Videos: Gov. Snyder declares it's time to hit the slopes
Cannonsburg Ski Area had a bit of an “if you build it, they will come” experience following Christmas. With the assistance of snow machines, the ski resort opened for the 2012-2013 season on Wednesday, and, by nighttime, Mother Nature added a nice accumulation of snow to the slopes.
Though warmer temperatures inhibited the facility from opening earlier in the season, the ski resort is now in full swing and as long as it can continue to make snow, skiers and snowboarders will be swooshing down the slopes. Up North was a little luckier this year, with snow falling earlier in the season, allowing sports jocks to indulge in their favorite winter hobbies between the holidays.
Michigan sports enthusiasts have most of the winter season still ahead, however, and Gov. Rick Snyder wants Michiganders to take full advantage of the snow and ice this year. In fact, he recently issued a proclamation declaring January as "Discover Michigan Snow Sports Month."
"Winter travel accounts for nearly one-third of the $17.7 billion a year Michigan travel industry," said Steve Kershner, chairman of the Michigan Snowsports Industries Association and director of snowsports at Shanty Creek Resorts in Bellaire.
Kershner pointed out that all Michigan residents are within two hours of a ski area, regardless of where they live in the state. In fact, Michigan boasts a combined total of 51 ski areas, more than 260 lifts, about 1,000 runs, more than 50 terrain parks and hundreds of kilometers of groomed cross-country trails, according to the MSIA.
Don’t know how to ski? That’s not a problem. MSIA offers a program called Discover Michigan Skiing, which includes a beginner lesson, ski or snowboard rental equipment and a beginner area ski lift pass or cross-country trail pass.
Twenty-four ski facilities are offering the package, which is honored through Jan. 31. Prices are $20 for cross-country skiing, $30 for downhill skiing and $40 for snowboarding. The program is open to everyone age 7 and older.
If skiing or snowboarding aren’t personal favorites, that’s okay. Michigan has plenty of other options from which to choose. Pure Michigan just released 13 videos offering a sampling of winter fun for every winter personality, including snowshoeing, ice climbing, dog sledding and ice sailing.
For more information about Discover Michigan Skiing programs, Michigan's ski slopes, trails and retailers or to view the governor's proclamation, visit goskimichigan.com.