One thing seems certain, among the many new restrictions that will be in place at ski resorts around northern Michigan, get used to and be prepared to spend a lot more time outside. Time in lodges will be very limited.
Most Heartland ski areas and resorts are not planning on requiring reservations for daily access to the slopes, but are saying if you wait you may run into sold-out periods. Season pass holders will have priority access through reservations.
Ontario's Searchmont Resort announced on its website that they “have made the decision not to begin regular snowmaking this season due to significant cost and variable surrounding the Coronavirus.” They have also delayed season pass sales as well, also attributed to the Coronavirus.
Wild Mountain, about an hour northeast of the Twin Cities along the Minnesota/Wisconsin border, has opened the Front Stage terrain park with four to six terrain park features and rope tow uphill access.
Crystal Mountain is Michigan's first ski resort to give up metal wickets and sticky paper for chairlift access with the installation of a radio frequency identification device (RFID) ticketing and gate system.
Wild Mountain, which Dennis Raedeke opened in 1972, will be under new ownership this coming season. The sale was completed this past summer. The ski area was most recently under co-ownership of Raedeke's children, Amy Frischmon and Dan Raedeke.
The derelict Sugar Loaf Resort near Traverse City, MI, once one of the top ski resorts in the Wolverine State, was sold in 2017 to Jeff Katofsky, President of J. D. Market Acquisitions. The once-popular resort was shuttered in 2000 after the ski season and has fallen into disarray.
The abrupt end to the ski season, amid all the confusion, has prompted some Midwestern ski areas and resorts to push back the deadline for securing next season's annual pass at the best price point. Some have pushed the deadline to the end of this month, and others have pushed it back even further.
Indiana's Perfect North Slopes acquired West Virginia's Timberline Four Seasons Resort at an auction in November last year with a bid of $2.2 million. Timberline had filed for bankruptcy earlier last year when it abruptly closed for the 1918/19 season at the end of February. At the time Perfect North said they planned on having it open next season with substantial improvements.
The old Telemark Resort, near Cable, Wisconsin, hasn’t been open for winter activities for 20 years, and the lodge since 2013. A Florida based hospitality group had planned to reopen the shuttered resort, but the plans fell through.
Whitefish Mountain Resort will begin a two-phase operation geared towards improving access to Hellroaring Basin terrain for all ability levels and moving Chair 8 to allow for earlier seasonal access to the Basin trails.
One of the Heartland's oldest ski areas, Wisconsin's Wilmot Mountain, is celebrating its 82nd year in business in 2020. Indianhead, part of the UP's Big Snow Resort, is celebrating 60 this spring and Mt. Bohemia, also located in Michigan's UP is turning 20.
Spring is in the air across the Heartland, which means softer temperatures and longer daylight hours to enjoy the slopes. Many ski areas celebrate the season with spring carnivals. SnoCountry takes a look at some of the best upcoming this month.
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.
Mad River Mountain is a scenic Ohio ski area that offers a nice variety of trails and plenty of uphill capacity spread out over 300 acres. Winding down narrow wooded trails looking out across the valley below, you could almost imagine that you were in Vermont complete with fencerows, dairy herds, rustic red barns, and silos. With nearby lodging in Marysville, it makes a nice quick weekend getaway for thousands of snowsports enthusiasts from Dayton, Lima, and Columbus, Ohio, as well as from Fort Wayne and Indianapolis, Indiana.
Over the next few weeks six Midwest ski areas are hosting women’s ski and snowboard clinics. It's a great chance to brush up before heading west on your spring trip.
Family-friendly terrain, teaching programs, and a good variety of advanced and expert terrain. Here's a half-dozen of the top family resorts in the Heartland that will keep a family of differing abilities happy for a spring break getaway.
All Midwest resorts offer a good array of trails, lifts and your more common winter outings like cross country skiing and snowshoeing. A few offer fat tire winter biking, but if you really want some unusual choices for a neat winter experience check out Michigan's Treetops Resort.