New owner to invest $10M to update Mt. Brighton Ski Resort
Lon Horwedel | Ann Arbor News file photo
“We’re thrilled that Mt. Brighton is now a part of our family of resorts,” executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Vail Resorts Kirsten Lynch said in a statement.
“It’s a very special place steeped in snow sports tradition and we intend to honor that legacy by bringing additional enhancements to the ski area and creating more value for Michigan skiers and riders.”
According to a press release from the resort company, which acquired the Michigan resort in December, planned improvements to the mountain include improved snowmaking machines which will allow the resort to open earlier, extend the ski season, and offer a more consistent and high-quality snow surface.
There will be additions to the runs for skiers and snowboarders ranging from the beginning to the most advanced. New rope tows will make access to smaller hills easier, and new expanded terrain parks also will be added for experts to show off their skills.
The resort, about 20 miles north of Ann Arbor, has 26 trails and an 18-hole golf course.
The park’s seven chairlifts will also receive a face-lift, and a new quad chairlift will be installed before the 2013-2014 snow season arrives.
In addition to improvements to the resort, Vail also will be including Mount Brighton in their “Epic Pass” deal that allows skiers or snowboarders to ride at any Vail Resort throughout the snow season. The passes, which will cost $689 for adults and $359 for children, allow unlimited skiing at Vail resorts in Colorado and Lake Tahoe.
“Next winter, [Michigan skiers and riders will] be able to ski as much as they want in their own backyard and at eight world-class resorts out West,” Lynch said in the statement.
An “Epic Local Pass” also will be available for $529, $479 for university students, that allows unlimited skiing at Brighton and more limited offerings out west. A pass for just Mt. Brighton will coast $399 for adults, up four dollars from this season’s opening price of $395.
A similar $10 million investment is being made in the Afton Alps resort in Minnesota, which Vail also acquired in December. Company spokeswoman Kate Lessman said the investment will focus on the infrastructure of the resort and that there are no plans as of now to raise staffing levels at the site.
The new resorts are the first investments by Vail in ski properties east of Wyoming. Lessman said the company is extremely excited about the new opportunities that come with expanding into new ski terrain.