Otsego Club, home to the Heartland's only Olympic-size halfpipe, is hosting a USSA Revolution Tour event this winter—the tour's only Midwest stop. The Michigan event is a first for the tour—other stops include California, Colorado and Vermont.
The event is slated to take place in Gaylord, Mich. from Jan. 29 through Feb. 3. It draws the top USSA freestyle skiers and snowboarders for a weekend competition of halfpipe and slopestyle events.
"It's a huge event for the Midwest and our Olympic halfpipe," Otsego's Director of Operations Ryan Neptune said. "It's the first time that the tour has held an event in our area of the country."
However, it's not the first time that many of the USSA members have been to the Otsego Club. They have had the superpipe for the past two seasons and many of the team members trained here for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, and some made a stop here last season on the way from Colorado to Vermont in between events.
U.S. Snowboard Team members who stopped by last season included Olympian and Dew Tour champ Louie Vito; 19-year-old Kelly Marren, who placed second in the Women's Halfpipe at the 2009 USASA National Championships; and, Gretchen Bleiler, silver medal winner in the 2006 Olympics and X Games gold winner.
"I'll admit I was a little dubious when told we were stopping in Michigan on the way to Killington for the next Dew Tour stop. But, it's been eye opening," Marren said during her visit in January. "This is a top-notch facility, and Midwest people are really friendly. What I like is the repetition you get here. Out west we might go 15 or 20 minutes between halfpipe runs by the time you access a lift and get back up in position. Here the chairlift is next to the halfpipe, and you can turn it around in just a few minutes. It's a big advantage for halfpipe training."
Otsego, one of the oldest private ski clubs in the nation, opened to the public on Thursdays and Fridays for the first time in 60 years a couple of seasons ago and will continue that trend again this season. Michigan skiers and riders can now experience arguably one of the best all-mountain terrain parks in the Midwest.
For more information, visit the Otsego Club site.