With winter officially beginning tomorrow, Monday, Dec. 21, ski and snowboard enthusiasts are taking a few hours off worrying about the COVID-19 pandemic and turning their thoughts to enjoying Michigan’s winter wonderland.

One local ski resort, permitted to be open, is very busy.

Nestled in Groveland Township near Holly, Mt. Holly Ski & Snowboard Resort offers seven chairlifts, four rope tows, and two SunKid Wonder Carpets.

 With temperatures falling, Mt. Holly has been adding fresh snow to its slopes with their snow guns. As of Thursday, Dec. 17, crews continued to make snow and open runs. The base was up to 16 inches, with 10 runs open, and 8 lifts.

Mt. Holly reopened Wednesday, Dec. 16.

General Manager Mark Tibbits said he and the crew have been scrambling while getting the slopes open. Being one of the few outdoor recreation businesses open, he said interest from novice and experienced skiers and snowboarders is high.

As with every other business, things are different at Mt. Holly and people planning a day at the resort need to be know and abide by all of the COVID-19 guidelines.

Tibbitts said the building itself is strictly for ordering take-out food and for people using the restroom. There are no tables or seating available in the building. They have put heaters on the patios and decks.

“It’s sad, but that’s where we’re at,” Tibbitts said. “COVID has made things quite a bit more difficult. It’s encouraging though.”

People will need to boot up in the parking lot and there are no storage lockers available for the time being.

With the temperature drop and snow guns, Tibbitts said they feel lucky to have half the mountain open. “It’s been amazingly good skiing and there’s higher than ever interest. We’re encouraged, but it poses challenges.”

Tibbitts said the biggest thing for guests to remember is to wear their masks and practice social distancing. “If you don’t do anything else, wear your mask so that we can get through this,” he said.

Mt. Holly seeks to hire more part-time and full-time employees. “If you don’t mind the cold, we’re still looking for employees,” he said.

SKI SCHOOL LESSONS

Mt. Holly offers several learning options, from one-on-one lessons to semi-private lessons to group lessons.

MT. HOLLY IS ABIDING BY COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS AND RULES.

Outdoors

• Be courteous to others at all times, give people space and ask before boarding chairlifts.

• Face coverings will be required when 6 feet of social distancing between guests and/or staff is not possible. This includes:

- in the lift line

- The base of the hill areas between the lodge and the lift lines

- When riding the chairlift

- During lesson

• In the lift line, maintain a tip to tail (the length of a ski from the front tip to the back “tail” of the ski) distance from people in front of you.

• More outdoor seating has been made available this season.

• Check skimtholly.com for hours of operation, snow conditions, and operating policies before visiting.

Indoors

• Face coverings must be worn at all times.

• Social distancing of 6 feet is required indoors.

• Hand sanitizer stations will be readily available in common areas.

• Staff will regularly clean and disinfect high touch surfaces and common areas.

• Under the current rule, there will be no indoor seating available for either dining or gathering.

• You will be permitted inside to use restroom facilities, place take-out food orders, purchase lift tickets or ski/snowboard rental equipment, or visit the ski shop but otherwise, the lodge will not be available for any other purpose at the present time.

Follow Mt. Holly on Facebook or visit skimtholly.com.

Watch Mt. Holly’s snow guns producing snow for the slopes on Monday, Dec. 14.

To see an extensive list of other trails across Michigan, go to Michigan.org/trails

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