Early Opening for Michigan, Ohio and West Virginia Resorts

Early snowfall, along with state-of-the-art snowmaking equipment, will allow many North American ski resorts to be up and running for the Thanksgiving Weekend this year. Among resorts opening early are Boston Mills Ski Resort and Mad River Mountain in Ohio; Snowshoe Mountain Ski Resort and Timberline Four Seasons Resort in West Virginia; and Crystal Mountain and Mount Brighton Ski Resort in Michigan.

Mount Brighton had already opened one lift servicing three runs and as many terrain park features on Monday, with discounted lift ticket prices for snow skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts. Mount Brighton Ski Resort GM Taylor Ogilvie noted in an interview that the ski area will continue with special pricing in the week as more runs open up. Skiers may want to take advantage of these early-bird specials, as once the resort is running at full steam for the season, prices will revert to standard rates. A new lift and additional snowmaking equipment are part of the investment Vail Resorts has made since acquiring Mount Brighton in December 2012. The lodge at Mount Brighton has been renovated and, thanks to snowmaking equipment, natural snow supplements manufactured snow, rather than the other way around. Mount Brighton will be open on Thanksgiving Day from 10am to 3pm, allowing for ski enthusiasts to get in some time on the slopes and still enjoy Thanksgiving dinner.

In Ohio, the Boston Mills Ski Resort will be starting up its lifts at 3:30pm on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Considering the weather patterns over the past few years, which delayed opening due to warm temperatures and lack of snow, this early opening is stirring up excitement among staff and skiers alike. Product manager at Boston Mills, Steve Mackle, noted that the resort has been making snow all week and is planning for a bumper opening, regardless of natural snowfall. Boston Mills is a great snow tubing venue for snow-sport fans of all ages – no skill or experience required.

In West Virginia, Snowshoe Mountain Ski Resort opened Wednesday, with Timberline four Seasons Resort sticking to its plans to open December 12, followed by Winterplace Ski Resort and Canaan Valley on December 14. These days may change if the area receives sufficient snowfall.

Northern Michigan’s Crystal Mountain Ski Resort is planning a Thanksgiving Day opening for the first time in many years. Public relations manager at Crystal Mountain, Tom Kramer, noted that relying on Mother Nature to supply all the snow for the resort is not an option anymore and snow-guns have been working virtually nonstop for a week to provide coverage, while temperatures continue to be low enough for the snow cover to last. The resort’s new winch cat has been pushing loads of snow uphill to areas that were once out of reach for grooming.

Certainly, snow sport enthusiasts have much to look forward to this coming holiday weekend, and hopefully for the remainder of the 2013/2014 season.