The Homestead Celebrates 30 Years of Great Northern Michigan Skiing with Special Events, Concerts & Nordic-Inspired Festivals
Hard to imagine there’s another Michigan winter right around the corner. Yet, The Homestead is already preparing for a season-long celebration marking three decades of ski and snowboarding fun.
“Our thirtieth ski season is a special milestone,” says The Resort’s Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Jamie Jewell. “There have been many changes to the ski area at The Homestead since it opened in 1983. It’s really amazing when you look back at how modestly it all started.”
1983 — The Homestead’s ski area opened with two three-person chair lifts, one two-person chairlift and a rope (pony) tow and state-of-the-art snowmaking equipment. Lifts were carefully installed below the tree line and closer to the ground than lifts at other ski areas for the purpose of providing a secure, safe feeling for new skiers and children learning to ski.
1985 — The Homestead became the first resort in the Midwest to limit ticket sales to prevent overcrowding.
1989 — The Homestead launched its $5 ski club program, a unique season pass for locals who paid just $5 for a pass and an additional $5 every time they came to ski.
1993 — The Homestead added three downhill race courses and broke ground on development of chalet style homes and rental properties for vacationing families and couples.
1996 — A Par 3, 9-hole golf courses was added, built in part on the downhill ski slopes.
2000 — The Magic Carpet© and was installed, along with a new “Lifetime Skills Learning Center: Ski School” and Gnomes lift-ticket and rental building.
2002 — Glade Run and terrain park were added.
2008 — Expanded multi-seasonal use of the ski area by adding wedding ceremony and reception patios overlooking Glen Lake valley and Sleeping Bear Bay.
2012 — The Homestead’s Snowsports School was remodeled
The Homestead has always been a favorite winter retreat for young couples and families with children, according to Jewell. Striving to improve service for this core group of winter guests has inspired every change to the ski area over the last 30 years.
“Children who learned to ski at The Homestead thirty years ago are now parents themselves,” she says. “There are hundreds of families that grew up skiing here. And in a way, The Resort has grown up with them. Yet some things have never changed. Namely our dedication to providing a top-notch experience, which includes limited lift ticket sales so the slopes are never crowded and the best lift ticket, rental, lesson and ski packages in Northern Michigan.”
The schedule of events celebrating 30 years of skiing at The Homestead’s is already shaping up to include many events, parties and special deals, says Jewell. Already on the docket are:
- A New Year’s Eve dinner and dance party — including a cocktail reception, three-course “surf and turf” dinner, champagne toast at midnight and dancing with special musical act The Corvairs — at Mountain Flowers Lodge.
- The Homestead’s 30th Anniversary sweepstakes offering $10,000 in prizes throughout the winter season.
- Ski demo days where representatives from major ski manufacturers will be at The Homestead allowing guests to try out new, state-of-the-art equipment.
- Special food events at the newly designed open-air at Beppi’s, which features outdoor seating, two outdoor gas fireplaces and outdoor heaters.
- Family magic show & dinner in early January featuring Magic Stu (aka Stuart MacDonald) World Class Magician who is in the Hall of Fame of Magic
- Live entertainment throughout the season at Beppi’s with regularly scheduled musicians including Chris Skellenger, New Third Coast, Accidentals, Blake Elliott, Drive South and E-Minor.
As part of its 30th Anniversary sweepstakes, The Homestead is currently running a photo contest on Facebook. Past guests who share their old ski vacation photos from The Resort get a chance to win some great prizes every month throughout the winter season. For more information on this and more 30th Anniversary events and festivals currently in the works, check out The Homestead’s website, Twitter, and Facebook page.