As the first heavy snowfall of the year at The Homestead in Glen Arbor skips across the white-capped waves on Lake Michigan, settles on the boughs of white pine and fir trees and covers our Northern Michigan ski slopes in marshmallow fluff, we’re crooning that fabulously timeless song that Dean Martin made famous: “Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!”
And It Doesn’t Show Signs of Stopping …
Yippee, the white stuff is coming down thick and fast on The Homestead’s ski slopes, thanks to Mother Nature and their six new snow-guns from the snow gurus at SMI (Snow Machines Inc.). This Midland-based company makes snow-making machines for ski resorts all over the planet and for the last seven winter Olympics from Nagano to PyeongChang. But even before that wide reach, SMI was supplying The Homestead with snowmaking machines. The Homestead has now retired some of those early models and Joseph VanderKelen, the president of SMI, tells us that the older models have been replaced with the latest in snowmaking technology—snow guns with a six jet nucleator. Translation? A more efficient, reliable way to make mounds and mounds of that white stuff we love so much.
The Homestead runs are so beautiful, with their breathtaking Lake Michigan view (that takes in Sleeping Bear Point and the Manitou Islands), that the resort has commissioned a new, hand-painted trail map this year. This is one to put a frame around.
COVID-19 Safety Measures on the Slopes
Contact-free check-ins include your lift tickets. And coming soon, you’ll be able to purchase your lift tickets online.
With space added to the ski rental area, renters can easily stay six feet from other folks when picking up their rental equipment (downhill skis, snowboards, cross-country skis and snowshoes), accessing lockers and booting up.
And certified ski instructors are ready to offer lessons once again—but only to families or parties who are traveling together.
The Fire Looks So Delightful
Order up drinks from the outside bar in the plaza outside of Whisker’s and then take a seat around one of the two fire pits, the outdoor fireplace or under one of the 14 outdoor tower heaters. The great outdoors makes a fresh-made pizza from Cavanaugh’s taste even better and when Chef John Piombo lights a fire in The Homestead’s new state-of-the-art Argentinian grill—make room for ribs!
Speaking of Chef John, he’s been hard at work planning delicious take-and-heat dishes (besides that scrumptious pizza) at Cavanaugh’s. True confession: It kills Chef John to put his food in to-go containers. But please believe us Chef John, packaging doesn’t change the way your Northern Italian home cooking (including your oozy, cheesy yummy lasagna) fills our souls with joy—and, of course, our bellies too.
COVID-19 Safety Measures In Our Food & Beverage Service
Safety is first and foremost for 2021, so The Homestead will be serving food only outside or to take back to your room in an effort to avoid large indoor gatherings of people. And when visitors do access an indoor space, they can be confident that the staff at The Homestead is wiping down every surface from counters to tables with disinfectant—checking them twice! And all employees have their temperatures taken when they come to work before masking up.
All the Way Home You’ll Be Warm!
Some things don’t change: The afterglow of a day filled with winter adventures topped by a fireside seat under the stars follows guests right to their cozy accommodations at The Homestead. Guests find gas fireplaces, Jacuzzi tubs, truly comfortable beds along with dreamy views: The Inn overlooks the Crystal River (especially enchanting dressed in ice and snow) and Lake Michigan; Stony Brook Lodge looks out over Lake Michigan and the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes; Fiddler’s Pond, a resort hotel, is set along sparkling ponds and pools; and last, but by no means least, Little Belle tucked at the base of the ski hill makes guests feel like they are staying in an alpine village.
COVID-19 Safety Measures In Our Lodging
Guests can relax knowing that after every room is cleaned, it is inspected and sprayed with electrostatic sprayers. Unlike conventional spraying methods, electrostatic sprayers create magnetically charged droplets that coat all surfaces with a high-grade EPA-registered disinfectant that is effective against many communicable diseases, including COVID-19.
The Homestead’s Recipe For A Safe Ski Season
Servings Unlimited | Prep Time Short | Total Time Lifelong
- 1 Mask
- 2 Washed Hands
- 6’ Distance
Mix together, add generous smiles, good cheer and a pinch of joy.