holly, Mt. Zion, Mulligan’s Hollow, Muskegon Winter Sports Complex, Norway Mountain, Nubs Nob, Pine Knob, Pine Mountain, Shanty Creek, Ski Brule, Snow Snake, Swiss Valley, Timber Ridge, Treetops Resort.
Additional information on the White Gold Card is available at goskimichigan.com or by calling MSIA at (248) 620-4448.
Cold is Cool! Fourth- and Fifth-Graders Ski Free in Michigan
Clarkston, MI (November 2016) Ski areas and resorts across Michigan have teamed up with participating McDonald’s restaurants to give kids an opportunity to get out, have fun and get healthy this winter. That’s why they have created the “Cold is Cool” Ski & Ride Passport. All fourth- and fifth-grade kids who apply for a passport can ski for free, up to three times, at each of the 30 participating ski areas.
Steve Kershner, MSIA chairman and director of snow sports at Shanty Creek Resorts, says that when a child is in the fourth or fifth grade, they are at the perfect age to learn to ski or snowboard. “They have the coordination and enthusiasm to pick up the sport quickly.”
In order for fourth- and fifth-graders to use the free lift or trail pass coupons, a paying adult must accompany them. “We feel that fourth and fifth graders should be supervised by an adult while on the slopes and trails. Our intention is to make this a fun, affordable and safe activity for the entire family,” says Mickey MacWilliams, MSIA executive director. Up to two kids with Passports can ski free with each paying adult.
The Passport is valid through April 30, or the end of the 2016/17 ski season.
Applications for the Cold is Cool Passport are available inside the Michigan Fun Pass at participating Michigan McDonald’s restaurants, at ski shops and online at goskimichigan.com. Although the skiing is free, MSIA charges a $20 printing and shipping fee for each passport ordered.
In addition to the lift tickets donated by the participating ski areas, the Cold is Cool Passport also includes coupons for 20% off a helmet purchase and $20 off the purchase of $100 at over 50 participating ski shops. Some ski areas have also included coupons for equipment rental and discounted lessons.
Participating ski areas: Upper Peninsula: Big Powderhorn, Bessemer (906) 932-4838; Blackjack Ski Resort, Bessemer, (906) 229-5115; Indianhead Mountain Resort, Wakefield, 1-800-346-3426; Marquette Mountain, Marquette, 800-944-7669; Mont Ripley. Hancock, (906) 487-2340; Mt. Zion, Ironwood, (906) 932-4231 ext. 269; Norway Mountain, Norway, (906) 282-9105; Pine Mountain, Iron Mountain (906) 774-2747; Porcupine Mountain, Ontonagon, (231) 885-5209. Northwestern Lower Peninsula: Boyne Highlands, Harbor Springs, 1-855-688-7022; Boyne Mountain, Boyne Falls, 1-855-688-7024; Caberfae Peaks, Cadillac, (231) 862-3000; Cross Country Ski Headquarters, Roscommon, 1-800-832-2663; Crystal Mountain, Thompsonville, 1-888-968-7686; Hickory Hills, Traverse City, (231) 922-4900; Bay Mountain at The Homestead, Glen Arbor, (231) 334-5000; Mt. Holiday, Traverse City, (231) 938-2500; Nubs Nob, Harbor Springs, 1-800-SKI-NUBS; Shanty Creek Resorts, Bellaire, 1-800-678-4111. North Central Lower Peninsula: Hanson Hills, Grayling, (989) 348-9266; Otsego Club & Resort, Gaylord, 1-800-752-5510; Snow Snake Ski & Golf, Harrison, (989) 539-6583; Treetops Resort, Gaylord, 1-866-348-5249. West Central Lower Peninsula: Apple Mountain, Freeland (989) 781-6789; Cannonsburg Ski Area, Belmont, (616) 874-6711; Mulligan’s Hollow, Grand Haven, (616) 842-0634. Southwestern Lower Peninsula: Swiss Valley Ski Area, Jones, (269) 244-5635; Timber Ridge Ski Area Gobles, 1-800-253-2928. Southeastern Lower Peninsula: Alpine Valley Ski Area, White Lake, (248) 887-2180; Mt. Brighton, Brighton, (810) 229-9581; Mt. Holly, Holly, (248) 634-8269.
