Mountain Blog

Dean and Farah still taking shots at each other seven years later
Brian Lawson - Wednesday, August 12, 2015

“That’s excuse number 21 if you’re keeping count.”

Crystal Mountain Golf Course Superintendent, Jason Farah smiles with a wink and a nod as he takes another jab at his boss, Director of Golf, Brad Dean. The two were reminiscing about a couple of rounds played about this time seven years ago. The course was ‘The Monster’ at Oakland Hills Country Club. The rounds were during the 2008 PGA Championship.

Farah, formerly one of the superintendents at Oakland Hills, had volunteered to help the grounds crew and Dean was playing in his first and only major. In fact, Brad’s was the first name called on the first hole to begin play. “It was the experience of a lifetime,” he laughs, “but once was enough.” 

To the credit of Farah and his colleagues - not to mention PGA Chief Championship Officer, Kerry Haigh - the set-up on the South Course that week was without question one of the toughest in the modern era of the fourth major championship. “The rough was the course’s only defense,” Jason explained. And it lived up to its name. Rough. Six inches deep or more. Only three players finished under-par for the tournament with Padraig Harrington taking the title at minus-3. 

“You could hardly find the ball and you had to full-swing a 60-degree wedge to get it out.” As Dean recounts the difficulty Farah jokingly rolls his eyes and then honestly confesses, “It was really tough.” Brad missed the cut but he was in good company with major champions like Fred Couples, Adam Scott and Zach Johnson, who you might remember had a little success over at St. Andrews a few weeks back.

Brad’s youngest boy was actually born the week leading up to the tournament. He was also a bit of a hometown favorite with plenty of attention from the media and a gallery of family and friends following him around the course. He describes the week as a bit of a blur but vividly remembers the eighth hole of the second round. 

“I hit a shot from a greenside bunker 15 feet past the hole and spun it back to within ten feet. Got a great response from the crowd.” And of course, it should go without saying that he dropped the ten-footer to save par - which was as good  as a birdie that week. 

These two didn’t know each other back then. One was excited to have the chance to work alongside old friends and challenge the best players in the world. The other living out a dream to compete against and play alongside those players on one of golf’s biggest stages. Nowadays, you can find the two of them together on the Mountain Ridge course where Brad is always gracious with a compliment.

“He played great and shot a 76 when we were out the other day,” and then grins ear-to-ear unable to keep a straight face, “I only beat him by 10 strokes.”

Maybe now they’re even.  

Happy 105th Birthday, Lou!
Nancy Story - Wednesday, July 29, 2015

We all want to grow up to be Lou.

Whenever Lou Batori appears on our slopes during the winter months,  people flock to him like a magnet. There is awe in their eyes as skiers surround him, hoping some of that fitness and well-being of mind and body will rub off on them. He has garnered national attention for his skiing prowess, for his many NASTAR titles, and for the fact that he skis at all. Last winter, at age 104, he made two trips to our slopes and carved turns with Ski School Director Chris Fisher (just to show the young guy how it’s done).  The National Ski Areas Association believes Lou just may be the oldest season passholder in the country – but no one keeps official records.   Lou started skiing sixteen years before he took his first chairlift ride in 1940. Skiers who weren’t yet born when Lou hopped on that lift watch him now and harbor the hope that maybe they, too, will ski well into old age. And those who are physically unable to ski beyond a certain  age still gain satisfaction from watching Lou carve slowly on the corduroy.

Besides being the poster child of the sport, he is a very gracious, classy gentleman. Every adjective has already been written about Lou.  He has expressed his disdain for labeling him inspirational, though.  “The most common word I hear is  ‘You are an inspiration’,” he once scoffed. “Inspirational for what?”  What Lou finds inspirational has always been the sport of skiing itself,  in the sight of slopes covered in snow and being active outdoors in the winter environment.  

