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WINTER IN MICHIGAN

                    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
    Bessemer                                                906-229-5115
    Boyne
     Highlands   37        550/5,280            28       Bill Winchester
    Harbor Springs                                          800-GO-BOYNE
    Boyne
     Mountain    18        450/7,920            14       Bill Winchester
    Boyne Falls                                             800-GO-BOYNE
    Crystal
     Mountain    23        375/2,640            30          Nancy Story
    Thompsonville                                          616-378-2911
    Indianhead
     Mountain/
     Bear Creek  19        638/5,280             5          Connie Loden
    Wakefield                                               906-229-5181
    Shanty Creek-
     Schuss
     Mountain    28        400/5,280            27          Sally Hebdon
    Bellaire                                                616-533-8621
    Sugar Loaf   20        500/8,000            26          Pete Edwards
    Cedar                                                   616-228-5461
              A Sampling of Downhill Day-Skiing Facilities
                              Vertical Drop/
                    No. of     Longest Run
    Facility         Runs        (In feet)         Media Contact
    Alpine Valley     25         300/2,000         William Byberg
    Milford                                        313-887-2180
    Caberfae          21         470/2,640         Carol Potter
    Cadillac                                       616-862-3301
    Cannonsburg       12         250/1,600         Denise Zock
    Cannonsburg                                    616-874-6711
    Mt. Brighton      25         250/1,500         Diane Squires
    Brighton                                       313-229-9581
    Nub's Nob         22         427/5,000         Jim Bartlett
    Harbor Springs                                 616-526-2131
    Pine Knob         13         300/1,320         Mark Tibbitts
    Clarkston                                      313-625-0800
    Timber Ridge      15         250/2,000         Roger Rantz
    Gobles                                         616-694-9449
                              Snowboarding
    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
    Lewiston                                      517-786-2211
    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
    Headquarters                                  517-821-6661
    Roscommon
    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.
    -0-                         11/19/91
    /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
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Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 19, 1991
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