March means the start of warmer weather and longer days in Pure Michigan. It also means prime time for hitting the slopes! To learn about spring skiing in Michigan, we spoke with Mickey MacWillliams, executive director of the Michigan Snowsports Industries Association.
A: 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 in March. Many ski areas remain open through the end of March, and some stay open well into April because of deep bases of natural and machine-made snow. To entice folks to ski instead of fleeing to warmer climates, our ski areas have come up with some pretty creative ways to get us out on the slopes.
Q: Can you give us some examples?
A: 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. I encourage skiers to check MSIA’s website, goskimichigan.com and click on the “News, Events, Specials & Discounts” button, which is updated almost daily. Here is a link to that page. A Monster Energy Slush Cup race at Shanty Creek, Sausage Fest at Indianhead Mountain, Huck Finn Snowboard Series at Treetops Resort, Brew-Ski Festival at Boyne Highlands and a treasure hunt, moon bounce and petting zoo at Ski Brule are just a few of the events listed. Easy links to Michigan ski area websites and snow conditions are also available from that Website.
Q: Besides wacky events and beer, what else does spring skiing offer?
A: Spring is my favorite time of the year to ski. 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. Efficient snowmaking has given Michigan ski areas the ability to provide consistently good snow conditions all winter long,. Most ski areas across the state are scheduled to be open for at least a few more weeks. Those in the northern portion of the Lower Peninsula and those in the Upper Peninsula typically stay open at least into late March. Although some Michigan ski areas stay open into April, I always advise skiers to check the website for snow conditions at the ski area they plan to visit before heading out. Links to ski conditions across Michigan are available on MSIA’s website, here.