We’ve been writing about this legendary skier since he was a mere child in his nineties.  As he approaches his 105th birthday in the upcoming weeks, we salute him once again, giving a nod to one of our favorite Lou quotes:

“Waiting to be carted away is a stupid waste of life," he once said. "You can replace anything – your shoes, your house, your belongings. But you cannot replace make the best of it."

Happy birthday, Lou! Winter awaits.


Mississippi native travels to take Michigan Women's Open Title
Brian Lawson - Thursday, July 02, 2015

Mississippi Golfer Ally McDonald Wins 22nd Michigan Women’s Open Championship

THOMPSONVILLE – Former Mississippi State University All-American golfer Ally McDonald wasn’t sure what to think about winning her professional debut in the 22nd Michigan Women’s Open Championship at Crystal Mountain Resort.

“I guess it hasn’t quite set in yet,” she said. “This is my first time playing for money, but I wasn’t trying to focus on that. I was just doing what I’ve always tried to do, focus on one shot at a time and see where it falls from there.”

It fell to a 2-under 70 on the Mountain Ridge course to give the rookie professional a 5-under 211 total in the $42,000 open state championship.

McDonald, who is from Fulton, Miss., won $6,000 with a two-shot advantage on long-time friend and rival golfer Kendall Martindale of Jefferson City, Tenn., a former Vanderbilt golfer who shot a closing 72 for 213 on a chilly, windy day.

Emmie Pietila of Brighton, the University of Tennessee golfer who led the first two rounds, slipped to a 76 for 214. She tied for third place and low amateur with Muskegon’s Hailey Hrynewich, an Ohio University golfer who shot the day’s low round of 68. They were also the two low Michigan golfers in the field.

“I made a lot of club (selection) errors and one coming in (at No. 17) that cost me a double bogey,” Pietila said. “The wind and mental errors made it tough. I guess I was a little nervous. I wasn’t as relaxed as I would have like to have been. It was different way to play, having the lead like that. It’s something else I just had to learn, so I’m pleased to have had that experience.”

Hrynewich, whose brother Reed was low amateur in the men’s Michigan Open last month, and McDonald were the only two golfers to shoot under par in the final round. McDonald said she hit her driver especially well in the final round.

“I made a 10-foot birdie putt on No. 8 and then hit a real good shot into 9,” said McDonald, who wrapped a blanket around herself often during the final round. “That got me going, and I hit the driver really well. I stayed out of trouble.”

McDonald, road in the golf car Wednesday with her mother Angie, had the lead by the 10th hole, but didn’t realize she had a chance to win until seeing a scoreboard at No. 14.

“I was kind of oblivious to it all, and just focused on each shot,” she said.

Martindale, who played in the same group with McDonald and has been competing with her since a junior tournament at age 12 and through many SEC college events, said their experience in golf helped them deal with suddenly finding they had a chance to win at No. 14.

“We’ve played quite a bit of golf so we know how to keep our emotions in check and not to focus on the finish,” Martindale said. “Ally played solid all day. She hit her driver in play and played tough like she usually does. It was tough out there, cold and windy and the pin positions were harder and some of the tees were back, too.”

Sandra Angulo Minarro of Port Saint Lucie, Fla., shot 73 for 215 and fifth place. Former Michigan State standout Caroline Powers of Bowling Green, Ohio, shot 75 for 216. Sarah Hoffman, the former Grand Valley State golfer from Saline who had been among the leaders the first two rounds, struggled to a 79 and 218.

The Symetra Tour players from the field, including Powers, Whitehall’s Laura Kueny, Liz Nagle of Dewitt and Christine Meier of Rochester, move on to Tullymore Golf Resort in Stanwood for the inaugural Tullymore Classic slated for Friday through Sunday. 