This January, join the fun on the slopes as you “Discover Michigan Skiing!”
Clarkston, MI (November 2016) – Ski areas all across Michigan have teamed up with Michigan McDonald’s restaurants to offer a fun and affordable program to learn to ski or snowboard.
Called “Discover Michigan Skiing,” the program includes: a beginner lesson, ski or snowboard rental equipment and a beginner-area ski lift pass or cross-country trail pass. Twenty-six ski facilities are offering the package, which will be honored from January 6 through January 31, 2017. The prices for the Discover Michigan Skiing program are: $20 for Discover Michigan Cross-Country Skiing and $35 for Discover Michigan Downhill Skiing and Discover Michigan Snowboarding. The lesson normally covers basic maneuvering on skis or snowboards, including stopping, turning, riding the lifts, and getting up from a fall.
To sign up, interested beginners must fill out a Discover Michigan Skiing Voucher and then call or register online with the ski area they want to visit. Vouchers are available at participating Michigan McDonald’s restaurants, MSIA retail ski stores and at goskimichigan.com. Program times differ from ski area to ski area.
Participating ski areas include: Upper Peninsula: Big Powderhorn in Bessemer, (906) 932-4838; Marquette Mountain in Marquette, 1-800-944-7669: Mont Ripley in Hancock, (906) 487-2340; Mt. Zion in Ironwood, (906) 932-4231 ext. 269; Norway Mountain in Norway, (906) 282-9105; Pine Mountain in Iron Mountain (906) 774-2747; Porcupine Mountain in Ontonagon, (231) 885-5209; Ski Brule in Iron River, 1-800-362-7853. Northwestern Lower Peninsula: Boyne Highlands in Harbor Springs, 1-855-688-7022; Boyne Mountain in Boyne Falls, 1-855-688-7024; Caberfae Peaks in Cadillac, (231) 862-3000; Cross Country Ski Headquarters in Roscommon, 1-800-832-2663; The Homestead in Glen Arbor, (231) 334-5000, Mt. Holiday in Traverse City, (231) 938-2500; Nubs Nob in Harbor Springs, 1-800-SKI-NUBS; Shanty Creek Resorts in Bellaire, 1-800-678-4111. North Central Lower Peninsula: Hanson Hills in Grayling, (989) 348-9266; Treetops Resort in Gaylord, 1-866-348-5249. West Central Lower Peninsula: Muskegon Winter Sports Complex in North Muskegon, 1-877-879-5843. East Central Lower Peninsula: Apple Mountain in Freeland, 1-888-781-6789. Southwestern Lower Peninsula: Bittersweet Ski Area in Otsego, (269) 694-2820; Swiss Valley Ski Area in Jones, (269) 244-5635; Timber Ridge Ski Area in Gobles, 1-800-253-2928. Southeastern Lower Peninsula: Mt. Brighton in Brighton, (810) 229-9581; Mt. Holly in Holly, (248) 634-8269; Pine Knob in Clarkston, (248) 625-0800.
Discover Michigan Skiing is part of the national “Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month” campaign, which is designed to provide a way for people all across the country to learn to ski or snowboard safely and affordably. It has been also been endorsed by the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness Health and Sports and it is approved as an “advocate” for The President’s Challenge, the premier program of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. Additional information on Discover Michigan Skiing is available on goskimichigan.com or by calling MSIA at (248) 620-4448.
What's New at Boyne This Season
BOYNE FALLS, Mich. (October 27, 2016) – One of Michigan’s largest ski resorts, Boyne Mountain, is getting bigger this winter with the addition of two new retail stores and a new activity fort for kids. The resort is also offering expanded night skiing terrain, a fully renovated salon, new snowshoe supper, and the delivery of provisions for the 2016/17 winter season.
