85th ANNIVERSARY GALA | FEB. 10, 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THE SKINNER FAMILY CLOSES ON ACQUISITION OF BIG SNOW RESORT, MICHIGAN
Big Snow Resort, Indianhead & Blackjack Names to be Phased Out
Duluth, Minnesota (August 29, 2022) – Charles Skinner, Jr. has completed the acquisition of the Big Snow 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).
A Break in the Press Release
The Granite Peak team is super excited to work with the team members in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Over the last few months we have been working behind the scenes to get to this point and now the real work begins. Over the next few weeks you’ll see a transition of brand, tactics, products and a social media approach as we lead into the season. I know this is exciting for not only our staff but for our season passholders and guests as the synergies are endless.
It’s easier just to post the full press release and of course I’m always happy to answer any questions you may have within the comment field. Just know today is all about welcoming our new team and it might take me a few days as I’ll be on site in the U.P until Thursday.
Greg – Granite Peak GM / Midwest Family Ski Resorts CMO
Press Release Continued:
“There are two motivating factors for the coming name changes”, stated Skinner. “The first is a sensitivity to co-opting 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 Midwesterners, especially families,” added Skinner. “Indianhead was the first ski area in the UP, and 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’s 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 managers 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.
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, and Caitlin Eisch, Chief Employee Experience Officer, and several other key managers have been named to cross-company roles.
“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 product that includes unlimited skiing and riding to Granite Peak as well as Lutsen Mountains will ow 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 the opportunity to upgrade from our gold or silver passes to the legendary pass prior to the end of our fall pass sale.