Brighton’s Emmie Pietila Maintains Lead in Michigan Women’s Open at Crystal Mountain
Brian Lawson - Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Brighton’s Emmie Pietila Maintains Lead in Michigan Women’s Open at Crystal Mountain

THOMPSONVILLE – Emmie Pietila of Brighton had some trouble sleeping after a first-round personal best score, and Mother Nature offered a little rain, steadily increasing winds and decreasing temperatures to make things even tougher for the second round of the 22nd Michigan Women’s Open Championship at Crystal Mountain Resort Tuesday.

Pietila, a University of Tennessee golfer, followed her opening 64 with a 2-over 74 for 138 and remained in the lead by one shot over Sarah Hoffman of Saline through 36 holes of the state championship.

Hoffman, a former Grand Valley State golfer and nurse at the University of Michigan Hospital shot 73 for 139.

Caroline Powers, a former Michigan State star now playing professionally, shot 68 to settle at 141, just three shots off the lead. Her 68 and a 66 by Alliance, Ohio, pro Mary Snode were the only sub-70 rounds on the day.

Kendall Martindale of Jefferson City, who shot 74 with a lost-ball double-bogey 7 on No. 18, was tied with Powers at 141, as was pro Ally McDonald of Fulton, Miss., who shot 72.

Just seven golfers remain under par from the field of 114, which was cut to 70 players at 158. The final 18 holes in the $42,000 championship is Wednesday with the winning pro netting $6,000. Pietila and Hoffman are amateurs, and the tournament has been won just once by an amateur in 21 years (Breanne Hall of Kentwood 2003).

Pietila said she was excited about the opportunity to win the Michigan Open.

“I’ve been in this position before, and I want to be here, this is why I play,” she said. “I didn’t hit the ball as well as I would have liked to today. I didn’t give myself as many birdie opportunities, but the course played longer, there were more back pins it felt like and obviously the weather was cold and windy.”

She said sleeping Monday night didn’t come easy after her 64, a personal best by five shots.

“It was hard to sleep on that, and then have an afternoon tee time,” she said. “I’m ok with it though. The entire course was tougher today.”

Hoffman said she had a tough finish with consecutive bogeys at Nos. 15, 16 and 17, but said it could have been worse.

“I hit a once-in-a-lifetime punch shot from the woods to save a bogey on 15, had a bad lie on 16 just off the fairway and didn’t get up and down and then made a wrong club choice on 17, missed the green and didn’t get up and down,” she said. “What it came down to is I missed 10-footers at 16 and 17 to save par, and I had been making those. It was a tough day, ridiculously cold and windy, just a completely different day today. It was much tougher than yesterday. I didn’t hit the ball as well, but I thought I got the best score out of my round that I could.”

Defending champion Becca Huffer of Littleton, Colo., had a tough back nine to shoot 81 and fall out of contention. Whitehall’s Laura Kueny, a Symetra Tour pro and past champion, shot 75 for 146, eight shots back.

The Michigan PGA Section, which administers the championship, will have a two-tee start off Nos. 1 and 10 Wednesday. The lead group will go off No. 1 at 9:39 a.m. The public is welcome free of charge. For more information visit For more information about Crystal Mountain visit

For live results, click here.

Media contact: Greg Johnson 616 560 8995,

Record field begins play at the 2015 Michigan Women's Open
Brian Lawson - Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Brighton’s Emmie Pietila Shoots 64 to Set Pace in Michigan Women’s Open

THOMPSONVILLE -- Emmie Pietila of Brighton said the recent golf season at the University of Tennessee was great, though long and stressful.

“I just wanted to come up here and have fun,” she said after shooting a personal-best 8-under 64 to take the first-round lead in the 22nd Michigan PGA Women’s Open Championship at Crystal Mountain Resort Monday.

 “I think I was just relaxed. The greens were perfect. It was perfect scoring conditions and I played well,” she said.

The 64 on the Mountain-Ridge course, her personal best by five shots over a pair of 69s she shot in the recent NCAA Regionals, gave her a two-shot lead on another amateur with a personal best – 66-shooting Sarah Hoffman of Saline, a former Grand Valley State golfer and nurse at University of Michigan Hospital.

