Charles Skinner, Jr. has completed the acquisition of the ski resort from Art Dumke. The purchase includes the two historic UP ski areas of Indianhead and Blackjack, plus restaurants, a hotel, and numerous guest service buildings.
The resort name will transition to a new resort brand of Snowriver Mountain Resort, and the Blackjack and Indianhead base areas will be named after the two rivers flowing through the resort, Black River Basin (Blackjack) and Jackson Creek Summit (Indianhead).
“There are two motivating factors for the coming name changes”, stated Skinner. “The first is a sensitivity to Native American culture. And the second is to eliminate confusion as the name Big Snow is used by another ski operation. We also feel the name changes help signal a new era of capital investment at Snowriver.
“Our mission is to provide healthy, outdoor recreation of the highest quality to the Midwest, especially families,” added Skinner. “Indianhead was the first ski area in the Upper Peninsula. The staff and previous ownership did a great job combining two ski areas into one and improving operations. Our team is excited to welcome the resort staff to our family of resorts.”
Snowriver will continue to offer a single lift ticket for the entire resort, and to provide shuttle transportation until a connecting lift is constructed.
With the acquisition, Skinner and his daughter Charlotte Skinner have created a cross-company team of mangers called Midwest Family Ski Resorts, which will manage the properties under their ownership. Charlotte, with an MBA from Columbia University and finance experience at public technology companies, will take on the Chief of Staff and Chief Financial Officer role and report to her father, the President, and CEO (Chief Executive Officer).
Jim Vick, current GM & Marketing Director at Lutsen, will take on the Chief of Ski Terrain role. Vick will ensure excellence in grooming, snow quality, and varied terrain across the resorts. Greg Fisher, current GM & Marketing Director at Granite Peak, has been named Chief Marketing Officer. Fisher will direct all marketing, communications, and advertising for the properties. Vick and Fisher will maintain their General Manager roles and be based at Lutsen Mountains and Granite Peak, respectively.
In addition, Amanda Plummer has been named Chief Data Officer (based at Lutsen), and Caitlin Eisch, has been promoted to the Chief Employee Experience Officer. Several other key managers have been named to cross-company roles as well.
“By adding the Michigan resort to our team, we identified programming, policy, and direction efficiencies. In addition, elevating veterans from each property will help our company perform better for our customers and employees,” stated Chief of Staff Charlotte Skinner.
One of the first tasks of the new multi-mountain team will be to transition the new property to a new point of sales system as well as pass structure. The Midwest Family Ski Resorts’ Legendary Pass, that includes unlimited skiing and riding to Granite Peak and Lutsen Mountains will now include Snowriver Mountain Resort for the 22-23 season. Sales of the product have been paused across all properties while the resorts transition to this new product. Legendary Pass sales are slated to resume on September 9th with the opportunity to upgrade to the Legendary Pass prior to the end the fall pre-season pass sale.