45+ Midwest Ski Areas Open, Terrain Based Learning Added, & Two Ski Areas Will Not Operate For 22/23
Updated: Jan 27
Major Snowmaking Push Leading To Impressive Thanksgiving Weekend
Thanksgiving has come and gone, and there was A LOT to be thankful for if you're a Midwest skier or snowboarder. A couple of weeks ago, the Midwest got hit with an extensive stretch of excellent snowmaking conditions. So naturally, ski areas took advantage, with nearly 80 ski areas firing up their snowmaking systems.
This stretch meant upper parts of the Midwest ran nearly 120 continuous snowmaking hours, and boy did it show because just days later, the Midwest saw over 45 ski areas open before or during the Thanksgiving weekend. Although I don't have tons of historical data on total Midwest openings, I would gather this is one of the strongest Thanksgiving weekend openers the Midwest has seen in a long time.
Even better, many ski areas are opening with plenty of terrain. Alpine Valley - Wisconsin, opened Monday morning with 100% of its terrain. Massive shout-out to all those snowmaking crews putting us snow every season.
Mother Nature Also Joins the Snowmaking Party
But we were even done there, oh no, no, no, because mother Nature also decided to join the snowmaking party, dumping feet of snow across Michigan's Upper and Lower Pennisula. But unfortunately, all good things must end, and the extended forecast quickly put an end to our snowmaking parade.
Temperatures across the Midwest quickly rose back to marginal conditions in some areas, such as Southern Michigan, straight to pond skim conditions. But worry not because snowmaking temperatures will return later this week into next week.
Two Midwest Ski Areas Not Operating This Season
A couple of ski areas that will not be making a comeback this season are Winter Park in Wisconsin and Frost Fire Park in North Dakota. Winter Park cited staffing issues as one of the biggest culprits. Frost Fire park had snowmaking infrastructure and staffing issues that will force them to halt operations for this season.
Both areas are hopeful of resuming operations for next season, but if you are willing to help, please reach out to these great ski areas as soon as possible.
BOHO $99 Season Pass Sale Now Live
And speaking of as soon as possible, you will want to act that fast if you plan to ski at Mount Bohemia this season because their annual $99 season pass sale is live and only lasts until December 1st.
And if you plan on skiing BOHO this season, you better pick up this pass. Not only does it pay for itself in 2 days, but BOHO is also no longer selling day tickets on Saturday. In addition, this pass not only gets you access to Bohemia, but they have also built out an impressive lineup of partners - giving you tickets to over 16 ski areas across the country.
Cascade Announces New Employee Scholarship Fund
And impressive is exactly what Cascade Mountain's employee incentives continue to be. Earlier this month, Cascade announced that they would contribute one dollar per hour for their high school staff work toward their college education.
First off, I love this approach - adding value where it counts. And second - a massive shout out to Cascade for continuing to innovate in a challenging labor market.
SAM's Terrain Park Contest
And innovation is percisely what you will find in SAM's 2022 Terrain Park Contest. SAM or Ski area Managements, 2022 Terrain Park Contest. This contest highlights the industry's top features, events, and park crews, and I'm happy to say that the Midwest is well represented.
Entries from Trollhaugen, Pine Knob, and Granite Peak made the list, so head over and vote for your local Midwest park - by clicking here.
3 Midwest Ski Areas Introduce Terrain Base Learning
Last month, Little Switzerland, Nordic Mountain, and The Rock Snowpark announced that they would implement terrain-based learning for this upcoming season. These resorts will join just a few ski areas Midwest to use this newer learning method.
If you're unfamiliar with Terrian Based Learning, this method of teaching skiing and boarding uses specifically shaped snow features to control speed and body position naturally. These elements remove the traditional fears and anxieties associated with first-timers and help them focus on fun!
It's always great to see ski areas implementing new teaching strategies - always working to grow our sport. Click here if you want to learn more about terrain-based learning from these ski areas.
NSAA Announces New Responsibly Code
And speaking of new things on the hill, NSAA, or the National Ski Areas Association, rolled out their new responsibility code this past month. The previous seven points were revised to now ten points. One previous point was split into two, and two new points were added to the code.
One of the new points was added to emphasize the importance of not skiing or riding under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and another to let skiers and riders know what to do when they get into a collision or other on-mountain incident.
Thank A Snowmaker Tour 2022
And I want to wrap up with the exciting news that we will be bringing back our Thank a snowmaker tour this season.. And, of course, it will be bigger and better than ever. Thanks to support from Techno Alpin, Bent Paddle Brewing Company, & Liquid Death - we are planning on Thanking over 25 Midwest snowmaking teams with water, swag, and of course, beer!
Although we don't know where or when we are starting this three-day journey, next week looks pretty good for snowmaking… wink wink…
But there you have it, your fix of Midwest ski news from the past few weeks. We will drop a link below if you want to check out our last episode. But until next time, I hope all of you have a great week, pray for snow, and I'll see you guys out there!