It’s the second straight year that an amateur set a scorching pace. A year ago Midland’s Kimberly Dinh shot the tournament and course record 62 in the first round. An amateur has won once in the previous 21 Opens – Kentwood’s Breanne Hall in 2003.

The Pietila family includes eight children, including three of five girls playing in the Michigan Women’s Open Championship this week – Emmie, Hannah, both at the Tennessee, and Annie, who will be a freshman in high school. Hannah shot even-par 72, and Annie shot 89.

“It’s like a family vacation, this tournament,” Emmie said.

Hoffman, 25, practices and plays as much as possible around nursing shifts, but the plan at this point remains to work a few years, save up money and try LPGA Tour Qualifying School.

“I surprised myself a little because I haven’t been in a tournament in a while,” she said. “But I know I can do it. I hit it great. My mother keeps track and she said besides the seven birdies I had seven other tap-ins. It was good round, and now I know I get to sleep in tomorrow. I work the night shift. This is not my schedule.”

Kendall Martindale of Jefferson City, Tenn., a recent Vanderbilt University graduate playing in her first professional event with eyes on LPGA Qualifying this fall, shot 67 and was the low pro in the open tournament.

“I was supposed to be in Europe right now, but my trip got derailed and my mom suggested we take a vacation in Michigan and play some golf,” she said. “Here we are, and it’s my first professional round and it went great. I enjoyed the golf course.”

Gabrielle Yurik, a Michigan State University golfer from Oakland Township, and Lauren Grogan, a University of Michigan golfer from Columbus, Ohio, were among five golfers who shot 69. The others were pros Ally McDonald of Fulton, Miss., Casey Kennedy of Venice, Fla., and Tania Tare of Miami, Fla.

Defending champion Becca Huffer of Littleton, Colo., was among five golfers who shot 70. She is among the many Symetra Tour players in the field, who head on to Tullymore Golf Resort in Stanwood for the Tullymore Classic stop Friday through Sunday.

Meanwhile, the 54-hole, $42,000 state championship at Crystal Mountain continues through Wednesday. A cut will be made after Tuesday’s second round to the low 70 scorers and ties.

First-round scores and pairings (by score) for Tuesday can be found at Be sure to check out the Crystal Mountain and Michigan PGA on Facebook for a photo gallery and more.

Abbey Neerken - Friday, June 19, 2015


In honor of the longest day of the year, we invite you to participate in the Crystal Mountain Summer Solstice Challenge via Instagram, where you have the chance to win summer fun passes and over-night lodging.

Starting June 21, post 21 photos in 21 days doing the 21 Crystal Mountain activities listed below. 


You have 21 days to post 21 photos of yourself (or a friend or family member) doing all 21 of these summer activities beginning on June 21, Summer Solstice.

The contest runs from June 21, 2015 through July 12, 2015 (21 days)

Post a photo to Instagram using the hashtag: #CMSummer21 of you and/or a family member or friend completing each activity in the list below. All posts must be made from the same account and location tagged as Crystal Mountain to be valid. 

On the last photo of the 21 photo-series, you must also hashtag: #CMSummer21completed.

Those who complete every activity on the list and post photos to Instagram using the correct hashtag(s) will receive one Summer Fun Pass Plus, and be entered to win two-night’s lodging with Summer Fun Punch Cards (4), and a foursome of golf

Snap a photo of you and/or your family or friend doing all 21 of these activities – remember the 21 photos must be posted from the same user account to be valid. 

