91.7 Ann Arbor/Detroit 104.1 Grand Rapids 91.3 Port Huron 89.7 Lansing 91.1 Flint
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Michigan ski resorts want snow for busiest week of the season

A snowboarder on Boyne Mountain in Northwest Michigan.
A snowboarder on Boyne Mountain in Northwest Michigan.

“Any resort operator will tell you this week between Christmas and New Years is a very very important week,” said Steve Kershner, president of the Michigan Snowsports Industries Association.

So far there’s been very little snow throughout the statecompared to average years. According to the National Weather Service, Grand Rapids hasn’t had such little snowfall since 1946.

The lack of snow worries resort operators like Kershner. “We call it the windowsill syndrome,” he explains, “You don’t have snow on your own windowsill you have a hard time believing there’s snow elsewhere.”

To combat it, he says almost every one of Michigan’s 38 ski resorts has a live webcam.  At least 30 of Michigan’s ski destinations are already open. Kershner says with such an important week ahead, resorts are “making snow like crazy.”

He says it has to be 28 degrees or below to make snow. If conditions are just right, Kershner says he can make 6 inches of snow on a run in a day at Shanty Creek Resorts. He directs of snowsports at the resort in between Gaylord and Traverse City.

Snowsports like skiing, snowboarding and cross country skiing make up about a third of Michigan’s tourism industry.

Lindsey Smith is a Peabody Award-winning journalist currently leading the station's Amplify Team. She previously served as Michigan Public's Morning News Editor, Investigative Reporter and West Michigan Reporter.