Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

Upper Peninsula ski hills work to stand out and attract customers with unique experiencesSubmitted: 03/22/2019
Rose McBride
Rose McBride
Reporter/Anchor
rmcbride@wjfw.com

Upper Peninsula ski hills work to stand out and attract customers with unique experiences
UPPER PENINSULA - Ski season might be coming to a close, but Kelly Guay and her crew are getting a spring break ski trip in before the snow melts. 

"We brought our tribe of ten of us," said Guay.


Guay and her group came up to Big Snow Resort from Stevens Point, something they've been doing all season. 

The Upper Peninsula is a popular spot for downhill skiers to get out on the slopes. 

But with a total population of fewer than 350,000 people and nearly 10 ski hills, those businesses have to draw in customers from elsewhere to stay afloat. 

Skiers coming from Chicago, Milwaukee, or Green Bay have a lot of options. So how do they choose?

"We really enjoy the snow conditions at both Blackjack and Indianhead," said Guay. 

Five years ago, Big Snow's two ski hills in Wakefield and Bessemer, Indianhead and Blackjack, came under one ownership.

"There was the same number of people who still ski [in the U.P.] and we were all fighting over that piece of that pie and we realized that two hills together kind of gave us a little more energy, a little bit of a better product," said Big Snow General Manager Tim Moon. 

The merger took away some of the competition between two very close hills.

But Moon says a lot of the competition actually comes from hills in Wisconsin, where people might be driving up from southern Wisconsin or Illinois. 

"Any of those hills that stop the traffic coming from those metro city areas," said Moon.

That's why it's important to create an experience that you can't get anywhere but the U.P.

"We want them up in the Northland. We really feel like it's a different experience up here," said Moon.
Nicole Pienkos and her family visit Ski Brule in Iron River for the same reason.

"It's just nice to get away and be in the peace and quiet of north," said Pienkos. 

They come up from Mequon once a year to get the full northern experience.

"The U.P. is blessed with a number of different areas for people to enjoy," said Ski Brule Operations Manager Jessica Polich. 

Like Big Snow, Ski Brule works to provide an experience guests can't get anywhere else.

As long as the snow keeps falling, people will keep traveling from far away to ski some of the best hills to Midwest has to offer. 


Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Beginning class at a new school can be stressful. But two new programs in the Rhinelander School District might help with that. 

This is the first year James Williams Middle School and Rhinelander High School will host programs called WEB and Link Crew, respectively.

+ Read More

BOULDER JUNCTION - One person died in a crash between a pickup truck and a van Thursday morning in Boulder Junction.

One other person was injured.

It happened at the intersection of Highway 51 and Highway H. The van, which was crossing Highway 51, failed to stop and was hit by the truck headed south on Highway 51. Emergency responders extricated one of the drivers.

The collision is still under investigation.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Northwoods business owners gathered at Nicolet College in Rhinelander Thursday for a presentation on how to become more cyber-secure.

Director of Grow North Brittany Beyer says online threats are evolving, and it's important for businesses to stay vigilant.

"We have to think about the continuity of business now that technology is so prevalent inside of how we do business," said Beyer. "We can't forget [about] it just because we're in the Northwoods."

The dark web consists of sites where people can purchase passwords, credit card numbers, and other personal information.

+ Read More

COLUMBIA COUNTY - An investigation clears officers after two men died in a crash following an attempted kidnapping in the Stevens Point area.

Two brothers with similar names, Ter-rance Phillit Simmons and Terrance P. Simmons, died in the crash in Columbia County in late April.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - You don't stop learning when you retire. Nicolet College in Rhinelander wants people who are retired, semi-retired, or even close to retiring to have fun while learning.

This is the 24th year for The Learning in Retirement program. Many people sign up for the classes. There is one person who will turn 100 in two weeks. She helped to start it all.

"We have members from 50 years old, now to 100 years old," said Nicolet College 50Plus Coordinator Brenda Peltier. "She was just spry and excited and she said, 'I started this along with a couple other people 24 years ago.'"

+ Read More

Play Video

MERRILL - By the time girls swim season begins, cool fall weather often makes outdoor pools too cold for the sport. At an early season meet in Lincoln County Thursday, athletes got the rare chance to swim under the sky.

+ Read More

BEAVER DAM - A car drove into a Wisconsin middle school late last night and caused a significant amount of damage.

A gaping hole is left where the car crashed into Beaver Dam Middle School last night.

A 30-year-old woman told officers she got in an argument with her roommate. The roommate drove off, allegedly under the influence of alcohol.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: