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Wakefield, MI, May 11–Indianhead Mountain, Mich., which has been the subject of sale rumors over the past five years, has shut down, according to local newspaper reports. While rumors of bankruptcy floated around earlier this week, the local courts could not confirm any such filings. It is true, however, that a team from the Lac Vieux Desert division of the Lake Superior Chippewa Indian Nation had considered purchasing the resort earlier this year, but decided against getting involved.
The resort closing is the fourth economic blow to hit the region in as many years. Earlier, the Indian and Wakefield townships had experienced the closings of a large copper mine, a regional lumber mill and a window manufacturing plant. Now, according to officials with Upper Peninsula tourism associations, the ski resort closing could be devastating to the area’s economy on two fronts: The resort serves as the region’s main lodging base for extensive summer and fall tourism and employs about 150 people full time during peak season, a significant amount in a township of 2,500 residents.
The region’s other ski resorts have responded to the news by rallying around the Big Snow Country marketing campaign, in which Indianhead had a big presence as one of the Midwest’s premier resorts. The area, opened in 1959, has a 638-foot vertical drop and 160 acres of skiable terrain.