The iconic vine covered Boyne Highlands hotel with the ski hill rising behind it. (Boyne Highlands)
A fire significantly damaged the Boyne Highlands hotel early Sunday morning, Dec. 11, with at least 12 people being transported to area hospitals, according to a story published by the Petoskey News Review.
A family is ready to hit the slopes for a day. (Boyne Highlands)
Pull up to the main lodge at Boyne Highlands and the classic three-story hotel with its vine-covered alpine motif and ski hill rising behind the roofline is arguably one of the most iconic views among Heartland ski resorts. Rising over 550 feet, the largest vertical in Lower Michigan, the ski hill offers 55 runs up to a mile long and eight lifts, including a high-speed quad. There are four terrain parks, a 13-foot halfpipe, and numerous glades scattered across the ridge.
Santa enjoys a run down the Shanty's Schuss Mountain slopes. (Shanty Creek)
With a forecast for cold weather and lake effect snow returning to northwest Lower Michigan later this week ski resorts are getting ready to celebrate the holiday season. Let’s hope Santa brings the snow.
Shanty Creek has several holiday events scheduled including the Sardine Special on Friday, Dec. 16, when you pack the car with as many people as possible and you all ski for the price of one, and breakfast and story time with Santa on Saturday, Dec. 17 and 23. On Christmas Day ski and ride free with Santa on the Schuss Mountain slopes. Just bring a non-perishable food item or clothing to donate. Holiday Ski Packages start from $184 per person, per night and includes lodging, lift ticket, breakfast and a group ski lesson.
Boyne Mountain and Boyne Highlands will be celebrating the sights and sounds of the holidays with lots of planned activities, dinners, holiday rail jams, and New Year’s Eve dinners, live bands and celebrations capped with fireworks over the ski slopes. For a complete event schedule you can click on either the Mountainor Highlands. Boyne’s 6-for-1 Day, six people can ski or ride at either resort for the price of one. It takes place Friday, Dec. 16, and celebrates North America’s first six-seat, high speed lift installed at Boyne Mountain in 1991.
Crystal Mountain will be celebrating holiday week Dec. 16 through Jan. 7, 2017. In honor of the resort’s 60th anniversary on Friday, Dec. 16 its 6-for $60 when six people can ski or ride for $60. Planned activities will be taking place every day—fat bike tours, snowshoe tours, horse drawn surrey rides—with dinners, live entertainment and New Year’s Eve celebrations. On Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, ski with Santa that afternoon.
Treetops Resort has family activities slated all day for Dec. 30, and three different New Year’s Eve dinners and celebrations; a family party, dance party and kid’s party. Overnight rates, including lodging, lift and breakfast voucher, start from $64 midweek and $80 on weekends in limited quantity.
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.
Fat 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.
Several 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.
I’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.
It may be a slow start to the Midwest ski season, but things are supposed to improve by the holidays and several Heartland resorts have plans to celebrate the season. Let’s all ask Santa to bring the snow.
Mountain top dining is popular at ski resorts in the west. But, there are a handful of resorts scattered around the Heartland that offer distinctive mountain top dining experiences as well.
Northwestern Lower Michigan around the Lake Michigan villages of Petoskey and Harbor Springs is known to Midwest snowsports enthusiasts as Boyne Country, home to Nubs Nob, Boyne Mountain and Boyne Highlands. They are offering some attractive early season lift and lodging packages.
Autumn sweeps across the upper Midwest like a blaze. Lakes and rivers shimmer in the Autumn sun add to the beauty. It’s time for a leaf-peeping trip.
It’s that time of year to be locking down your season pass for the coming winter. A Boyne Mountain or Boyne Highlands pass not only offers you the local resort, but the opportunity to purchase a M.A.X. Pass and ski or ride all across North America.
Zipline tours are popular pursuits at ski resorts along the east coast and out west. They are just starting to catch on in the Heartland. Ski resorts in Michigan and Wisconsin are now offering multiple station zipline tours.
Spring's longer, warmer days bring out the fun side of northern Michigan’s Boyne Country. Boyne Mountain and Highlands and Nubs Nob, all grouped around Petoskey, mean fun events and sliding into early April.
While mountaintop and sleigh ride dining have long been popular activities at western ski resorts, three northern Michigan resorts are now embracing the tradition with their own signature style. Offering interesting cuisine and breathtaking views along the way, Ski Brule, Boyne Highlands and Treetops tender a truly unique experience.
UPDATE (Jan. 27, 2015) Six University of Michigan fraternities and sororities have now been suspended by their national offices after causing thousands of dollars worth of damage at two ski resorts, according to university officials.
Women are taking center stage at several ski areas around the Heartland over the next few weeks as seven resorts are hosting female specific events and clinics this coming weekend and next month. Leading off are a couple Indiana ski areas, Perfect North Slopes and Paoli Peaks, which are hosting events this weekend.
One of the better ski hills in northern Michigan has always been Shanty Creek's Schuss Mountain slopes, but you really didn’t have slopeside accommodations unless you stayed in the aging village.
With all the early snowfall and great snowmaking weather that invaded northern Michigan in November the slopes are in great shape. Several resorts are offering some nice early season lift and lodging specials. Take advantage.