CLARKSTON, Mich. — Shorter lift lines, low-season rates, carnivals and other fun activities plus some of the best snow conditions await skiers and snowboarders on Michigan ski slopes. Despite Michigan’s unseasonably warm winter, many ski areas remain open through the end of March, and some stay open well into April because of deep bases of machine-made snow.
“Spring is my favorite time of the year to ski,” says Steve Kershner, chairman of the Michigan Snowsports Industries Association (MSIA) and director of skiing at Shanty Creek in Bellaire. “The days are longer, the sun is high in the sky, the snow is soft and ski areas offer discount rates to get people on the slopes one last time.”
Spring carnivals with ski races across man-made ponds, costume contests, St. Patrick’s Day celebrations and other events abound. “Just about every ski area in the state has some sort of spring carnival with special reduced lift tickets or lodging rates,” states Mickey MacWilliams, MSIA executive director. She encourages skiers to check MSIA’s website, goskimichigan.com and click on the “News, Events, Specials & Discounts” button, which is updated almost daily. Easy links to Michigan ski area websites and snow conditions are also available from that Website.
“Efficient snowmaking has given Michigan ski areas the ability to provide consistently good snow conditions all winter long,” explains MacWilliams. Most ski areas across the state are scheduled to be open for at least a few more weeks. Those in the northern portion of the Lower Peninsula and those in the Upper Peninsula typically stay open at least into late March. Although some Michigan ski areas stay open into April, MacWilliams advises skiers to call ahead for snow conditions at the ski area they plan to visit, or to check online. Links to ski conditions across Michigan are available on MSIA’s website, goskimichigan.com.