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.
North Dakota has only three operating ski areas and all are located more in the center of the state and not along the more populated eastern border with Minnesota. Bottineau Winter Park is located along the Canadian border and Huff Hills Ski Area is near Mandan along the western slope of the Missouri River. Frostfire is located north of Fargo on the Canadian border. Fort Ransom's Bear Den Mountain, located south of Fargo, had closed several years ago.
Fat tire winter biking, an option at some resorts in Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula and northern Minnesota, also now offers rentals and one even lift service. Check it out.
Heartland snowsports enthusiasts can climb aboard Amtrak’s Empire Builder for an easy, scenic ride to Whitefish Mountain Resort. There are several places you can board the train. It leaves Chicago’s Union Station with stops in Milwaukee, the Twin Cities, and several other boarding locations across North Dakota and eastern Montana before arriving at Whitefish. When you book early, at least 7-14 days in advance, you can save 20-percent on your fare.
January is Learn to Ski and Snowboard month, and throughout the Midwest ski areas are offering discounted lesson programs. Michigan offers the only statewide program, which is available at ski areas throughout the Wolverine State. None of the other Heartland state associations offer a statewide program for easy access, cost, and simplicity. The nice thing is that if you live near either one of Michigan's peninsulas you can cross the border and enroll in a ski area near you.
Heartland snow sports enthusiasts don’t have to fly to Lake Tahoe to mix a little gaming and skiing or enjoy the enticing lodging packages that you find there because of the casinos. Just head to Terry Peak and South Dakota’s famed Black Hills.