NewsRegionLivingston County

Ski area closes due to warmer winter as others work harder to stay open

Posted at 6:08 PM, Feb 26, 2024

BRIGHTON, Mich. (WXYZ) — "I'll take the sunshine and come to the snow when I wanna come here," said Janet Johnson as she her children joined friends on the slopes of Mt. Brighton Monday, ahead of a much warmer Tuesday.

The Johnson family and their friends, the Andersons, each have ice rink setups in their yards but the kids haven't been able to enjoy skating on them very much.

"We've been taking advantage of the ski hill," said Alena Anderson. "Make the best of it, I guess."

Mt. Brighton Ski Resort General Manager Mike Giorgio said that although they have the equipment to make a lot of snow, this warmer winter has been one of the more challenging seasons for ski areas in a long time.

"I think what's the most challenging is just constantly having to rebuild," Giorgio told 7 Action News.

Giorgio said during the month of February, they're usually adding snow to freshen up the slopes but with the warmer temperatures, they lose some of the base, causing them to have to frequently rebuild it.

More snow-making is currently planned for Wednesday night.

"There's a lot of conversation throughout Michigan ski resorts about how hard this season was," Giorgio added.

At Timber Ridge Ski area on the west side of the state, the warmer temperatures caused them to end their ski season Sunday.

"Due to the extremely warm weather, we will be unable to get the slopes open again this winter. Fingers crossed for better winters ahead," Timber Ridge Ski wrote on their Facebook page.

Management at Alpine Valley Ski & Snowboard in White Lake said the warmer winter has affected business by about 25 percent, and that it has been harder to make snow this season and keep it.

One of the challenges with making snow is the temperature has to be 28 degrees or less.

Giorgio said they have to focus on the things that they can control.

"Create a good experience," he said. "Show up with a smile and make sure the hamburgers taste a little bit better on that day."