1. Ride the Crystal Coaster Alpine Slide
2. Hike Michigan Legacy Art Park
3. Family Campfire

4. Scoop of Moomer’s Crystal Crispie Ice Cream available at the Beach House
5. Mountain Hike
6. Edge Adventure Course
7. Garden Tour
8. Chairlift Ride
9. Twilight Golf on Betsie Valley golf course
10. Mountain Bike Crystal’s trail system
11. Splash at the Park at Water’s Edge Pool
12. Scavenger Hunt
13. Tubing the Platte River
14. Disc Golf
15. Feed the fish at Petritz Pond
Please pick up fish food at the Park at Water’s Edge desk. The pond is located next to the Cottages at Water’s Edge & Wintergreen condominiums which are connected by a quaint wooden bridge. The pond contains a deck perfect for pictures and a water fountain as the backdrop. This location is within walking distance to the Crystal Center and the Lodge.
16. Climb the Vertical Edge Climbing Wall
17. Tie Dye Time or another Kid’s Craft activity
18. Paintball or Outdoor Laser Tag

19. Relax in the Hot TubCrystal Mountain has two hot tubs that guests can use for this challenge; one outdoor hot tub at the Park at Water’s Edge and an indoor hot tub at the Peak Fitness Center. 
20. Take a photo in Crystal’s Giant Frame
21. Attend an event from the following list:

Michigan Women’s Openpre-registration required
Old Fashioned Fourth of July Carnival
Joshua Davis at Michigan Legacy Art Park
pre-sold tickets required
Monday Music on the Lawn Scheduled for each Monday during challenge; weather dependent 
Fourth of July 4K
Family Golf Scramble
July 3 or July 5
Outdoor Movie
or Park at Water’s Edge Pool Party

Be sure to follow Crystal Mountain on Instagram and share your adventures by tagging @CrystalMountainMI.

Purchase of activity passes or activity fees as wells as reservations may be required depending on the activity. Photos must be taken between June 21, 2015 and July 12, 2015. An Instagram account and internet access are required for entry; void where prohibited or restricted by law. No transportation will be provided as part of the prize. This challenge is not affiliated with Instagram and participants must be 18 years or older to collect prizes. Participate in activities at your own risk. Employees not eligible to win. Prize cannot be redeemed for cash or substituted for any other items by winner.  Sponsor reserves the right to substitute a comparable prize of like or greater value for prize, for any reason.

The final determination of the Winner shall be in the sole and absolute discretion of Crystal Mountain. Crystal Mountain reserves the right to extend the Entry Period or to not select a Winner if Crystal Mountain determines, in its sole and absolute discretion that there are an insufficient number of Eligible Entries. To the extent permitted by law, Crystal Mountain disclaims any liability from, and entrants, whether or not the Winner, agree to waive, any claims against Crystal Mountain relating to the selection or awarding process. Crystal Mountain reserves the right to select an alternate Winner in the event that an originally selected Winner fails to comply with these identified rules.

How to conquer Father's Day
Abbey Neerken - Thursday, June 18, 2015

If you’re not already planning to treat Dad to a day of fun and adventure this weekend, the Father’s Day deals at Crystal Mountain will help you build an itinerary for a day that won’t soon be forgotten. And, since Father’s Day this year happens to land on Summer Solstice, one with more daylight than any all year, we’ve prepared an extensive list of discounts and activities to fill the day!

First thing’s first.

Stop by the Peak Fitness Center with dad and get a 10-punch punch card for $64, regularly $96. This card can be used toward access to the Peak Fitness Center, select fitness classes and select activities from Park at Water's Edge.

Visit the Alpine Slide or bike rental for more fun. On Father’s Day, dads receive free entrance into the Pool, a free Alpine Slide Pass, or free Bike Rental with the purchase of a child pass or rental.  

Dads deserve to golf on Father’s Day.

Before you are seen on the course or at the range, revamp Dad’s style at the Kinlochen Pro Shop. Father’s Day sales are available all day in the pro shop and include:
  • Bermuda Sands clothing: buy one at regular price, get one of equal or lesser value  50% off
  • 50% off all golf bags
  • 50% off TaylorMade and Cobra golf clubs
  • 20% off Suncloud sunglasses
  • Challenge Dad to a drive, chip and putt competition! Dads on Father's Day get buy one get one buckets of driving range balls for double the fun!

