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Michigan and Wisconsin Associations Offer Affordable Way To Access Slopes

Michigan and Wisconsin Associations Offer Affordable Way To Access Slopes

A powder day in Michigan. (Michigan Snowspnorts Industries Association)

The Michigan Snowsports Industries Association(MSIA) is offering a White Gold Card that allows you to ski or snowboard a full day at 35 Michigan ski areas, and Skiing Wisconsin is offering a coupon book allowing you a day at 16 participating Badger State ski areas. It keeps your lift ticket cost for the day to around $8.


The MSIA White Gold Card is $269, and divided by the 35 participating Wolverine State ski areas the daily cost is less than $8 for a day of snowsports. The Wisconsin coupon book is $130 and divided by 16 areas the lift ticket cost for the day is slightly more than $8. You are allowed to visit each of the participating areas once during the 2016/17 season. You get a lift ticket when you present the card or coupon book at the lift ticket window.

Michigan Snowsports Industries Association

With the White Gold Card also includes a free equipment tune-up, three hot waxing sessions, and a coupon for $20 off a purchase of $100 or more at participating retailers. The retail value is over $1,500, according to Mickie McWilliams, MSIA executive director. Only 400 are available each season.



The purchaser takes the card to the ski area lift ticket window where a corresponding square on the card is punched and you get a ticket. The only blackout time is through the Christmas/New Year Holiday period.

Sunburst

 

The Skiing Wisconsin coupon book is also printed in limited quantity. Keep your coupon book intact and present the entire book at each participating ski hill. They will take the coupon out.

Devil's Head Resort

A complete list of participating ski areas in each stare is available at both websites, and many of the top Midwest ski resorts are included. It’s a good deal for those that like to visit numerous ski areas throughout the winter. Both the card and coupon book normally sell out.

“We’ve found from past years sales of the White Gold Card that they go quickly. Skiers and riders are anxious to get the season started,” added McWilliams.


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Cascade Mountain In Midst Of $9 Million Expansion

Cascade Mountain In Midst Of $9 Million Expansion

One of the new lift towers is being lowered into place at Cascade Mountain. (Cascade/Facebook)

Wisconsin’s Cascade Mountain is completing phase one of a three-phase expansion in time for the 2016/17 season. The initial phase, pegged at $9 million, calls for two new chairlifts, seven new trails, expanded snowmaking, expanding the main lodge, paved parking and an additional groomer.


One of the new lifts, according to Cascade’s Randy Axelson, is a high-speed detachable quad replacing the old Cindy Pop Express, which will exit further up the hill accessing more terrain. The second new lift, a fixed-grip quad, will access the new trails on the east side of the ski hill. That will bring total trail count to 43. Six of the new trails are intermediate level and the other is a beginner trail that will tie into Far Out giving novice skiers and riders easy access back to the lodge.

Cascade Mountain

The ski area, once known for its tough skiing reputation, has over the years added easier terrain and more friendly runs to become a complete family area. The new runs and expansion of the east side of the ski hill have long been talked about.



“My dad, who started Cascade years ago, had always envisioned expanding the far east side of the ski hill and started cutting trails many years ago,” said Rob Walz, who along with his wife Vicki now owns the ski area. “It was time to take Cascade to the next level. I think our customers will really appreciate the new, long intermediate runs cascading down the east side of the Mountain.”

Cascade Mountain

Phase two includes another chairlift on the far east side, six more new trails, more parking and a new lodge of the far east side of the ski hill. Phase three calls for another new chairlift and six more trails. Upon completion Cascade will have 11 chairlifts, three surface tows, 55 trails and a snow tubing park. A time table for the next couple of phases has not been announced. 

Cascade Mountain

It’s one of the top day-trip areas in the Midwest. Only a snowball throw away from busy I-90/I-94, which the ski area overlooks, Chicago is three hours away, Milwaukee less than two, and Madison just a scant 30 minutes. Weekend crowds can be big, but the ski area is equipped to handle them.


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Buck Hill Opens Largest Artificial Ski Slope In North America

Buck Hill Opens Largest Artificial Ski Slope In North America

An artificial rendering of the new Neveplast slopes on Buck Hill. (Buck Hill)

Minnesota’s Buck Hill has long been known for its ski racing club, which, under the tutelage of head coach Eric Sailer, has produced countless ski racers for the U.S. Ski Team. Olympians Lindsey Vonn, Julia Mancuso, and Kristina Koznick grew up racing here. The iconic ski hill with its modest 310-foot vertical has been called the “Legendary Capitol of American ski racing.”


It’s also now known for having the largest artificial ski slope in North America, according to the ski area. Skiing and snowboarding are year-round sports at Buck. The new Neveplast slopes, which extend the full length of the ski hill, offer expert to beginner runs and even a terrain park. The synthetic surface is purported to have the same gliding surface as snow without using water. The artificial slopes remain in place year-round and work in the winter covered with snow.

Buck Hill

“We opened the slopes late last month and the acceptance has been good with skiers and snowboarders wanting to try them out,” said Buck’s Tom Schulz. “It’s going to attract new people to snowsports we believe, and it opens up year-round training for ski racers.”

Local snowsports reporter Greg Snow described the experience on Facebook, “Just like corn snow. It’s like spring skiing, but in September, amazing.”



An adult summer and fall slopes pass is $225 and children, 12 and under, is $175. Daily weekday lift tickets are respectively $26 and $16. Weekends are $32 and $20. You can use your own equipment, or rental is available. It’s recommended that you wear long pants and long sleeves.

This will work well with the ski area’s annual Shred ‘til You’re Dead Rail Jam October 29. In the past it was limited with ice scrapings. This year full on.

