When visiting a ski resort for the first time, most people check out the trail map to plan their day. But whereas 30 years ago it was a paper map, today it is likely to be on a smartphone or computer.
Ski Girl's Rock on Afton Alps' slopes. (Afton Alps/Facebook)
Over the next few weeks seven Midwest ski areas are hosting women’s ski and snowboard clinics. Two ski areas are located in Indiana, and one each in Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin.
Crystal Mountain kids in lesson. (Crystal Mountain)
Many state and industry programs are offered throughout the west and east allowing elementary age kids the chance to give skiing and snowboarding a try throughout the winter. The Michigan Snowsports Industries Association (MSIA) offers one of the best in my opinion. It’s the only statewide program I could find being offered in the Midwest.
While this winter’s great season is still underway at a few resorts across the upper Midwest, now is the time to be thinking about your 2014/15 season pass. Some Heartland ski areas are currently offering their best prices of the year for a limited time. Many of these price incentives end this month.
Many season passes add extra value through discounted rentals, food, ski shop apparel, and other perks, but several Heartland season passes also include alliances with western and eastern ski resorts. Check them out. There are some good benefits if you’re planning a ski vacation outside the Midwest this winter.
Vail Resorts purchased two Midwest ski areas, Michigan’s Mt. Brighton and Afton Alps in Minnesota last winter, promising $10 million in improvements for each area during the off season, and it looks like they are on schedule.
Vail Resorts’ officials have announced the company is pumping a record $130 million to $140 million in capital improvements into eight of its nine ski resorts in four states.
Vail Resorts announced Thursday they are expanding into the Heartland with the purchase of Afton Alps, near the Twin Cities, and Mt. Brighton near Detroit. The news caught many Midwest ski industry people by surprise.