Vail Resorts has announced a 20% decrease in their Epic season passes for the 2021-22 ski season, and that also includes their Epic local passes at all their Midwest ski areas. A little bit of good news for those skiers that like to mainly ski local.
So much to cover in this week’s SnoCast as we dig out from feet of snow in the west, and eye new snow in the Midwest and Northeast—everyone gets something to finish off January.
This week, snow activity really begins to pick up. As more and more ski areas open, we'll have multiple storms out West and fast movers in the East to build up the bases.
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.
A couple of ski areas near Detroit offer a popular combination season pass that benefits thousands of snowsports enthusiasts in the Motor City. Four popular Ohio ski areas grouped around the Cleveland/Akron metropolis also offer a similar season pass, again benefiting thousands.
It’s the time of year when many consider ski pass purchases for next season. If you are happy skiing your favorite area only and not interested in passes offering multiple options, read no further. There are a few a few options for Heartland skiers that like to ski many areas over the winter, and three of the alternatives offer options for those that like to take a winter trip or three to the mountains.
Michigan snowboarder David Zemens and friend Sabato Caputo have set a new North American record for snowboarding the most ski areas in a 24-hour period. They were able to hit 16 ski areas starting Friday evening, Jan. 11 in the northern half of the Lower Peninsula and ending Saturday evening on Jan. 12 near Detroit.
The Michigan Snowsports Industries Association (MSIA) is offering a White Gold Card that allows you to ski or snowboard a full day at 33 Michigan ski areas, and Skiing Wisconsin offers a coupon book allowing you a day at 17 participating Badger State ski areas. It keeps your lift ticket cost for the day to around $8.
November has been good to many of us and the pattern to begin December is looking colder for most, with potential for more heavy storms.
Detroit-based Wisconsin Resorts Inc. and the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation announced Nov. 1 that a deal had been struck to purchase Searchmont Resort for $2 million.
The tenth annual So-Gnar Snowboard Camp Tour hits six Midwest ski areas over the next few weeks. It’s an opportunity for Midwest shredders to up their game and improve those skills.
Wisconsin ski areas were busy this past summer enhancing the experience for guests this coming season. Snowmaking upgrades topped the improvement lists, but there were also terrain park expansions, new runs, new lifts and improved beginner areas.
Little Switzerland has added a new high-speed rope tow in their terrain parks and expanded both their large and small parks. They also cleared a new trail called Easy Cheesey, which will be the easiest way down the hill. Snowmaking capacity was increased with the addition new fan guns.
Nordic Mountain, always one of the first to be fully open in the Badger State, once again added more snowmaking firepower and cleared a new winding, intermediate run called MeNords. They feel it will become one of their most popular once discovered.
Camp 10 increase both the capacity and efficiency of their snowmaking system, which they feel will allow them to open earlier in the season.
Alpine Valley, in the southern part of the state, tripled the size of the beginner area complete with four magic carpet lifts and added a new chairlift on their First Adventure beginner run.
Wilmot Valley, added over 5,000 feet of new high-pressure pipe and two new snow blowers between chairlifts 3 and 8 to increase and improve snowmaking efforts. They also added new LED lighting on five of their runs, overhauled chairlifts, and spruced up the day lodge.
Tyrol Basin improved their beginner terrain and added a new magic carpet lift for the upcoming season.
Sunburst’s Tubing Park was named as one of the Top 10 Tubing destinations in the nation recently by USA Today. They offer 42 lanes, two magic carpet lifts and speeds up to 42 mph cruising down the hill. Hold your breath.
Photos: Top -- Tyrol Basin made summer improvements (Tyrol Basin/Facebook); Right -- Alpine Valley triples beginner area (Alpine Valley/Facebook); Below -- Little Switzerland adds fan guns, new trail (Little Switzerland/Facebook).
The popular Skiing Wisconsin coupon book is still available in limited numbers and can be ordered online for $125. There are only about 280 left at press time, and the ski season isn’t far away. It’s perfect for the skier or rider that likes to visit numerous areas.
The addition of a new six-seat, high-speed lift on Lutsen’s Moose Mountain, costing $4.5 million, is good news for skiers and riders that frequent the Heartland’s biggest snowsports resort. A new quad and triple chair is in store at Ohio's Alpine Valley.
It’s a new concept for lower Midwest ski areas, which has been used by ski areas farther north in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan’s UP. It’s a boon for Buckeye skiers and riders.