March Means Longer Daylight Hours And Spring Carnivals

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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.

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Long Time Upper Michigan Ski Area Under New Ownership

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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.

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Several Heartland Female Ski Clinics Through February

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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.

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Some Of The Midwest Best For Spring Break Family Getaways

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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.

 

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Treetops Offers Some Unusual Winter Outings For The Heartland

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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.

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Fat Tire Winter Biking Popular At Some Midwest Resorts

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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.

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Learning To Ski And Snowboard In Michigan Is Easy

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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.

 

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A Couple of Midwest Ski Associations Offer Savings On Lift Tickets

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What skier or snowboarder isn't looking for a way to save a buck or two on a daily lift ticket?

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Insiders Guide: Crystal Mountain

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Crystal Mountain may not be the biggest Midwest ski resort in terms of vertical, but they more than make up for that with great trails, terrain parks, numerous glades, and one of the best teaching areas around the Great Lakes.

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Three Midwest Ski Areas Hit Milestones This Season

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Three old-time Midwest ski areas that have aged well join the “baby boomer” generation. Turning 55 this season are Big Powderhorn, Michigan’s UP, and Welch Village, located in the deep river valleys southeast of the Twin Cities. Chestnut Mountain, the senior member of the group, turns 60 this season.

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Two Midwest States Offer Grade School Passports

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The Michigan Snowsports Industries Association (MSIA) and Minnesota Ski Areas Association offer passport programs that allow elementary-age kids to give skiing and snowboarding a try for free. In Michigan, it covers both fourth and fifth graders. Minnesota’s program covers just fourth graders. Surprisingly Wisconsin, the Heartland state just behind Michigan for a number of ski areas doesn't offer such a program.

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Insiders Guide: Boyne Highlands Resort

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Boyne Highlands' 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. An upgrade, transforming the iconic lodge into an upscale, luxury hotel is taking place in four phases with the first phase beginning this winter. When complete 85 newly furnished rooms and suites should be ready for next season.

Eats

The resort’s Saturday night Aonach Mor Moonlight Dinner held during January and February is a must; a sleigh ride up to the North Peak Lodge, elegantly set and a gourmet dinner with strolling minstrels tops off the evening. The popular dinner is being held nightly Dec. 26-30 and Jan. 1 and 4.The hotel dining room is one of the best in the Harbor Springs area. Overlooking the lit slopes is your “eye candy” for the meal. Teddy Griffin’s Roadhouse, just down the road, is a popular offsite restaurant.

Stay

The best place to stay is the hotel; the high-speed lift is right outside the door to the slopes. Two more nearby options: The Bartley House, a longtime family favorite, is home to the largest hot tub in the Midwest; the Heather Highlands Inn, just a short stroll from the main lodge, also offers hotel rooms and condominium suites.

Trails

The ski hill offers 55 runs, some over a mile long, four terrain parks, numerous glades, and eight lifts, including a high-speed quad. This classic Midwest ridge, bent and folded by the last retreating glacier, offers a visual distinctiveness with varied slopes and contours that are rare for the Heartland. It’s one of few resorts around the Great Lakes where you really need a trail map. The secluded North Face runs feel like a separate ski area. The front face offers over a dozen black-star slopes, one double-black and plenty of long cruising runs in between. Beginners have their own area and chairlift plus a magi-carpet.

Deals

Midweek three-night packages start from $98 per person, per night and include lift tickets and a hot buffet breakfast each morning. They are available all season long excluding holidays.

For Fun

When I first started visiting the resort years ago skiing was about the only reason you went. Today there are many other activities to enjoy. You can try the multiple-stage zipline tour, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, fat tire biking, horseback riding, and tubing in addition to skiing and riding.

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More Midwest Ski Areas Opening Over Next Couple Of Weeks

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With the winter-like cold air that's settled in over the Great Lakes, three more Midwest ski areas plan to open later this week with a couple more scheduled to open the following weekend.

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Combination Midwest Ski Passes Offer A Good Value

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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.

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Top Halloween Events Around Midwest Ski Resorts

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From a stroll in a haunted forest to great pumpkin races, and a zipline of terror a trio of Heartland ski resorts have some haunting good fun planned leading up to this Halloween. It’s also prime fall color for chairlift rides to the top of the ski hills for some brilliant vistas.

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New Season Pass Options For Heartlanders

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For Midwestern skiers that like to get in a lot of slope time around the country outside the Heartland, a few new options are available for this season.

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New Multi-Resort Ski Pass - The Indy Pass

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With season pass sale price deadlines fast approaching, skiers across the country are googling multi-resort season pass benefits, building pass comparison matrixes in Excel, and crunching day and dollar amounts to see which pass makes the most sense for the coming ski season: the Epic PassIkon Pass, or Mountain Collective.

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Bucket List Summer Events In The Mountains

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Luckily for mountain town lovers, activities and events aren’t just for the winter. Whether you’re looking to go full-in on biking, music, beer or food (or perhaps them all), mountain resorts across the country are your destination for summer fun. Keep that adventure bucket full with this list from SnoCountry on not-to-miss summer events.

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Best Of Both Worlds: Ski And Bike On The Same Day

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After harvesting the spring corn snow that’s still abundant this spring at many resorts around the country, you could just sit back and enjoy a frosty one on the deck. Or, you could kick up your outdoor game a notch with an afternoon bike ride that will make that end-of-day refreshment all the more rewarding.

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Boyne Mountain, Mount Bohemia Spring Challenge And More

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Once again the Spring Challenge between Michigan resorts Boyne Mountain and Mount Bohemia, located in the UP, is on. Which resort will keep the lifts turning longest and skiers and snowboarders on the slopes?

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