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SnoNews

The latest news, deals, and events from ski resorts throughout North America.

Top Five Family Runs In Midwest

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The Heartland is known for its family skiing and time together on the slopes, but, as often the case, family members take off in different directions. It’s not always easy to find slopes that can accommodate all members, but SnoCountry has found five resorts with runs that can keep all members interested and together.

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Biggest SnoCountry News Of 2018

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As we bid a fond farewell to 2018, the editors at SnoCountry take a look at the news that shaped skiing and riding at mountain resorts across North America over the year.

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Female Ski Clinics Taking Place Across Heartland

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Several ski areas located near Midwest major cities are hosting female ski clinics over the next month. Enjoy that slope time even more with improved form and confidence.

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Holiday Celebrations Around Midwest

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Winter is off to a great start across the Heartland, and several Midwest resorts have plans to celebrate the season. Santa may also take advantage of the good conditions.

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SnoCountry SnoShots: Midwest Ski/Ride Season Off To Great Start

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The 2018-19 winter is off to a great start all across the Midwest. Most ski areas across the upper tier of the Heartland and around the Great Lakes opened in November, and the rest across the Lower Midwest, Ohio, Indiana and Missouri, opened this past weekend or scheduled to open next weekend.

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Michigan, Wisconsin Associations Offer Ways To Reduce Lift Ticket Costs

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The Michigan Snowsports Industries Association (MSIA) is offering a White Gold Card that allows you to ski or snowboard a full day at 33 Michigan ski areas, and Skiing Wisconsin offers a coupon book allowing you a day at 17 participating Badger State ski areas. It keeps your lift ticket cost for the day to around $8.

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SnoCountry SnoCast: What A November; Here’s To December

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November has been good to many of us and the pattern to begin December is looking colder for most, with potential for more heavy storms.

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Ski Season Kicks Off Early Across Midwest

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Winter has arrived across the upper Midwest. Many ski areas and resorts are opening this weekend, and Thanksgiving Weekend also looks good if you want to get away for that first ski trip of the new season.

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Top Five Midwest Day Trip Ski Resorts

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Heartland big-city skiers and riders sometimes have to drive a little further to find a ski hill worthy for playing midweek hooky. But, hooky-worthy ski areas are around, and arriving mid-week you avoid the large weekend crowds.

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Canada’s Searchmont Resort Again Under American Ownership

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Detroit-based Wisconsin Resorts Inc. and the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation announced Nov. 1 that a deal had been struck to purchase Searchmont Resort for $2 million.

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Midwest Ski Resort Partners With Wyndham

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Pine Mountain Ski and Golf Resort, located near Iron Mountain in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, has announced a partnership with internationally known hospitality company Wyndham. It’s the first Heartland ski resort to join the Trademark Collection by Wyndham.

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Top Five Family Resorts In Midwest

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Family friendly terrain, ski and snowboard teaching programs, and a good variety of advanced and expert terrain. Here are my top five recommendations for ski resorts in the Midwest to keep a family of differing abilities happy.

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Best Midwest Fall Scenic Chairlift Views

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Autumn sweeps across the Midwest like a blaze this time of year. One of the best ways to enjoy breathtaking fall views is a slow chairlift ride to the top of the ski hill. Here’s some of the best around the upper Midwest.

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Some Old Midwest Standbys Turned 80 This Winter

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Wilmot Mountain in the early days. (Wilmot/Facebook) 

Three of the Heartland’s oldest ski areas, Granite Peak and Wilmot Mountain in Wisconsin, and Caberfae Peaks in Michigan, turned 80 this winter, and all are thriving well. 

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SnoCountry SnoCast: Heavy Wintry Mix With Temperature Swings

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Heavy rain and snow will hit places like Mad River in Ohio Friday. (Mad River Mountain/Facebook)

The East gets much warmer with a very heavy wintry mix, while the Midwest sees heavy snow, and the West stays in a favorable pattern too.

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Midwest Snowsports Associations Offer Affordable Slope Access

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Devil's Head slopes overlook Wisconsin River valley. (Devil's Head)

The Michigan Snowsports Industries Association (MSIA) is offering a White Gold Card that allows you to ski or snowboard a full day at 34 Michigan ski areas, and Skiing Wisconsin is offering a coupon book allowing you a day at 16 participating Badger State ski areas. It keeps your lift ticket cost for the day to around $8.

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Insider’s Guide To Whitecap Mountains Resort

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The Whitecap Mountains Lodge at base of ski area. (Whitecap Mountains/Facebook)

Whitecap Mountains is tucked next to Weber Lake in northern Wisconsin’s rugged Ponokee Mountain range. It’s Swiss village motif, complete with clock tower, provides an Old World atmosphere. The resorts ski runs spread across three peaks offers tree-lined trails that appeal to all levels and some of the most western-like terrain found around the Great Lakes. It’s also the only Midwestern winter resort with a mile-long chairlift that spans two mountains.