    After you get warmed up at the range, get out on the course. Father's Day only, dads can golf Mountain Ridge for $45 (including cart) and Bestie Valley $35 (including cart). Reserve your tee time while they last!

    Who can actually do more pushups, you or your dad?

    After you school him on the basketball court, lap him in the pool and out-speed him on the mountain bike trails, bring Dad back to the Peak Fitness Center. Help your old man get in shape with a 10-session Personal Training Package at for $299, regularly $329. Sessions are valid for one year from the date of purchase, so next year he can beat you at your own game!

    You and Dad can relax on Father’s day at the spa.

    Maybe you’ve been a little too hard on Dad, after all he does do so much for you or whatever your store bought card said. This Father's Day spa special, designed just for men, is great to get dad relaxing after a workout on the links, a day of mountain biking, or screaming down the Alpine Slide. Valid June 1-30, the Mountain Man Package begins with a 25-minute Recharge massage, followed by our 50-minute Mountain Man Pedicure and includes a craft beer or glass of wine. A total of approximately 75 minutes, only $99 (regularly $109); Advance reservations required and subject to availability so make an appointment ahead of time or for another valid day. Visit Spa Specials for all the details.

    Take care of dinner; treat Dad to the Thistle Pub & Grille.

    It’s important to have a hearty meal after all that fun. The Thistle Father's Day Special includes a pint of on-tap microbrew beer & the Thistle burger for just $14

    Don’t hold back on your Father’s Day!

    Special offers only available Sunday, June 21, 2015 unless specifically stated otherwise. Get updates and more information on the Father’s Day event page.

    Savory 10th Annual Pairings
    Abbey Neerken - Saturday, May 23, 2015

    As you travel through the Brewer's Special Reserve Trail today at the 10th Annual Michigan Beer & Brats Festival, try these brew and brat pairings that will elevate your palette to great new heights! 

    Founders Brewing Company’s KBS [11.20%] with Kaleva Meats’ Coney Chili Dog

    This imperial stout brewed with a massive amount of coffee and chocolates will make your chili dog flavors warm and savory.

    Petoskey Brewing’s Hopsessed Double IPA [9.10%] with Buntings’ Beer Cheese bratwurst

    The bourbon undertones in this beer complement the beer and cheese flavors in this hand-crafted Buntings bratwurst.

    Rochester Mills Production Brewery’s Tongue Tied Cherry Saison [6.20%] with Pleavas’ Cherry Pecan bratwurst

    Tart cherry flavors in both this brew and brat create a sweet northern Michigan pairing satisfying your sweet fruity cravings.

    Beards’ Tree Blood Maple Sap Stout [6.60%] with Honor Family Market’s Philly Cheese bratwurst

    This cheese and maple combo will leave you salivating for more!

    North Peak’s Grizzly Peak Maylem [9.5%] with Ebels’ Hawaiian bratwurst

    This deep copper bold flavored beer is sweetened with this light fruity bratwurst.

    Jolly Pumpkin’s Persimmon Ship [5%] with Kelly’s Venison Jalapeno bratwurst

    This brew with Indiana persimmons and dragon fruit from Thailand sweetens the jalapeno flavor in this bratwurst.

    Brewery Ferment’s Grapefruit Hibiscus Wheat [8%] with Honor Family Market’s Spinach Feta bratwurst

    This slightly tart fruit and natural spinach and feta flavored brat create a summer sensation.

    Right Brain Brewery’s Asparagus Spear Beer [4.80%] with Maxbauers’ Asparagus Cheddar bratwurst

    Michigan asparagus pairs well with this cheddar brat.

    Arbor Brewing Company’s Oak Ages Mundus Novus [8.80%] with Sanders Meats’ Bacon and Cheddar bratwurst

    This mahogany colored beer pairs perfectly with bacon and cheese flavors, and all around favorite combo.

