A combination of natural snowfall and impressive snowmaking capacity is helping many areas to open their slopes this weekend.
Thanks to a string of cold nights that allowed for intensive snowmaking and a hefty dumping of lake effect snow to jumpstart the week, Michigan's Boyne Highlands Resort in Harbor Springs (pictured), is now open for the 2008-09 winter season and offered free skiing on opening day, yesterday (Wednesday 19th November).
Boyne Highlands opened the Heather slope and high speed four-place Heather Express chairlift for free skiing and riding to celebrate one of the earliest openings the resort has seen in 17 years. The slope and lift will resume operations today from Noon to 4:30 p.m. and Friday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with discounted lift tickets available. Additional terrain could open for the weekend.
Attributing to the milestone early opening is Boyne's new proprietary Low-E fan snowmaking guns. Over 150 of the new and converted Low-E guns were added to the already extensive snowmaking infrastructure at Boyne Highlands and Boyne Mountain providing higher quality snow and exceptional surface conditions throughout the winter with up to 40% greater efficiencies.
"We couldn't be happier with the start of this season - skiing and riding on November 19 is just plain unbelievable!" said Brad Keen, Boyne Highlands General Manager. "We're excited for skiers and snowboarders to be able to hit the slopes today and also to experience the lighter, dryer snow that our Boyne Low-E guns have been pumping out all week."
Boyne Highlands's sister resort, Boyne Mountain in Boyne Falls, will open terrain on Friday, November 21. At a minimum, the Hemlock and Boyneland slopes and Hemlock and Boyneland lifts will run Friday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Discounted lift tickets for the weekend range from $24-$35 and are free for children ages 8 and under. Boynes's lift tickets are interchangeable allowing access to both Boyne Highlands and Boyne Mountain with one lift ticket.
Snowmaking operations will continue as temperatures allow throughout the coming weeks.