Friday, March 20, 2009

Future for Traverse City's Hickory Hills Ski Area?

young snowboarder at Hickory Hills, Traverse City, Michigan
young snowboarder at Hickory Hills (photo from
based on a TV 7&4 News story, "Hickory Hills Future, by Marc Schollett, Mar 19, 2009

For 58 years Hickory Hills Ski area has been open for family fun in Traverse City, Michigan. But some things may need to change for it to see season 59, because Hickory Hills is owned and run by the city.

The Citizen's Operational and Financial Analysis Committee (COFAC) has recommended cost-cutting measures to the city. And the truth is that the city subsidizes the ski area to the tune of about $130,000 a year.

Hickory Hills is not a destination ski area for downhillers. But "it's a great little area, for people just starting out for families," offered Lauren Vaughn, of the Traverse City Parks and Recreation department. Supporters say that it's a great place to take your kids at a time of year when there are fewer things for young people to do.

Actually, this was a good year financially for the ski area. They made $17 thousand dollars more than ever, but it still leaves a large shortfall for the city to pick up. COFAC has recommended that the city give Hickory a goal and a deadline.

Some people believe that COFAC wants the city to close Hickory, while others think that they are advising only that the deficit to operate the ski area be reduced.

Comments on the original news item are, to this point, all in favor of keeping Hickory Hills open. Brennen M said, "Hickory is very popular not only in the winter time, but throughout the whole year! Once the snow melts Frisbee Golf season starts! Not to mention it is a good place for walking, running, and biking. It would be a shame if we could no longer golf there, it is a fun and beautiful course!"

See Hickory Hills Ski Area
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