Michigan Skier News


  • SKI INC. 2020 



The 2019/20 season at Boyne Mountain Resort in Boyne Falls, Mich. brings continued snowmaking investments, scanning technology, the start of the Edelweiss Lodge renovation, Sno-Go bikes, online activity sales, a new app and events, enhanced Cherry Pickers Pass, and new Village store.


On The Slopes

Boyne Mountain consistently offers Michigan’s longest ski season, thanks in large part to its continuous investment in its snowmaking infrastructure.  This season, Boyne Mountain is testing two new HKD Klik snowmaking hydrants as a step towards snowmaking automation.  Two snowmaking pumps have been rebuilt for increased snowmaking capability and the resort has replaced 400-feet of snowmaking mainline pipe and added valves on Meadows for increased flexibility.  Also on the slopes, glade skiing has been expanded on Hemlock and Victor, and lift and race houses on Superbowl, Ramshead, and Alpine have received makeovers.


Scanning Comes to Boyne Mountain

Boyne Mountain will begin using scanning technology on six lifts this season: Mountain Express, Meadows, Superbowl, Ramshead, Disciples I, and Alpine.  Lift tickets and season passes will be scanned streamlining and securing access to lifts.  The use of scanning is the first step toward the resort’s plans to utilize technologies to improve time to lift as well as tailor products and communications based on guest use of the slopes.


Edelweiss Renovation

The on-hill Edelweiss Lodge is undergoing an extensive top-to-bottom renovation beginning in January 2020.  The transformation will create a refined mountain lodge with soft, natural elements and textures establishing a sense of modern luxury. The 36-room hotel sits directly on the slopes and is surrounded on all sides by snow making it the most unique and convenient ski-in/ski-out access lodging available at the resort.  Adding to its ambience, a fire pit area and hot tub are being added.  The Lodge will reopen in December 2020. 


Sno-Go Bikes Come to Boyne Mountain

Sno-Go’s apply the familiarity of riding a bike with the fun of sliding on snow.  Boyne Mountain is offering 14 bikes for rent and additional bikes for sale through its Boyne Country Sports store this season.  Sno-Go’s are the ultimate all-mountain snow bike, perfect for riding groomed trails, in the parks, and through powder snow.  Some restrictions may apply, visit boynemountain.com for full details.


Plan & Purchase Activities Online

Guests to Boyne Mountain can now make many of their activity purchases in advance of arrival.  From ziplining to fat tire biking, tubing to splashing in Avalanche Bay Indoor Waterpark, a one-stop shop for activities, events and dining experiences is now available online through Boyne Mountain’s eStore at shop.boynemountain.com.


Boyne Mountain App

Boyne Mountain is launching a new App for this winter providing users with access to quick and convenient ski tracking, conditions reporting, 3-D trail and resort wayfinding, webcams, as well as links to purchase lodging, lift tickets, resort activities, and attractions.  The free App can be downloaded from the Apple iTunes Store, or Google Play beginning December 1.


Ski for MS Vertical Challenge

Boyne Mountain is proud to be a host of the Midwest’s only Ski for MS Vertical Challenge. Featuring Jonny Moseley, the Ski for MS Vertical Challenge will take place on February 29, 2020.  The five-hour fundraising challenge benefits families living with multiple sclerosis and Challenge Mountain, a Boyne Falls-based organization that offers adaptive recreation to people living with disabilities.  Founded by former Olympian Jimmie Heuga, Ski for MS is the only national event series that combines skiing and fundraising to empower people with MS.  For more information or to join the challenge, visit boynemountain.com.


New Character Events Make Their Debut This Winter

At Avalanche Bay, Michigan’s largest indoor waterpark, guests can join Princess in the Park with the Frozen Sisters on Saturday, November 30.  Disney-inspired characters Elsa and Anna will offer meet and greets, photo opportunities, and signatures.  Little splashers can also enjoy Frozen-themed beverages and complimentary royal crafts.  Boyne Mountain’s annual Holiday Open House on December 14 will see the addition of The Happily Ever After Dinner in Stein Eriksen’s featuring Disney-inspired Jasmine and Aladdin, Rapunzel and Flynn, and Anna and Kristoff.  For complete event information, visit boynemountain.com.


