While the slopes of Southeast Michigan’s Mount Brighton have hosted their last skier and boarder for this season, longtime visitors here are already anticipating what’s coming next winter and for winters beyond.

What’s driving it is the announcement by Vail Resorts that it will pump nearly $10 million in enhancements and upgrades into the 53-year-old resort it purchased in November.

The improvements, Vail said, are meant to “dramatically improve the guest experience” for the downhill area located west of metro Detroit, which also features golf in spring through fall.

Biggest improvements for the 2013-14 season will be seen on its runs. Upgrades to its six chairlifts and 11 surface tows will include a new quad lift. The resort will boast what Vail calls a significantly improved snowmaking system, adding to what has been considered already one of the region’s best.

The improvements will allow Mt. Brighton to open earlier, extend the season, and make more and higher-quality snow for its skiers and riders. Also on tap for boarders and freestylers will be new terrain parks with all-new features and rope tows, and a modernized base area.

Vail also announced earlier that its Epic Local Pass will offer Brighton season pass holders the opportunity to also ski eight western resorts from Colorado to Lake Tahoe for just $529, or $130 more than the current $399 Mt. Brighton season pass, if purchased now through April 15. Putting a $49 down payment now guarantees that price, with the remainder due on fall.

For any pass holder planning a western trip next year, the savings can easily surpass the $130 premium in only three days.

An Epic Child Pass also affords a winter’s fun at Brighton, and unlimited access to three resorts, and limited restrictions at three others, with a total of 10 days of skiing or boarding available at Vail and Beaver Creek.

The Epic pass starts at $689 for adults, and gives you unlimited skiing and boarding. will pay for itself in just five days of skiing at the eight western resorts it’s good for.