Gear Up with New Stores in the Village
This winter guests to Boyne Mountain can browse gear in two new shops now open in the resort’s Village. The newest addition is the Under Armour Store offering a wide assortment of the latest apparel, footwear, accessories and logo wear for every member of the family. Located underneath the Under Armour Store is the The North Face Store, a one-stop shop carrying a huge selection of men’s, women’s and juniors clothing and outerwear, as well as footwear and backpacks. With offerings changing seasonally at both stores, shoppers can always find a great selection of merchandise to complement their favorite four-season sporty pursuits. Under Armour and The North Face stores join six other businesses operating in the Village, including Boyne Country Sports, Boyne Outfitters, Forty Acres Tavern, Kilwins, Mountain Express Deli & Provisions, and Spielladen Toy & Candy.
New Snow Fort Activity Room at Avalanche Bay Indoor Waterpark
Young splashers have a new space to enjoy at Avalanche Bay, Michigan’s largest indoor waterpark. Fritz’s Snow Fort offers kids up to age 12 a play structure loft and place to create fun crafts and art projects with new offerings scheduled daily on weekends and also open for expanded hours during holiday periods. Access to the Fort is complimentary for resort lodging guests, and is also included with admission to Avalanche Bay Indoor Waterpark. For more information, visit avalanchebay.com.
Lights on in Meadows
Nighttime skiers and riders can enjoy an additional 30 acres of terrain this winter with the addition of lights in the popular Meadows area. The new lights will illuminate The Meadows, Idiots Delight, Thunder and Stein’s Mambo with lift access on the Meadows chairlift, a Doppelmayr conveyor loaded quad that offers the second fastest ride up the mountain. Night session lift tickets are available Wednesday-Saturday, 5-9 p.m., and daily during holidays.
Introducing The Spa at Boyne Mountain
Newly refreshed, The Spa at Boyne Mountain, formerly Solace Spa, has received a significant makeover with a stunning transformation to its salon, entrance, retail area, and fitness facilities. Inspired by the area’s natural beauty, warm earth tones complement a cool new modern setting. An open flow salon concept was designed to encourage socializing with cozy relaxation areas, four pedicure chairs, two manicure stations, makeup services, cut, coloring and styling – all with picturesque mountain views. With specialists in the science and art of reflexology, relaxation, massage, and wellness, The Spa offers an array of services within its 18 treatment rooms. As the largest spa facility in Michigan (19,500 square feet), The Spa rejuvenates and recharges active adventurers with full-service amenities, including cedar saunas, steam rooms, whirlpools, state-of-the-art fitness equipment, fitness classes, indoor/outdoor swimming pool, hot tubs, and more. For spa reservations, call 231.549.7946.
Popular Snowshoe Supper Expands to Friday Nights
Last winter saw the launch of Summit-to-Stein’s Snowshoe Suppers, an incredible evening combing the best of northern Michigan with a snowshoe hike, hot toddies, bonfire, and three-course dinner. The evenings were so popular that Boyne Mountain is expanding the offering to Friday nights in addition to Saturday evenings. The Friday Summit-to-Stein’s Snowshoe Suppers begin at 6:30 p.m. with a ride up Boyne Mountain’s famed double chairlift, Hemlock, to the summit where spiced wine and hot chocolate are waiting at the Eagle’s Nest. There, snowshoes are provided and guests can stomp their way along snow-covered trees and trails stopping at a bonfire to restock on beverages and enjoy the ambiance of a refreshing winter evening, before arriving at the final destination, Stein Eriksen’s restaurant. Guests are greeted with live entertainment and a three-course dinner of cheese fondue, choice of beef or fish entrée, and a chocolate fondue with fruits and cookies. The Saturday supper features a prime rib and shrimp buffet. For reservations, call 231.549.6854.