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Three Wisconsin Ski Areas Potentially Changing Ownership

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Wisconsin's Little Switzerland. (Little Switzerland/Facebook)

There are some changes coming in ownership shifts of three Wisconsin ski areas. One is set and the other two are possibilities.

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Save Travel Time And Enjoy Spring Break In Heartland Mountains

Save Travel Time And Enjoy Spring Break In Heartland Mountains

A skier enjoys a run down Rib Mountain at Granite Peak. (Granite Peak/Facebook)

Heartland skiers and riders on the western side of the Great Lakes have a couple of good choices for spring break on slopes close to home. Two ski resorts with mountain terrain and plenty of snow, one in Wisconsin and one in Minnesota, are just a drive away.


Lutsen Mountains, with currently over four feet of snow covering most slopes, is hosting Family Festival Weekend March 24-25. Starting from $129 per person the package includes two nights lodging, lift tickets and free ski rental for the entire family. There’s also a family fun night at the Summit Chalet topped off with a fireworks display over the mountains. Ski and stay four or more days and children (6-12) ski, stay, eat free and also get free equipment rental.

Lutsen Mountain makes great family photos.

“With a deep midwinter snowpack, the thaw has had minimal effect on our slope conditions,” Jim Vick, Lutsen spokesperson, told SnoCountry.  “Average base on the mountain is still four plus feet and long range forecasts show March temperatures skewing below average, giving every indication that we are good for skiing daily through April 9th and weekends until May.”

Mid-America's only gondola.

Travel Blue Book calls Lutsen Mountains one of the “Top Five Ski Resorts You May Not Have Heard Of.” It offers 1,000 skiable acres, an 860-foot skiable drop and 95 runs off four mountain peaks, each offering breathtaking views of Lake Superior. Add in, a new six-seat, high-speed lift, and mid-America’s only gondola and you have some of the best skiing and riding around the Great Lakes, according to the book.

Granite Peak slope conditions are in excellent shape.

Wisconsin’s Granite Peak just announced Spring Break Discounts through April 9. If you purchase a two-day lift ticket you get free rental equipment for both days, and you also get lift tickets for the third day, and every other day thereafter, for $30 adult and $20 for children (ages 6-12). There are also weekend and midweek lodging packages available.  

The Peak offers 75 trails, a 700-foot vertical drop and three high-speed lifts making it one of the largest ski areas in the Heartland. 



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Insiders Guide To Granite Peak

Insiders Guide To Granite Peak

Granite Peak offers three high-speed lifts. (Granite Peak/Facebook)

Reminiscent of Western resort towns, at night Granite Peak’s lit trails shimmer above Wausau, Wisconsin. Ribbons of light cascade down Rib Mountain towards the edge of the city. The ski area illuminates the mountain rising above the town, not commonplace in the Midwest.  


A full moon rises over Granite Peak and the city of Wausau.

Terrain/lifts. Offering 75 trails, four terrain parks, three high-speed lifts and a 700-foot vertical drop, it’s one of the largest ski areas in the Heartland. Terrain ranges from beginner areas with Magic Carpet lifts to advanced rocky chutes and mogul runs on the upper mountain. Glade skiing is available in abundance, and long blue cruisers are over a mile in length. Terrain parks have been rated among the best in the Midwest by Transworld Snowboarding. They typically stay open into the second week of April.

Enjoying the patio and outdoor grille on sunny day.

Eat/Drink. Base facilities include the historic Tenth Mountain Chalet, the 10,000-square-foot Sundance Chalet and a new outside patio area with overhead heaters, an outdoor grill and seating for 400. Wisconsin, known for Supper Clubs, has a couple of the best in Wausau; Michael’s Supper Club and Pine Woods Supper Club. Both offer themed décors and superb menus. Check out the Great Dane for fine handcrafted beers.

Granite Peak boasts a 700-foot vertical.

Stay. Granite Peak does not have lodging, but works with a variety of motels, hotels and quaint B&Bs that package with the ski area, some within a mile. Stay and ski packages can be made through the ski area online.

Play. Nearby Sylvan Hill Winter Recreation Area offers the longest, steepest tubing runs in the state, and Nine Mile Forest offers 33 kilometers of double-tracked and skate-lane trails for all levels of cross country skiers.

Granite Peak caters to kids and families.

Deals Spring vacation special, March 6-April 9, free rental equipment (ski or snowboard) with any two or more days of lift tickets. Online Spring Stock Up ticket sale through February, tickets for use March 6-April 9; save $90 on two day tickets and $130 on three day adult tickets, child (6-12) save $60 and $90 respectively.

Insider’s Tip: If you like steep and chutes the Blitzen Lift has two loading areas. Stay on the advanced trails by loading mid-station.



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