The temps are dropping and that means snow and all the fun snow-related activities that make Michigan such a wonderful place to live. This season, your family deserves a fun, active getaway — filled with snowboarding, skiing, even snowshoeing and dogsledding — so why not load everyone into the family car and set your destination for Treetops Resort?
Treetops Resort is very easy to get to. “One of the great things about Treetops is that we are just 10 minutes off of I-75,” says Barry Owens, General Manager at Treetops Resort. “That’s a big advantage for families who are coming north to go skiing and want to get there safely and on time. We like to say we are 10 minutes from 75, yet a lifetime away.”
About three hours from Detroit and Ann Arbor, Treetops Resort is in picturesque Gaylord — right in the northern lower peninsula’s snowbelt region. Gaylord’s high elevation level means it is perfectly positioned to get maximum snowfall in the northern Lower Peninsula, an average of more than 150 inches of snow during the season.
This year, visitors to Treetops can take advantage of the resort’s significant investment in snow-making ability, tripling the capacity. “We have two separate systems in two different parts of the resort and they are interchangeable, so if there are areas that are more stubborn, we can focus the snow there, and with Mother Nature’s help, we can offer lots of snow and an early opening for our guests.”
Many reasons to choose Treetops Resort
Treetops Resort’s snow-making capabilities are no small benefit because man-made snow has a higher moisture content, making its insulation properties “like a big Yeti,” says Owens. “As Mother Nature lays snow on top, we can use our tillers to lay down a perfect corduroy track, which is excellent for skiing and snowboarding.”
In addition to a wonderful variety of 23 ski runs, Treetops Resort has plenty of space for tubing. In fact, the resort has recently doubled its tubing area, giving mixed families of skiers, snowboarders and spectators all the more reason to get out onto the snow.
“If you are not a skier, you can definitely go tubing. It doesn’t require much skill at all and it’s a tremendous amount of fun. We sell out every day we offer tubing, every session, 100% of the time, so we are super excited to double the size of tubing and it’s all right in the same area so if you have been here before, you now have more than one choice in the tubing area,” Owens explains. In addition to the original Thunderstruck run, Treetops has added the Sidewinder, which incorporates banked turns, “like a lazy S when you are going down the hill — not at all like you have joined the luge or anything like that,” he says. “It’s a different type of ride, funneled to a tighter area when you descend.”
A height requirement and other safety precautions make tubing a very fun experience for many age groups in your family. And, there are plenty of crew on hand to make sure you get the most fun experience possible.
“Our tubing hill crew gets incredibly positive comments and they are the fun-masters. They take a lot of pride in what they do and are hand selected to work in this area. Their ability to make people happy means they are part of the experience, too,” Owens says.
Don’t miss out on some unique outdoor adventures for the whole family. At Treetops Resort, check out the Spud-tacular Snowshoe Lunches, dog sled and sleigh rides and groomer rides with the Treetops Snow Groomer team. And parents should reserve time for a date! While the kids are enjoying a snow lesson, be sure to share in on the adult fun of the Skiable Feast.
Be sure to plan ahead
Treetops Resort makes it easy for families to book lift tickets and rentals online before their trip, which Owens says is a must to avoid disappointment. Even though the resort has increased rental capacity by 30% — with the latest boots, binding, skis and snowboards for all ages and abilities — make sure you can get just what you need by reserving before you go.
“On our website, you can book all of your ski equipment and lift tickets. I can’t emphasize enough how very simple it is to do this,” he says. “If you prefer calling, our reservationist can help, but the online system is very slick and simple.”
You can also book your spot in the ski school for family members who might benefit from starting out with a lesson. “I encourage this for every age,” Owens says. “If you are experienced, great. But many of us think we would be great teachers to our children and we know how that goes.”
There’s something magical about how young kids look up to teenaged ski instructors like they are superheroes, Owens admitted, adding that like the tubing crew, Treetops Resort’s ski instructors are hired specifically for their enjoyment of the sport and their ability to help people have a great time while protecting themselves.
“Regardless of your age, if you have never skied, there are a lot of safety elements to know and everyone needs to pay attention to the rules, which the ski instructors review. There’s an etiquette factor on the slopes that you wouldn’t know if this is your first time skiing,” he says.
A warm welcome
Each weekend is cause for celebration, so Treetops Resort has a Welcome Winter Party each Saturday night at the top of the ski hill. Stop by to warm up near the bonfire, enjoy s’mores and hot chocolate and be amazed by the magic of Tommy Tropic.
“We know arrival day is hectic, so we moved the party to Saturdays so everyone can celebrate with us. We build a big bonfire area next to the restaurants at the top of the hill and there are a lot of family-fun activities going on,” Owens says, adding that no two parties are exactly alike.
“We know we get a lot of families who come for multiple weekends, so we make sure the events are never the same from one week to the next,” he says. “We also have a lot of staff on hand to answer questions. And, we encourage people to download our app while they are on property so we can best communicate changes and updates and openings for dogsledding rides, for example. Information is king.”
Metro Parent is giving away two nights of lodging and lift passes to Treetops. Enter by Jan. 31, 2022, for your chance to win.
Ready to create your own family “Stay and Ski-Cation?” Learn more about what Treetops has to offer at treetops.com, or call 888-TREETOPS.