    Schomhz Brewing Company’s Barley Wine [14.50%] with Gabe’s Hot Italian bratwurst

    This barley wine will tone down your spicy hot Italian flavors.

    Liberty Street Brewing Co.’s Pooh Beer [9.50%] with Kaleva Meats’ Chicken Cherry bratwurst

    Strong honey flavors and tart cherry flavors make for a sweet pairing with these two.

    Let us know your thoughts on these pairings and your own combo creations by using the event hashtag, #MiBeerNBrat on Facebook (, Instagram (@CrystalMountainMI) and Twitter (@CrystalMountain)!

    10 things you need to know to make the 10th year of the Michigan Beer & Brat Festival the best ever!
    Abbey Neerken - Friday, May 15, 2015

    1. Buy Online and Save!

    Buy your tickets online for $25, which includes five tokens and a commemorative glass (while they last). This online sale price only lasts through May 22. Tickets the day of the event cost $30, also including five tokens and a commemorative glass (while they last). Additional tokens will be sold inside the festival at $2 per token. Children 2 years old and under are free. 

    2. Get a Map 

    When you pick up your tickets, be sure to grab a festival map. This map will guide you to your favorite breweries, the nearest restrooms and the token booth where you can buy more tokens!

    3. More than 100 Michigan Beers 

    The 10th anniversary will be the first time we have more than 100 beers! Don’t miss tastes from the following breweries:


    4. Brewer’s Special Reserve Trail 

    10 of the 31 Michigan brewers participating this year will be offering special craft beers and wines in limited quantity, released every 30 minutes during the event, only available while supplies last. The VIP reception prior to the festival (3-4pm) will feature two of the 10 selections from the Brewer’s Special Reserve Trail to include: Petoskey Brewing’s Hopsessed Double IPA (citrus double I.P.A.), Rochester Mills Production Brewery’s Tongue Tied Cherry Saison (traditional Belgian-style saison ale), Beards Brewery’s Tree Blood Maple Sap Stout (traditional American stout), North Peak’s Grizzly Peak Maylem (deep copper brew), Jolly Pumpkin’s Persimmon Ship (oak aged sour ale), Brewery Ferment’s Grapefruit Hibiscus Wheat (tart and fruity brew), Right Brain Brewery’s Asparagus Spear Beer (light bodied ale), Arbor Brewing’s Oak Ages Mundus Novus (American-inspired Belgian-style rye dubbel), Schomhz Brewing Company’s Barley Wine (Citrus and plum celebration ale) and Liberty Street Brewing Company’s Pooh Beer (Michigan honey brew).

    5. The Best of the Wurst

    Asparagus White-Cheddar, Steak and Mushroom, Blueberry and Venison Deluxe are only some of the savory brat flavors at this year’s festival. Brats from Honor Family Market, Pleva's Meat Market, Buntings Cedar Market, Maxbauer Market, Ebel's, Gabe's, Kelly's Venison, Kaleva Meats, Walt's Smokehouse and Sander's Meats will collectively offer over 25 bratwurst creations made of beef, pork, chicken or venison, that come in half and whole portions to pair with your favorite brews. From Beer Cheese to Chicken Cherry, all brats are grilled to perfection on-site, but please note, drooling next to the grille at the festival is prohibited.

    6. Get your Tenth Anniversary T-shirt Early! 

    Who wouldn’t want a shirt with the tagline “MI Beer. Get Your Own.” The feather charcoal grey shirts come in men’s and women’s styles. They’re available while supplies last, and we’re predicting that won’t be long. So if you’re not a VIP ticket holder who gets a shirt included in admission, be sure to purchase one when you enter the festival. We’ll also have our Mountain Sports shop with celebratory deals on Crystal Mountain gear.

    7. #Tag, You’re it! 