Cherry Pickers Ripens with Frequency Lift Discounts               

Boyne Mountain’s popular Cherry Pickers Pass, providing three- and six-day ticket options, is ripening the deal with new direct-to-lift access and the option to add on additional lift tickets at a discounted rate.  A three-day pass is $179 and a six-day pass is $299.  The non-transferable Pass can be used consecutively or non-consecutively; holiday blackout dates apply.  To learn more about Cherry Pickers and all pass products, visit boynemountain.com.


The North Face Adds Second Store Location

The North Face has added a second store location in the Village at Boyne Mountain.  In addition to its Base Camp store, The North Face has opened a Summit Store that offers performance lines and gear. 


For lodging reservations or resort information, visit boynemountain.com or call 866.759.1472. 




The Event: It’s a month-long online opportunity beginning October 21st, 2019 and ends at noon on November 18th. It's a chance for cross-country skiers to support the areas they love best, in the U.S. and Canada. The event is interactive (you can vote daily for any of the 20 areas offered). The 10 Best (out of 20, out of 100) will be announced on November 29th, 2019.


Selection criteria can include such things as most reliable snow or amiable operators, most fun, most memorable dining/lodging/hot tubs, sweetest-skiing trails for beginners and intermediates, terrific instruction, gorgeous views… It’s unquestionably opinion, but uniquely well informed opinion.


This list includes alpine ski resort affiliates, guest ranches, golf courses, community-based areas, famous overnight inns and lodges, “dedicated” cross-country and multi-season areas, a YMCA ranch… – vast trail systems, and operations where guests become family for long-time staff (and vice versa).


For more information about this event go to USA TODAY...Click here


The Indy Pass gives snowriders 88 days of riding at 44 independent resorts across the United States and Canada for just $199! All Indy Pass resorts are independent, authentic, small-to-mid-sized ski areas and feature excellent terrain, snow quality and amenities. With a coalition of less crowded, affordable and welcoming resorts for just $199, the Indy Pass is by far the best value for a multi-resort pass in North America.  Including 6 ski areas in Michigan, you can't go wrong.  MORE INFO  

SKI INC. 2020

Chris Diamond's new book Ski Inc. 2020 launches Oct. 29: "The ski world has been turned upside down."


STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo.—Chris Diamond's award-winning first book, Ski Inc., had just hit bookshelves in December 2016 when shock waves reverberated through the ski resort landscape—quickly rippling down to impact millions of skiers and riders. In early 2017, the Alterra Mountain Company emerged to challenge Vail Resorts' supremacy, eventually buying 15 resorts, partnering with another 25-plus, and launching the Ikon Pass to compete with the Epic Pass. The story behind Alterra's rise is remarkable, as is the counter-offensive launched by Vail Resorts, which went on its own buying spree, punctuated by the just-closed purchase of Peak Resorts and its 17 areas.

Nothing like this has ever happened—for skiers and riders, for the resort business, or arguably for any industry. So Diamond decided to write a sequel, called Ski Inc. 2020, which goes on sale Oct. 29, just as hundreds of thousands of skiers and riders decide whether to buy Epic or Ikon.

As the former president of Steamboat in Colorado and Vermont's Mount Snow, he enjoyed unprecedented access to all the major players, and this behind-the-scenes account is an eye-opener, a colorful exploration and analysis that has already earned impressive praise from across the spectrum. "If you love winter, love mountains, and love to slide on snow, this book is a must-read," says Michael Berry, who served as president of the National Ski Areas Association for 25 years.

The resort transformation has created a heyday for skiers and riders, who are now able to access dozens of resorts for a dramatically reduced price. An estimated 1.5 million skiers will buy an Epic or Ikon pass for the 2019-20 season, and hundreds of thousands more will buy some type of value-oriented pass. 

When Diamond started Ski Inc. 2020, he thought it would be primarily the story of how these "Big Two" resort companies and their pass partners suddenly came to represent more than half of the U.S. ski resort business. But as he dug deeper, he discovered dynamic trajectories among the next three largest ski conglomerates (Boyne Resorts, POWDR and Peak Resorts, which has been acquired by Vail), plus ingenuity and innovation at a host of small- and medium-sized resorts, dozens of which are chronicled in the book.