Provisions Delivered to Your Door
Jump start your vacation at Boyne Mountain by skipping the store. The resort's Mountain Express Deli & Provisions now offers provisions delivered to guest rooms and condos that can be conveniently ordered online or by calling 231.549.7205. Select from prepacked provisions or choose from a full array of essentials including snacks, beverages, sundries, beer, wine and liquor (proper identification checked upon delivery), ice, and toiletries. Packages featuring fresh baked bread, Applewood smoked bacon eggs and juice are offered for breakfast, while premium Boars Head meats and cheese along with fresh assorted fruit, chips, granola bars, cookies, and Coca-Cola products keep a family energized for an action packed day on the slopes or trails.
For lodging reservations or more information, visit boynemountain.com or call 866.759.1472.
Snowmaking and grooming facts
With just a little cold weather, Michigan’s ski slopes can be blanketed in white.
Robert (Bob) Frye inducted into the Michigan Ski Hall of Fame
Clarkston, MI (November 2016) – Robert Frye, founder of Cross Country Ski Headquarters in the Higgins Lake/Roscommon area, was recently inducted into the Michigan Ski Hall of Fame.
Frye opened Cross Country Ski Headquarters in 1974. The business started with a small rental fleet of 10 pairs of cross-country skis and Bob's mission - to share his passion for cross-country skiing in Michigan.
He married Lynne Grost in 1977 and she has helped him grow the business into what it is today: one of the major hubs of cross-country skiing in the country. Today, daughter Mariah follows in her father’s footsteps by continuing in the family business. Over the years, Cross Country Ski Headquarters has grown and expanded to now include groomed trails complete with snowmaking, a full-service retail shop with one of the largest selections of Nordic equipment and clothing in the country, 200 pairs of rental skis, a day lodge, café and four cross-country ski instructors.
“With thousands of people hitting the trails each week, we believe that he has likely introduced more people to cross-country skiing than any other person or business in Michigan,” stated Steve Kershner, chairman of the Michigan Snowsports Industries Association, the organization that operates the Michigan Ski Hall of Fame.
Frye has served on the board of the Great Lakes Nordic Ski Council, Cross Country Ski Areas of America and on the National Cross Country Committee of SIA (Snowsports Industries of America).
In addition to operating Cross Country Ski Headquarters, Bob also has a second business. In 1982 he purchased a patent and developed a mold to make Ski Bones, a ski accessory used to hold skis together and protect their bases. Ski Bones are manufactured in the Saginaw Bay area and sold to ski shops and ski areas throughout the country.
For over 20 years, Bob has helped supply Area IV Special Olympics with Nordic ski equipment donations and every year since 1981 he has supplied rental equipment to Michigan’s “Ski for Light” program - a non-profit that provides opportunities for visually and mobility impaired people to experience cross-country skiing.
Additionally, Cross Country Ski Headquarters has hosted a 4-H Nordic ski program for kids for the past 25 years and continues to support youth skiing in Michigan via youth team sponsorships and equipment rentals.
Bob has been involved in Nordic ski racing for over 20 years. In March he and Lynne received an award from the Michigan Cup Race Committee for their many contributions to the sport. In 2015, Outside Magazine named Cross Country Ski Headquarters a “Nordic Ski Mecca.”
“Bob’s passion for cross-country skiing has contributed immensely to the presence of the sport in Michigan and beyond. His vision for growth of the sport continues on at Cross Country Ski Headquarters.” Added Kershner.
The Michigan Ski Hall of Fame was initiated in 2003 to honor those individuals who have helped to grow the Michigan ski industry. The accomplishments of the individual must have a direct benefit to Michigan, whether by encouraging growth of the sport in the state or by exporting ideas, talent, techniques or products developed within the state that went on to have national or international significance, resulting in the enhancement of the image of Michigan as the source of skiing innovation. A Michigan Ski Hall of Fame display is housed inside the Michigan Welcome Center on US-127 in Clare, Michigan. Histories of all inductees are also available on the MSIA website, goskimichigan.com. The Michigan Ski Hall of Fame button is on the right.