Soft Snow, Long Days, Great Discounts Make Spring Skiing, Snowboarding Ideal


CLARKSTON, Mich., March 9 /PRNewswire/ — 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. 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 skiing is my favorite time of the year,” 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 the links to ski area websites available through MSIA’s website at http://www.goskimichigan.com/ .

Efficient snowmaking has given Michigan ski areas the ability to start the season earlier, provide more consistent conditions during the season and stay open longer into the spring, explains MacWilliams. Most ski areas across the state are scheduled to be open for at least a few more weeks and resorts like Nubs Nob, Shanty Creek, Crystal Mountain and Boyne Highlands (all in northern Lower Michigan) and all ski areas in the Upper Peninsula, have historically offered their guests extended seasons. Indianhead Mountain Resort in the Upper Peninsula also gets large quantities of lake effect snow during the winter and is able to take great advantage of it during the spring, holding its annual Spring Carnival in April and Ski Brule is typically the first ski area to open for the season and last to close.

Although there have been years when Ski Brule has pushed spring skiing to the extreme — as it did in the spring of 1996 when it was able to stay open until May 15 — 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, http://www.goskimichigan.com/ .

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