Learn to Ski in Southeast Michigan this Winter

Area Resorts Open Early

Pine Knob (Clarkston), Mt. Holly (Holly), Alpine Valley (White Lake) and Mt. Brighton (Brighton) are the four ski and snowboard resorts in southeast Michigan. These landmark ski hills attract ski clubs, high school race teams, and recreational skiers and boarders from miles around.

Vail Resorts, Inc. now owns Mt. Brighton - photo by Michael Dwyer

Vail Resorts, Inc. now owns Mt. Brighton – photo by Michael Dwyer

Snowsport enthusiasts in Michigan had two surprises in 2013; last season stretched to the end of March and this season started earlier than ever. The local resorts opened before Thanksgiving, while a couple of warm-ups halted the early start. Now they are all open seven days a week with both day and evening sessions.

What’s New?

Pine Knob, Mt. Holly and Alpine Valley all added snowmaking capabilities and improved or remodeled parts of their ski area. For example, Mt. Holly’s new pump will add 20 percent to their snowmaking abilities.

Mt. Brighton tops the list with improvements this season with $10 million going into the 53-year-old resort. Vail Resorts, Inc. purchased Mt. Brighton in the fall of 2012 and spent a lot of time and money this summer.

Vail expanded the snowmaking capabilities at Mt. Brighton with 43 new, energy-efficient snow guns and a new automated pump house that will nearly triple the output to the snow guns. This will allow the resort to open earlier, build a greater base and recover more quickly from a winter warm-up.

Read Rochester Media’s follow-up article on all the changes at Mt. Brighton Here

Learn to Ski

Each resort offers lessons for all levels of skiing or snowboarding. Private, one-on-one lessons are the best; however, group lessons are also an option. Call each resort to hear about what each one offers during the time and day you want to visit.

Dress in layers. To stay warm and comfortable, use one pair of good socks, snow pants, winter coat, ski gloves, and rent a helmet. Scarves and long hair should be tucked into clothing.


Skiers and Snowboards get ready for a run at Mt. Brighton - photo by Michael Dwyer

Skiers and Snowboards get ready for a run at Mt. Brighton – photo by Michael Dwyer

One-Hour Private Lessons

Alpine Valley: $45
Mt. Brighton: $55
Mt. Holly: $55
Pine Knob: $55


Semi-Private One-Hour Lessons

Alpine Valley: $35 each person (two or more)
Mt. Brighton: $72 for two, $11 each additional (up to six total)
Mt. Holly: $55 first person, $22 each additional
Pine Knob: $55 first person, $22 each additional


Information for the local ski areas:

Alpine Valley Ski Area

Lift Tickets $25 – $50*
Rentals $25 (helmet $9)
Season Pass $550.00


Mt. Brighton Ski Resort

Lift Tickets $23 – $50*
Rentals $28 (helmet $7)
Season Pass $499.00


Mt. Holly

Lift Tickets $27 – $55*
Rentals $27 (helmet $10)
Season Pass $575.00


Pine Knob Ski & Snowboard Resort

Lift Tickets $27 – $55*
Rentals $27 (helmet $10)
Season Pass $575.00


*Lift Ticket prices vary from Beginner Area to All Area (plus all day/evening)

About Michael Dwyer

Michael Dwyer is a freelance content provider. Michael writes about happenings in the Rochester area, travels across Michigan and destinations around the world. Contact him at michael@rochestermedia.com.

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