Boyne Mt. snowmaking

Thanksgiving is typically when many Midwest ski resorts hope to open for the season. A few have already opened, and several are offering discounted overnight packages for early season snowsports enthusiasts ready to kick-start the season. 

Lutsen Mountains, in Minnesota’s Arrowhead, plans on opening Nov. 16 and is offering an Opening Weekend overnight package that includes a nights lodging and a two-day lift ticket starting from $69 per person, based on quad occupancy. From Nov. 16 through Dec. 25 a night’s lodging and a two-day lift ticket is $109 per person. A two-night minimum applies.  Lutsen guarantees 20 runs open by the first weekend in December. Buy “early bird” multiple-day lift tickets online by Nov. 15 to save off the window rate. 

Ski Brule, in Michigan’s UP, has opened for the season, and will be hosting its 22nd annual Thanksgiving Race Camp Nov. 22-25.  Fees are $60 per day or $220 for all four days. The resort will be serving Thanksgiving Dinner. Lodging rates start from $105 for two people. Advanced lift tickets, good anytime throughout the season, are currently $32 online for a limited time. The daily rate at the window this season will be $42 for an adult lift ticket.

Wild Mountain, open for the season, will also be hosting a Thanksgiving Race Camp Nov. 23-25. The cost is $65 per day or $170 for all three days.

Granite Peak, central Wisconsin, plans to open Nov. 17, close for three days, and reopen Thanksgiving for the season. Family three-day ski packages, two adults and two children, start from $397. Couples start from $337 for three nights and three days of skiing/riding. Wausau events include the Festival of Trees, Breakfast with Santa, and the Peak’s Thanksjibbing Rail Jam Saturday. 

Michigan’s Boyne Mountain hopes to be open for the season and will be hosting a variety of activities over the holidays, including Zipline Adventure Tours, horseback trail rides, Avalanche Bay Indoor Waterpark, Michigan beer and wine tasting events, holiday open houses and a Santa Parade Friday in downtown Boyne City. Everett’s will be serving a Thanksgiving buffet. Overnight accommodations of two or more nights receive a 10-percent discount. Starting rates in the Clock Tower Lodge, recently remodeled, start from $130 per night, and from $158 per night in the Mountain Grand Lodge and Spa.
Crystal Mountain, southeast of Traverse City, plans to be open for skiing and riding Thanksgiving, weather permitting. They will be hosting a Thanksgiving Family Reconnect Weekend with planned activities including, a Turkey Vulture 5K run/walk, a Thanksgiving Day buffet, lighting the resort for the holidays, and Holiday Trail Celebration. Stay one night and receive a second night free.

A couple of other Heartland ski resorts that hope to be open for Thanksgiving include Illinois’ Chestnut Mountain and Devil’s Head Resort in the Badger State. Both will be offering ski lodging packages.

Devil’s Head, which installed a new Dopplemayr quad chair over the summer, will be offering half-price lift tickets for the weekend and $60 hotel rooms that can sleep up to six people. 

Chestnut Mountain, overlooking the Mississippi River near Galena, will be offering a Thanksgiving Day feast in the Sunset Grille. The resort’s "No Thrills, Just Thrills" package includes Friday and Saturday night lodging and a two-day lift ticket starting from $115 per person, per night, based on double occupancy. One night’s lodging, Sunday-Thursday, includes a lift ticket starts from $79.95 per person, based on double occupancy.

Giant's Ridge, in Minnesota's Iron Range, also plans an opening the day after Thanksgiving. The nearby Holiday Inn is offering 30-percent off on November weekends.

Ski areas all across the Midwest will soon be opening for the season. Stay tuned.

Photo: Boyne Mt. snowmaking start (Boyne Facebook)