4/10/2013 9:00:00 AM Ski resorts report busy winter season
Jessica Evans News Manager
Compared to last year, when the area was seeing multiple 80 degree days in March and had a relatively mild winter overall, this season northern Michigan received its fair share of snow and cold temperatures, which boded well for local ski areas.
According to Erin Ernst, public relations manager for BOYNE, it has been a great winter season for both Boyne Highlands and Boyne Mountain.
"We finished the season up compared to last year at Boyne Highlands. The winter season at Boyne Mountain is still on-going with skiing and snowboarding available on weekends," Ernst said.
She noted traditional winter weather this year has made a difference in the amount of traffic Boyne Highlands and Boyne Mountain saw throughout the season.
"The weather this year was definitely a factor that contributed to increased business levels," she said. "We heard repeatedly all season long how fantastic the conditions were."
Last year, while Boyne Highlands was able to stay open for their annual spring Krazy Daze event, they were forced to close on March 20, a few days earlier than normal due to unseasonably warm weather. This year, the resort had no trouble making it to their March 24 close date and was also able to open for their 15th Annual Spring Board Meeting, a terrain park event which took place on April 6 and 7.
"Boyne Highlands strives to be the first resort in Michigan to open each season, and Boyne Mountain is one of the last resorts to be open in the spring offering skiing and riding for as long as quality conditions allow," Ernst said. "Since all our season passes and lift tickets offer skiing and riding at both resorts, this allows for the opportunity to enjoy a great long season on the slopes."
Jim Bartlett, general manager of Nub's Nob ski area, also noted that business was up this season.
"We had a great year," he said. "It wasn't a record-breaker, but it was much better than last year and probably the best we've seen since 2008."
Last year, due to the warm temperatures, Nub's Nob was forced to close their doors early. The ski area closed March 22, two days prior to their annual Mardi Gras event. This year couldn't have been more different. All of Nub's Nobs trails and runs were open and operating at 100-percent right up until they closed for the season on April 7, Bartlett said.
"This year was just about as good as you can get for March," he said. "Last spring, we were getting thunderstorms. This year, we were getting snowstorms."
"Easter was also early this year, and schools usually coordinate their spring break schedules with the holiday, so that kept us very busy, too," Bartlett added. "We saw a bump in business the week before and after Easter, and that, coupled with the great weather conditions, made for a great spring for us."
Bartlett noted his crew is starting to clean up for the season, but are already looking forward to next.
"We just want to tell everyone thank you for their support this year and we're planning to work hard this summer to get everything ready for another great season next winter," he said.