Besides the widespread success of value season passes, which trade early commitment for dramatically reduced pricing, resorts large and small have polished their operations. The success starts with passionate leadership and extends to every line item. Resorts now avoid risky real-estate projects; vigorously market to and build relationships with digitally savvy customers; sharpen margins across all departments; and improve the product in every way. For an industry that historically suffered through peaks and valleys with the weather and economy, the result today is an impressive bottom-line consistency that has drawn investor interest worldwide.

There are daunting hurdles ahead, with climate change and sluggish participation trends at the top of the disrupter list, but the future is arguably brighter than ever. This book is a deep, colorful dive beneath the headlines, for any skier who wants to understand today's landscape. And it's a must read for anyone who works—or wants to work—in the ski industry. 


Advance Praise for Ski Inc. 2020


"Chris Diamond takes the reader to a higher level of understanding on the state of the ski-resort industry than anyone has ever done. "

Michael Berry

Former President, National Ski Areas Association 


"Ski Inc. 2020 accomplished in a matter of hours what I'd failed to do on my own in a decade: make sense of present-day resort headlines in the context of how we got here in the first place." 

Gregg Blanchard

Senior Vice President of Strategy, Inntopia

Social media guru @Slopefillers


"Ski Inc. 2020 provides an almost encyclopedic view of the industry today, from the biggest to the smallest players. It could be a textbook for anyone wanting to understand the landscape of the North American ski business, and how it has changed so dramatically in the past few years. "

Blaise Carrig

Former President, Vail Resorts Mountain Division


"Essential reading for anyone watching the resort industry carve into this new 'Golden Age.' Chris Diamond (and his colleague, Andy Bigford) deliver invaluable insights into the insular resort industry and its influence on mountain communities. "

Jason Blevins

Veteran industry reporter, Colorado Sun 


"Chris Diamond does it again. This time he tells the story of how an industry can disrupt itself and reignite growth by creating an exciting consumer proposition. The sequel is a good read for a ski enthusiast or a student of business."

Steve Reinemund

Former Chairman and CEO, PepsiCo

Former Dean, School of Business, Wake Forest University


Book Details

Title: Ski Inc. 2020

Subtitle: Alterra counters Vail Resorts; mega-passes transform the landscape; the industry responds and flourishes. For skiing? A North American Renaissance.

Author: Chris Diamond with Andy Bigford

Price: $29.95

Purchasing information: Launching Oct. 29, 2019, as a hardcover or e-book on Amazon.com (plus Barnes & Noble and Indiebound), and at select booksellers.

Publisher: Ski Diamond Publishing, Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Sales/Distribution: West Margin Press, Berkeley, California

Format: Hardcover, 272 pages, 40 photos, Index.

ISBN: 978-0-9979784-2-1

Library of Congress Control Number: 2019909294


About the Author


Chris Diamond is the award-winning author of the first Ski Inc., a resort consultant, and a veteran resort operator. He started his career as an assistant to the president of Killington in 1972, and was the president of Mount Snow, Vermont, from 1977 to 1994. From 1994 to 1996 he served as the vice president for Business Development and president of the Vermont resorts for S-K-I Ltd. He then spent 17 years at the helm of Steamboat Ski Resort before retiring in 2015. He is a past director and chairman of Colorado Ski Country USA and of the National Ski Areas Association, which presented him with its highest honor, the Lifetime Achievement Award, in 2013. Chris, who was inducted into the Colorado Ski Hall of Fame in 2017, lives in Steamboat Springs with his wife, Eileen.


Andy Bigford, who edited and collaborated in the writing of Ski Inc. 2020, has spent nearly 40 years in ski-related publishing, starting his career overseeing newspapers in Breckenridge and Aspen. He was the editor-in-chief and then publisher of SKI, and the general manager of Warren Miller Entertainment. 


HARBOR SPRINGS, MI - Long known for its Scottish-themed Main Lodge featuring quaint fieldstone floors and plaid carpets, Boyne Highlands resort is embarking on a huge transformation. Plans call for its Main Lodge to be renovated into an upscale, luxury hotel with newly-appointed rooms and suites.

Read More at MLive...


The high school nordic ski programs across the state of Michigan rotate host cities every three years between Traverse City, Marquette and Houghton but this upcoming winter each team will have the chance to race an entirely new course. Hickory Hills has been named the host site for the ski finals set to take place February 28th and 29th in 2020. See the report on UpNorthLive