Long Time Upper Michigan Ski Area Under New Ownership
A longtime mainstay among Midwest ski areas, Marquette Mountain, in Michigan's UP, has been sold to Wisconsin industrialist Eric Jorgensen, whose company, JX Enterprises, serves the truck transportation industry around the Great Lakes.
Marquette Mountain, under the longtime ownership of Peter and Lois O'Dovero that began in 1987, had become an intricate part of the city of Marquette's winter tourism. The 600-foot ski hill is one of the largest around the Great Lakes. It offers 27 trails with some cut through rocky cliffs, a large terrain park with rails, features and tabletops, all serviced by three chairlifts and a surface tow. From the top of the mountain, you can see the city lights at night below you and Lake Superior during daylight hours. It attracts snowsports enthusiasts from all around Lake Michigan and normally stays open through March, sometimes into April.
The ski area opened in 1957 as Cliffs Ridge, which it stayed until the O'Dovero's bought it. Over the years they have invested in the ski area's infrastructure improving the snow-making system, adding new chairlifts and trails, and updating the day lodge. A few summer's ago they added lift-served mountain biking to the mix. Over the years the Mountain has proven to be a steady draw for city restaurants and motels during the winter months.
Northern Michigan University (NMU), located in Marquette, recently announced that they are adding varsity men's and women's alpine ski teams to their sports program. The skiers, using the Mountain as their home training site, will be competing in the United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association. In a news release NMU President Fritz Erickson, noted that the ski area was an important part of the community and the University was looking forward to a strong partnership with the new owners.
“A vibrant ski operation is an important part of recruiting students and employees to NMU,” he said.
The new owner, Jorgensen purportedly an avid skier and mountain biker, plans to build on the continued success of the ski area. Plans are expected to unfold over the next few years to enhance Marquette Mountain and strengthen ties with the city and university, according to MLIVE News.