Great Midwest Skiing

by: freeski94 - Nov 24, 2010

  • Overall Rating 4
  • Family Friendly 5
  • All-Mtn. Terrain 3
  • Terrain Park 4
  • Nightlife 5

    Pros: # lifts, nightlife, ski school, terrain park, entertainment, winter carnival, more to come

    Cons: crowds and lift lines, older chairlifts, no food variety

    Recommended For: Singles, Family Friendly, Empty Nesters

    Date Visited: Jan 1, 2010


Full review

Let me start by saying I am a season pass holder and an avid skier. Though I skied at Wilmot almost every day they were open last year (total of about 85 days), I have also taken several trips out west to Jackson Hole, Big Sky, and a race clinic at Mount Hood. So I am not among those people that gives Wilmot a high rating simply because I've skied nowhere else.
Addresses to Previous Complaints:
Some of the complaints made by other users have been: poor grooming, poor employees, and crowds. These are just a few, and the most common. The only one of the above complaints that is true is concerning the crowds. Most of the people that stated this probably came on a weekend. You will be interested to know that on Saturdays and Sundays (especially Saturdays), Wilmot usually recieves between 10-20 buses. There have been some cases when I've counted 30. Is it the management's fault that it is a popular ski resort within a reasonable distance of Chicago and Rockford? No, it isn't. If the crowds bother you that much, come on a weekday or on Saturday afternoon. Most of these buses have left by 4 pm.
As for the poor grooming, once again you're wrong, folks. Wilmot grooms every hill well every morning. I know, becase I am often the first person there. However, when you've got a 40 degree day and thousands of people trafficking the runs, that grooming is not going to last long. Sure, Wilmot could groom during the afternoon as well, shutting the runs down for an hour. But that'd tick you off just as much, because imagine what the lodge would be like during that hour!
Employees have never been rude to me in 3 years of skiing regularly at Wilmot (I had previously had a season pass at Grand Geneva). If you're skiing or riding out of bounds or smoking somehting you shouldn't be smoking, or even just skiing recklessly, they have every right to call you out. As for chairlifts operators, sometimes they lack a gentle touch or even attention to their job. Most of the time this isn't the case, though, and when it is, tough it out folks. We're lucky to even be skiing, and to have it this close to home. We'd all rather Indianhead in Michigan, or Colorado, or even Granite Peak, but this is what we have and be thankful for it. And notice the little things every once in a while.
Good Impressions:
This section will be shorter, because I hope that you will discover these for yourselves. Season pass rates are very low if you buy early in the year. Monday through Thursay there are rarely lines. I can ski right into line and into a chair without stopping, especially on Mondays and Tuesdays. There are great bands, which used to play in the bar but will now be in the Iron Kettle, so children and teenagers can watch them as well if their parents aren't there. Turtle races on Wednesday nights, though slightly ridiculous, are fun and always make for a good time with friends. Wilmot's two major festivals, Winter Carnival near closing time, and New Year's Eve, are fantastic. There are fireworks, competitions with prizes, live music and large speakers outside, mascots and Kellogg's hot dogs roaming among the skiers, among other things. These nights make for great memories.
Another huge asset to Wilmot is their outstanding patrol and ski school. Say what you want about the Ski Patrol: Wilmot's is respected and known nationwide. The same goes for the ski school.
With that, I leave you to your own opinions. But remember that we don't live in Aspen. We don't have that privelege, but we do have the honor of skiing at a small little resort with a great mindset toward customer service and atmosphere. Give it a try sometime.

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