Skip to main content
Bridge Michigan
Michigan’s nonpartisan, nonprofit news source

Mild temps, lack of snow force Michigan ski resorts to close for the season

skier on a hill
Michigan ski resorts are closing several weeks earlier in the season due to lack of snow. (Courtesy of Mount Bohemia)
  • Ski resorts across Michigan have closed for the season, earlier than normal
  • Many resorts typically stay open until April and sometimes even May
  • The closures are due to the lack of snowfall this winter

This year’s mild winter has impacted all aspects of Michigan’s outdoor activities associated with the season — from the cancellation of Black Lake winter sturgeon fishing season to the UP 200 dog sled race for the second year in a row. Now, ski resorts across the state that were once open well into spring have closed their doors for the season. 

“Due to the weather this year, ski areas … are closing earlier than normal because they just can't keep the snow on their slopes,” Mickey MacWilliams, president and executive director of the Michigan Snowsports Industries Association, told Bridge Michigan.


“It's not time to get out your golf clubs yet, there are still ski areas open. This has been a very trying winter, but it's important for people to get out there and enjoy it,” she said. 


Mount Bohemia Ski Resort in Lac La Belle in Keweenaw County announced on social media that it was closing for the season on Sunday after its 24th annual Mardi Gras celebration.  In some seasons, the resort had been open until the first week of May.

“We're only 24 years old. This was the first super strong El Nino in our history,” Lonie Glieberman, president of Mount Bohemia, told Bridge. 

The resort has 106 trails and several were closed this season because of the lack of snow, and the resort does not have the capacity to make snow, Glieberman said. 

Shanty Creek Resort in Antrim County announced Tuesday that the Schuss Mountain Ski area will be closed for the season following the resort’s Slush Cup event on Saturday. 

“Unfortunately, unseasonably warm temperatures combined with large amounts of rain overnight have taken a significant toll on the slopes of Schuss Mountain,” according to the resort's social media. “The long-term forecast looks just as unforgiving as our overnight weather, so a course change is necessary.”

“While the ending of the season is always inevitable, closing early is not how we had hoped to go,” the resort said in its social media post. 

The Slush Cup is a popular event where skiers try to cross a slushy, 40-foot pond, some wearing crazy costumes. 

Other ski resorts in northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula have followed suit and closed early, including. Big Powderhorn Mountain Resort in Bessemer and Mt. Zion Ski Hill in Ironwood. 


In southeast Michigan, Mt. Holly Ski Resort called it a season on Wednesday, as did Alpine Valley Ski Resort in White Lake Township and Mt. Brighton in Livingston County. The metro area's other popular resort, Pine Knob, announced it is closed on Wednesday and Thursday and will evaluate whether to reopen this weekend.

Relief for small businesses 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture declared 42 counties in the Upper Peninsula and northern Lower Peninsula drought areas because of the mild winter and lack of snow. 

The Small Business Administration is making loans available to small businesses in these areas to help offset business losses. Eligible businesses can apply for up to $2 million to meet their financial needs. The deadline varies for each county.

Many Michigan ski areas stand to benefit from disaster relief funding, MacWilliams of the Michigan Snowsports Industries Association said in a news release the state issued Monday to encourage businesses to apply. 

She said ski areas “are vital job providers and assets to our communities but suffered critical visitation and revenue losses due to weather, with reduced staffing and limited operations during key visitation time."  

How impactful was this article for you?

Michigan Environment Watch

Michigan Environment Watch examines how public policy, industry, and other factors interact with the state’s trove of natural resources.

Michigan Environment Watch is made possible by generous financial support from:

Our generous Environment Watch underwriters encourage Bridge Michigan readers to also support civic journalism by becoming Bridge members. Please consider joining today.

Only donate if we've informed you about important Michigan issues

See what new members are saying about why they donated to Bridge Michigan:

  • “In order for this information to be accurate and unbiased it must be underwritten by its readers, not by special interests.” - Larry S.
  • “Not many other media sources report on the topics Bridge does.” - Susan B.
  • “Your journalism is outstanding and rare these days.” - Mark S.

If you want to ensure the future of nonpartisan, nonprofit Michigan journalism, please become a member today. You, too, will be asked why you donated and maybe we'll feature your quote next time!

Pay with VISA Pay with MasterCard Pay with American Express Pay with PayPal Donate Now