Michigan Skiers Now Skiing

By Michael Dwyer

Follow this Link to: Read Rochester Media’s Start of Season Ski Report First

The Middle of Winter

Southeast Michigan skiers and snowboarders are now hitting the slopes, again, at the local resorts. “The early start was nice to have” said Mark Tibbetts, general manager at Mt. Holly in Holly, MI. However, “the extreme weather events we’ve had didn’t help,” Tibbetts said regarding the amount of natural snowfall the area had which the villainous cold and the rain followed.

The forecast now looks more normal for this time of year. It’s not too cold, no rain, and Southeast Michigan still has lots of snow on the ground. All four area resorts, Mt. Brighton, Alpine Valley, Mt. Holly and Pine Knob are reporting up to 50 inches of base.

Mt. Brighton and Vail add $10 Million of Improvements

Terrain Park Action at Mt. Brighton

Terrain Park Action at Mt. Brighton

Vail Resorts purchased Mt. Brighton in the fall of 2012 and through the warmer months of 2013 added $10 million worth of much needed improvements. The snowmaking capabilities are nearly triple what they were with 43 new, energy-efficient snow guns, a new automated pump house, and 17,000 feet of higher capacity snowmaking pipe.

In addition to the snowmaking, Vail replaced several of Mt. Brighton’s aging chairlifts with new, quad chairlifts to move skiers and snowboarders up the hill more smoothly. They also replaced the rope tows in the beginner area with a surface lift (conveyor belt style) and re-graded the area.

New Terrain Park at Mt. Brighton is a Hit

New Terrain Park at Mt. Brighton is a Hit

Winter X Games builder and designer, Snow Park Technologies, worked with Mt. Brighton to create a brand new terrain park. Mt. Brighton also expanded the race area and added and new finish arena.

Down the mountain, visitors to Mr. Brighton will find the new Children’s Ski & Ride School Center. In fact, the entire base area facilities have been improved. New restaurants and bars have been replaced and a fancy fireplace is strategically placed to allow skiers and snowboards a chance to warm their toes and still have a good view of what’s going on outside.

“The construction projects … are designed to re-imagine every aspect of the guest experience at Mt. Brighton,” said Taylor Ogilvie, general manager at Mt. Brighton. “We think our guests will be delighted with the big improvements like the new lift and a complete restaurant remodel. But it’s the improvements like significantly increased snowmaking, enhanced beginners’ terrain and a new children’s ski and ride school center that will really define the new standard of Midwest skiing and riding.”

Mt. Brighton’s Epic Pass goes beyond skiing or riding at just one resort. There are different levels of the pass, however the main “Epic Pass” allows unlimited skiing or riding at Mt. Brighton, as well as most of the Vail resorts.

January is Learn to Ski Month in Michigan

Rochester Media suggests readers take advantage of the snow and learn to ski or snowboard this winter. Mt. Brighton, Pine Knob and Mt. Holly are the three local participating resorts. There are also several others around the state so newbies can make a weekend out of it.

Times and dates are limited with the program. Some resorts stretch the program into February. The resorts suggest calling in advance (ask for the ski school) to find out all the options. The program is for age 7 and up, $30 for skiing and $40 for snowboarding (not all resorts do both). Visit the Go Ski Michigan website for further details. 

Mt. Brighton Ski Resort


Mt. Holly


Pine Knob Ski & Snowboard Resort


Alpine Valley Ski Area
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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