Crystal Mountain Inn at the Mountain expansion taking place. (Crystal Mountain)
Despite the warm winter across the Midwest last season that negatively impacted the ski season a half-dozen ski resorts are completing major projects for the 2016/17 winter season. Four are located in Michigan and one each in Ohio and Wisconsin.
Crystal Mountain, celebrating its 60th anniversary season, is well on the way to completing an $11 million expansion of the Inn at the Mountain. The new 31,000 square-foot expansion, which includes 25 hotel rooms and suites, a lobby bar, specialty market and an open-air rooftop terrace. It’s slated to open next summer. The expansion also included new downhill trails bringing the resort’s trail count to 58, and a new triple chair added last season.
Treetops is spending $4.5 million renovating and making much needed improvements to its Main Lodge and The Inn, both located on top of the ridge. The renovations, reflecting northern Michigan and nature, include lobby areas and rooms.
Caberfae Peaks added a new triple chairlift on its North Peak. Unloading at an elevation of 1,561 feet above sea level, it’s the highest chairlift in the Lower Peninsula. It offers a panoramic 360-degree view of the surrounding Manistee National Forest. On clear days you can catch a glimpse of Lake Michigan 40-some miles away.
The Heartland’s backcountry skiing giant Mount Bohemia expanded its snowcat skiing terrain on Voodoo Mountain adding an additional peak and 100 more acres of backcountry terrain. They also added a ski resort hostel with 24 coed bunks, two bathrooms and outdoor hot tub. On top of the hostel is the new Log Cabin Bar with its own sauna. More backcountry terrain was also opened on Bohemia Mountain.
Ohio’s Mad River Mountain is operating out of their new $6.5 million lodge replacing the old one that caught fire and burned last year. The new 46,000 square-foot structure includes fireplaces on both levels, dining area with seating for 800, a second floor bar, and a more upscale food and beverage operation. The 13th annual Louie Vito Rail Jam takes place Friday, Dec. 30, and the Olympian will be there to sign gear and autographs.
Wisconsin’s Wilmot Mountain guests will be able to experience the $13 million worth of improvements made this summer by new owner Vail. Improvements include new lifts, new restaurants, enhanced beginner area and terrain park and expanded snowmaking. Based on what Vail did for Minnesota’s Afton Alps and Michigan’s Mt. Brighton, Chicagoland skiers and boarders will love it.