Buck Hill

Buck has 16 runs and eight lifts. The ski area sits just a stone's throw from I-35 and its bright lights on winter nights light up the southern gateway into the Twin Cities. A new Black Diamond Restaurant is now open daily.


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Insider’s Guide To Treetops Resort

Insider’s Guide To Treetops Resort

Cross country skiers approach a wilderness cabin at Treetops Resort. (Treetops)

Treetops Resort's high elevation and scenic beauty provide a perfect location for winter sports. Located east of Gaylord, Michigan, along a ridge overlooking the expansive Pigeon River Valley, it offers 23 runs, terrain parks, four chairlifts, and a couple of surface tows.

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October Ski Shows Hit Toronto and Chicago

October Ski Shows Hit Toronto and Chicago

Using an outdoor ramp, the Rockstar Energy Drink Pro-Am Rail Jam uses real snow allowing skiers and riders to throw down their best tricks. (Toronto Snow Show/Facebook)

Ski shows are always a signal that winter and snowsports season can’t be far behind. Even in this electronic age of instant communication people still love to come to the shows. You can often find some great ticket or vacation deals through the attending resorts.

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Amy Reents Is New MSAA Director As Chris Stoddard Steps Down

Amy Reents MWSALongtime Midwest Ski Areas Association (MSAA) Executive Director Chris Stoddard has stepped down after 25 years, and Amy Augustine Reents, who has been active in the Midwest ski industry for the past 25 years, has been named the new President/Executive Director.  

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Lutsen Mountain Still Loaded With Snow; Going Strong

Lutsen springMinnesota’s Lutsen Mountains will be the last Midwest ski area standing (ok, skiing) with its present plans to ski the remaining three weekends of April, which ends on May 1. 

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Ski Brule, Bohemia Hanging In For Skiers, Riders

Ski Brule, Mt. BohemiaTwo ski resorts in Michigan’s UP plan on skiing and riding this weekend, and one plans on staying open through mid-April. With the recent return of winter across the upper Great Lakes, conditions should be prime spring skiing and riding.

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Midwest's Wilmot To Get $13 Million Makeover By Vail Resorts

 

Wilmot MountainVail Resorts, which purchased Wilmot Mountain, located between Chicago and Milwaukee, in January, has announced that they will spend $13 million to completely transform the guest experience at one of the nation’s oldest ski areas. The ski area first opened in 1938.

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Mount Bohemia To Expand Voodoo Backcountry Terrain

Mt. Bohemia Voodoo CatThe Heartland’s backcountry skiing giant Mount Bohemia has confirmed that it plans to expand the snowcat skiing terrain on Voodoo Mountain this summer by adding an additional peak and 100 more acres of backcountry terrain to explore.  

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Women's Clinics, NASTAR Regionals Set For Minnesota

NASTAR Welch VillageFemale skiers and snowboarders will soon take center stage at three Minnesota resorts. The clinics will get you on course for the rest of the season, and one clinic will host a wine and cheese afterwards.

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Winter Carnivals Ready For Fun Across Midwest

Mad River cardboard raceMidwest ski areas are getting an early jump on the spring carnival season with family events, cardboard sled races, pond skims, family events and live music. It’s never too early to have some fun on the slopes.

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SnoCountry's Best Midwest Resorts For Fat Tire Snow Biking

Crystal Mt. fat tire bikesFat tire snow biking, popular at western and eastern ski resorts, has been gaining traction in the Midwest recently. Several ski resorts in Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula and northern Minnesota are now offering rentals and trails to ride. 

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Midwest Ski Areas Hit Significant Milestones In 2016

Mt. HollyTerry Peak, South Dakota, opened in 1936, and celebrates 80 years this year. It opened the same year as Sun Valley in the west and Bromley Mountain in the east, both credited with kicking off the North American ski resort industry. Terry Peak, with a 1,100-foot vertical drop, largest in the Heartland, offers true mountain skiing. Located in the Black Hills, it tops out near 7,000 feet.  

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Lower Midwest Ski Areas Scheduling Fun February Events And Clinics

Snow Trails Winter Carnival bikini raceThree lower Midwest ski areas have some fun events coming up later this month. Clinics, family festivals and the Heartland’s first winter carnival take place in February.

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Michigan’s Mount Bohemia Offers First Midwest Cat Skiing On New Voodoo Mountain

Mount BohemiaIt may be something you thought you would never hear about in the Midwest, but Mount Bohemia, in Michigan's UP, has opened Voodoo Mountain for cat skiing. It's the first commercial cat skiing area east of the Rockies.

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World Class Ski Jumping Comes To Michigan's UP Feb. 20-21

Mich ski jumpIt’s one of the more unusual ski weekends in the Midwest. Pine Mountain, Michigan’s UP, hosts an FIS sanctioned Continental Cup jumping event Feb. 20-21, which is often dubbed the “Midwest’s biggest winter tailgate party.”

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Looking For That Special Valentine Day Ski Trip In Midwest?

Homestead coupleWith Valentine’s Day just around the corner and coming on a weekend, here are some of my favorite Heartland spots to combine snow sports and romance. Enjoy.

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SnoCountry's Best Winter Ziplining, Coaster Rides In Midwest

Alpine Coaster Spirit MountainSeveral Midwest ski resorts are adding a little zip to their attractions, literally. Zip Lines have become a big addition at ski resorts across the country, especially in the western mountains and New England.

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Trip Report: Boyne Highlands Remains A Classic Midwestern Resort

Lisa Densmore clinicI’ve been skiing at Boyne Mountain and Boyne Highlands in Michigan since the mid-1970s and watched them grow over the plast 40 years. Both have added more terrain, trails and terrain parks and lots of non-ski related activities.

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