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Is that a snow gun we hear?

Is that a snow gun we hear?

First comes fall, then comes snow guns!
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Friday, October 28

N 40 °F


October 30 October 29 October 28
H 47°/37° N 56°/40° R 52°/50°

The Story of Boyne Highlands Resort

With skiing on the upswing and Boyne Mountain doing well, Everett Kircher, founder of Boyne Resorts, figured it was time for another move. 

Harbor Highlands, a ski area in Harbor Springs, was founded by 10 local businessmen and opened with one slope and a rope tow during the 1955/56 season.  Though the next few years, Harbor Highlands expanded adding more trails, uphill transportation, and a small day lodge.  But the owners soon ran out of money, amassed considerable debt, and were forced to close.  When Kircher decided to buy the property, he insisted on paying off the creditors as well as making sure that all the shareholders recovered their full investments.  He said at the time, "I'd like to go into the area with everybody feeling happy about the deal and about Boyne."  

Kircher committed the next year to planning and went on to purchase an additional 2,900 acres of land adjacent to Harbor Highlands in order to carry out his vision of a large year-round ski and summer resort.  During planning, Kircher, his wife, and six-year-old son, John, were squeezed together on a double-place chairlift at Boyne Mountain when Kircher thought, "Wouldn't it be great to have a three-passenger chairlift instead of just a two?  A triple?"  And so the phone call was made to chairlift manufacture, Riblet, and they agreed it could be done.  When Boyne Highlands opened on December 26, 1963, guests were greeted by not one, but two, of the first triple chairlifts ever built.  The resort also offered 11 trails and five lifts, the Highlands Inn with dining room, cocktail lounge, and swimming pool, cafeteria, and the previously built Highlands Lodge.

Boyne Highlands was instantly praised.  The New York Times wrote, "The new development underscores the fact that Northern Michigan, once known only as a summer resort area, now attracts sports enthusiasts and vacationists on a year-round basis.  Winter sports, in fact, have grown phenomenally in this region."

By The Years:

1947 Boyne USA Resorts was founded - now called Boyne Resorts
1963 World's first three-place chairlifts installed at Boyne Highlands
1963 Boyne Highlands Resort opens on December 26, 1963
1966 The Heather golf course opens - designed by Robert Trent Jones and the first in Boyne Resorts' collection
1970s Patented Boyne Snowmaker (a.k.a. Highlands Snow Gun) introduced
1971 Main Lodge expanded
1974 The Moor golf course opens
1977 The Young Americans Dinner Theatre opens - now second longest running dinner theatre in America
1987 Heather Highlands Inn (phase one) opens and is the only condo-hotel at the resort
1989 Donald Ross Memorial golf course opens
1989 Convention Center and south wing of cafeteria opens
1990 Country Club and Golf Center opens - now called Country Club of Boyne
1990 Michigan's first high-speed quad chairlift installed at Boyne Highlands
1993 Heather Highlands Inn expands to 128 rooms from 72 rooms
1993 The Bartley House is purchased
1995 North Peak ski area expansion opens with 12 additional runs, 2 additional chairlifts
1995 Arthur Hills golf course opens (first 9 holes)
1999 Arthur Hills golf course expands to 18 holes
2006 Michigan's first lift-served Bike Park opens
2006 Midwest's longest Magic Carpet conveyor lift opens
2006 Introduction of the exclusive Boyne Bed sleep system
2006 The First Tee of Boyne Highlands begins operation
2007 Proprietary snowmaking technology, Boyne Low-E fan gun, introduced
2008 Resort selected as host of Golf Channel's Big Break X: Michigan
2008 Green Lodging Michigan certified
2009 Expanded adventure sports including Zipline Adventure Tours and winter horseback trail rides introduced
2009 One of only two Burton 'Learn to Ride' centers in Michigan opens - the other is located at Boyne Mountain
2010 Furry friends become part of the vacation experience with the availability of pet friendly lodging
2010 Cafeteria goes green reducing resort's garbage waste by up to 70%
2011 Resort honored as host of the 100th Michigan Amateur
2012 Burton Riglet Park introduced for young snowboarders ages 3-6
2012 The Spa at Boyne Highlands opens
2013 Snowmaking system is fully powered by proprietary Boyne Low-E fan guns

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