    With the picturesque Crystal Mountain backdrop, you can commemorate your 10th Annual Michigan Beer & Brat Experience with a photo of your own inside Crystal Mountain’s larger than life picture frame. The frame will be located near the Crystal Clipper chairlift and stage. From silly group pictures with our photo props to treasured family moments, your best shots of the festival can be featured Crystal Mountain’s website and social media sites and entered to win tickets to next year’s festival. Using the hashtag #MiBeerNBrats, post your photo frame moments on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and you’ll get free swag when you show your post at the give-a-way table located next to the frame!

    8. An Electric EVent 

    This year, joining our traditional British car collection on display during the festival will be a series of Electric Vehicles (EVs). Take a trip to the past and into the future when you an up close look at some of the most iconic British vintage cars and the latest electric vehicle technologies. 

    9. The Rock Show! 

    Kicking off the festival on stage will be the SweetWater Blues Band. This eclectic group of guys gravitates to the sound of Chicago Style Blues and stellar musical performances in the genres of Rhythm and Blues, Soul, and Contemporary Classic Music. Following the SweetWater Blues Band is The Rock Show. The Rock Show will have you Believin’ Steve Perry is on stage with their lively Journey Tributes. They also play an electric and rebellious variety of music for all ages.

    10. Designate a Driver or Book a Room 

    Crystal Mountain asks that you please be responsible about your alcoholic consumption. We encourage our guests to assign a designated driver or use on-property shuttles when leaving the festival. Beer & Brat Festival lodging packages for this event are also available. Benzie Bus will have limited services (call Benzie Bus at 231-325-3000 for more information). Cars left overnight will not be ticketed or towed. Those who chose not to drink at the festival will still have to pay the same price for admission as those who are drinking. All attendees have access to a lineup of musical talent, food and beverage vendors, merchandise, festival activities and prizes. For this reason, discounted tickets are not available.

    For more information regarding the entire event, visit the 10th Annual Michigan Beer & Brat Festival page.

    Placing the centerpiece
    Brian Lawson - Thursday, April 23, 2015

    It’s a question that’s been begged by illustrations from Crystal’s master plan and asked any number of times over the last 25 years, “When will you build the village?” Well, if you seek a pleasant village, look about you. What’s missing is that center piece to the puzzle. Not for much longer.

    This summer begins a $10 million expansion for Crystal Mountain starting in The Backyard with six new slopes and a triple chairlift but front and center, figuratively and literally, will be a 25,000 square-foot, LEED-certified addition to the Inn at the Mountain. This is perhaps the most transformative project in the resort’s history and one that will add a new energy and vitality to the heart of the village.

    It will be a space that connects every corner of this mountain community, a new gathering place where meaningful connections are made over a cup of coffee, glass of wine or pint of craft beer. Moments will be shared viewing the slopes from a rooftop plaza and taking vows in beautifully manicured gardens within the park below. Inside a new specialty grocery you’ll find tastes and treats that capture the distinctive flavor of northern Michigan.

    Presales are currently underway for the eight, two- and three-bedroom Inn Residences - with eighth-shares beginning at $85,900. The design offers a versatility unlike anything Crystal has done in the past. The Residences will have a contemporary vibe with natural accents and a layout that make it possible for this phase to be used as 20 individual hotel rooms and five garden suites. As a result of this thoughtful design and its special features, an owner can spend time at the mountain and rent out a room without sacrificing privacy.

    Over half the shares needed to put shovels in the ground have already been sold. Crystal anticipates breaking ground in early-fall (2015) with construction taking approximately 12 months. You can find more information, renderings and elevations online and if you’d like more details about ownership in the Residences give a call to Karyn Thorr, Nancy Call or Joan O’Neill at Crystal Mountain Realty, 800.968.2911.

    Stay tuned to the Mountain Blog for the latest expansion updates on new slopes in The Backyard and the Inn Residences project.

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