Great snow makes for happy snowboarders at Shanty Creek. (Shanty Creek/Facebook)
While results for the just finished Midwest snowsports season aren’t finalized yet at least northern Michigan resorts and ski areas are reporting they had a good season.
Shanty Creek Resort reported they had a good season, according to the Traverse City Ticker in a recent news article. The resort’s marketing director Chris Hale noted that the crucial holiday season, critical to having a strong season, “was as good this season as it was bad last season. December ski revenues were up 166-percent, contributing to an overall ski season increase of 23 percent.”
Crystal Mountain marketing director Brian Lawson also said the resort had a good winter season sharing that while it may not have been one of their best ever seasons, it was much better than last winter. “I would give this winter a B-plus. Snowsports sales were up double digits from last year, and we were able to stay open longer this season.”
The resort was recently named among the Top 12 Best Family Ski Resort in U.S. and Canada by Condé Nast Traveler in 2017. They cited “interesting terrain that's easy to manage—like playful runs through the woods, zippy racing courses, and fast chairlifts for easy repeats—keeping everything fun. That goes for parents, too, who dig the luxury cottage homes at the base.”
Mt. Holiday saw growth across all areas—lift ticket sales, lessons, rentals, tubing and lounge sales—compared to last season for the non-profit, community run ski area, according to Executive Director Ann Pettyjohn. “What was really exciting was that we had 189 kids in our community ‘learn to ski program,’ which was 43 more than the previous winter. That’s a good sign for the growth of snowsports.”
The city owned and operated Hickory Hills Ski Area also reported a record year in revenue and skier visits totaling near 15,000 this past season. The small ski area where Stein Eriksen once taught in the 1950s saw visitors from 14 states and four foreign countries; also records. It’s still serviced by five rope tows.
No report from Nubs Nob or Boyne Mountainand Boyne Highlands, but I would speculate that they also had a much better 2016/17 winter season than the 2015/16 season. Holiday conditions were also good for them and both the Nob and Mountain stayed open into April.