WINTER IN MICHIGAN
LANSING, Mich., Nov. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Winter is an acquired taste.
But in Michigan, it's easy to acquire. And those who get it here soon find themselves spicing it up and sharing it with family and friends.
The selection is great: 42 downhill ski facilities ranging from plush to rustic; ski hills from 100 feet to well over 600; more than 2,000 miles of cross-country trails; and sports such as snowshoeing, snowboarding, snowmobiling and tobogganing.
Downhill skiing has become a family sport at many Michigan resorts. Many, in fact, are geared primarily to family groups, with ski schools for children as well as adults, children's activities, and family packages at family prices. In fact, some provide free lodging and skiing for children who stay with their parents.
Michigan also offers winter sports and activities you can watch: ski flying in the Upper Peninsula at the only ski-flying hill in North America, cross-country racing at the North American VASA, as well as dog-sled racing. There are sports that allow you to sit down -- snowmobiling or ice fishing, for example. Or watch ice carvers and snow sculptors at the Ice Sculpture Spectacular in Plymouth and the Michigan Technological University Winter Carnival at Houghton. Party on the ice at Houghton Lake's winter classic Tip-Up Town USA. Golf on the ice of Spring Lake during the annual Polar Ice Cap Golf Tournament. There's even winter canoeing on the Au Sable River.
MICHIGAN DOWNHILL SKIING
With 42 Alpine skiing facilities, Michigan offers some of the best skiing in the Midwest -- for beginning, intermediate and advanced skiers. Facilities range from full-service resorts to the day-skiing hills that led Rand McNally to call Detroit the Midwest Ski Capital. Most facilities offer lessons for the beginning and intermediate skier, while advanced skiers will be challenged at such resorts as Indianhead Mountain/Bear Creek, Boyne Mountain, and Sugar Loaf. Throughout the state, plentiful natural snow is supplemented by some of the most advanced snow-making equipment in the world.
During Jan. 6-31, 1992, the Michigan Ski Industry Association is sponsoring the "Discover Michigan Skiing" program. This is a learn-to- ski program that includes a beginner lesson, equipment rental and lift ticket at more than 40 ski facilities throughout the state. The cost is $20 for adults, $10 for children age 7-14. Call 313-332-5050 for additional information.
A Sampling of Full-Service Ski Resorts
Facility Number Vertical Drop/ Cross Country Media
of Runs Longest Run Trails Contact
(In feet) (In Km)
Blackjack 17 464/5,200 25 John Patrick
Highlands 37 550/5,280 28 Bill Winchester
Harbor Springs 800-GO-BOYNE
Mountain 18 450/7,920 14 Bill Winchester
Boyne Falls 800-GO-BOYNE
Mountain 23 375/2,640 30 Nancy Story
Bear Creek 19 638/5,280 5 Connie Loden
Mountain 28 400/5,280 27 Sally Hebdon
Sugar Loaf 20 500/8,000 26 Pete Edwards
A Sampling of Downhill Day-Skiing Facilities
No. of Longest Run
Facility Runs (In feet) Media Contact
Alpine Valley 25 300/2,000 William Byberg
Caberfae 21 470/2,640 Carol Potter
Cannonsburg 12 250/1,600 Denise Zock
Mt. Brighton 25 250/1,500 Diane Squires
Nub's Nob 22 427/5,000 Jim Bartlett
Harbor Springs 616-526-2131
Pine Knob 13 300/1,320 Mark Tibbitts
Timber Ridge 15 250/2,000 Roger Rantz
Snowboarding is snowballing all over Michigan. This hybrid combines downhill skiing, surfing, and skateboarding and has hit Michigan downhill resorts like an avalanche. There are more than 30 facilities offering snowboarding -- many also offer lessons and equipment rental. Facilities with dedicated snowboarding runs include Crystal Mountain Resort, Sugar Loaf Resort, and Blackjack Ski Resort. (Use media contacts from full-service resorts).
For a complete listing of downhill facilities, consult the "Michigan Winter Travel Guide."
MICHIGAN CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING
More than 1,500 kilometers of cross-country ski trails lace Michigan's millions of forested acres. They range from groomed, well-plotted trails at luxury resorts to trails that pass cozy bed-and- breakfast inns to some of the best wilderness pathways in the Midwest. Since this, like any sport, is more fun when done right, many properties offer instruction too.
On Sunday, Jan. 5, 1992, the Northern Michigan Nordic Ski Council is sponsoring "Ski the Trails Free Day." Free trail passes and half-hour group lessons will be offered at participating facilities. For details about this program, contact the Northern Michigan Nordic Ski Council at 616-271-6314.
A Sampling of Cross-Country Ski Facilities
Facility Length of Trail Media Contact
Grand Traverse Resort 22 km David Waskiewicz
Traverse City 616-938-2100
The Midwest's largest four-star resort offers groomed trails and the longest lighted cross-country ski trail (6 km) in the Midwest. A "Free Ski Escape" package, available during the ski season, includes unlimited skiing on the resort's trail system and free use of ski equipment or discount on lift tickets at select downhill ski resorts in the area.
Garland Resort 40 km Greg Herning
Garland offers groomed trails for both diagonal and free-style skiing. Cross-country ski packages include lodging, breakfast, dinner, ski equipment, rental, and one lesson.
The Homestead Resort 36 km Robert DeKorne
Glen Arbor 616-334-5118
The Homestead Resort has 36 km of cross-country trails and lies adjacent to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, which contains some of the highest fresh-water sand dunes in North America. The dunes provide skiers with some of Michigan's most challenging cross-country trails. Full-time instructors offer lessons for kids and adults, from novices to experts.
Cross-Country Ski 24 km Bob Frye
Every Saturday during January and February, an "introduction to classic and skate skiing free clinic" will be offered. Proper equipment will be furnished at no charge for those who need it, on a first-come, first-served basis. Cross-Country Ski Headquarters has 4 km of lighted trails for night skiing, a picnic area at "Trapper's Cabin" log shelter, and offers other special programs throughout the season.
Travelers needing more information may write the Michigan Travel Bureau at P.O. Box 30226, Lansing, MI 48909; or call toll-free in the United States and Canada, 800-5432-YES.
/CONTACT: Sue Wagner or Cindy Snyder of Michigan Travel Bureau, 517-373-9613/ CO: Michigan Travel Bureau ST: Michigan IN: LEI SU: FC -- NYSFNS11 -- 4747 11/19/91 07:22 EST