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Boyne Highlands Resort Celebrates 50 Years – January 31 – February 2, 2014

The 1963/64 Season – Today

Since opening for the 1963/64 winter season Boyne Highlands Resort has maintained a rich tradition of providing guests with a timeless retreat, to which they are warmly welcomed to an uncomplicated and positive sporty experience.

Join us for a full season of special events and treats including our 50th Anniversary Celebration Weekend, January 31-February 2, 2014. The weekend begins on Friday with a special welcome, night skiing, classic movie, horse-drawn wagon rides, and musical entertainment.  Saturday evening highlights include a tribute dinner party, live music, fireworks, and much more.
A special lodging package with a commemorative gift will
be available.

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.

The Harbor Highlands ski area in Harbor Spring was founded by 27 stockholders from Petoskey, Harbor Springs, and area resorters, and started in 1955 with an expansion in 1958/59. A total of five runs had been cut which extended less than halfway to the top of the ridge and uphill transportation consisted of a pomalift and four rope tows. A small day lodge with a bar and restaurant had been built at the base of the hill. But soon the owners ran out of money, amassed considerable debt and were forced to close down. After being closed for two seasons, the ski area went up for sale. 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 and additional 2,900 acres of land adjacent to the Harbor Highlands ski area in order to create 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-passanger 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 in the winter season of 1963/64, guest were greeted to not one, but two, of the first triple chairlifts ever built.

Boyne Highlands was instantly praised. The New York Times said, “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.”

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