The Future of Crystal Mountain

Our future Village – the kind of northern Michigan place for which people yearn.

Set amidst forested hills, sparkling lakes and flowing rivers, for over 50 years Crystal Mountain has been the kind of place where families and friends gather to experience the best of northern Michigan and create precious memories. To preserve this unique character, Crystal Mountain's design is guided by a disciplined plan titled Emergent Directions.

Emergent Directions - Guiding Principles

Emergent Directions is Crystal Mountain's blueprint for thoughtful, steady development to preserve and enhance the kind of northern Michigan place for which people yearnIt defines a 21st Century pedestrian-oriented community that is deeply rooted in its northern Michigan heritage.

“We are carefully incorporating elements of the character and history of northern Michigan, such as the smaller scale and simplicity of form, to fit with this beautiful up-north environment,” said Chris MacInnes, president of the resort’s development company.

Looking Back

Over the past decade many elements of this plan were completed. In 2002 the mixed use, three story, 28,000 sq. ft. Kinlochen building opened housing, Crystal's golf pro shop and the Nordic Center, a year-round 100-seat restaurant and pub, and 12 unique one-, two- and three-bedroom condominiums on the upper two levels. Another addition, North Face, opened adding 11 downhill slopes and a quad chairlift on the north side of the mountain.

Between 2004 and 2006, the Park and Cottages at Water's Edge, a $13 million investment, was completed. This project includes a one-acre outdoor water park and playground, a 32-ft. climbing wall, a 15-person outdoor hot tub, and a 5000 sq. ft. building with locker rooms, the Park at Water's Edge activity and retail area and staff offices. The Cottages at Water's Edge development is comprised of two- and three-bedroom dwellings that recall northern Michigan cottages in the early 1900s.

Crystal Mountain solidified its commitment to healthy lifestyles and environmental stewardship with the Crystal Spa and remodeled Peak Pool & Fitness Center that opened in January 2009. This nationally acclaimed 18,500 sq. ft. facility is at the core of the resort and is a mecca for relaxation, renewal and rejuvenation. It combines elegant design with state of the art equipment and highly trained staff. In keeping with Crystal's dedication to sustainable practices, it is the only spa in the Midwest (and one of only six in the country) to be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified.

New Additions

The Bungalows at Crystal Glen project began in 2008 and the final building will be completed in the spring of 2012. This is a slopeside, eighth-ownership community featuring eight three- and four-bedroom units built in the historic architectural style characteristic of Michigan’s Arts and Crafts bungalows from the early 1900s. Another new addition is the $1.3 million quad chairlift and loading conveyor completed in fall of 2011 to serve the newly reconfigured Loki/Thor ski complex.

Trailside, Crystal’s newest whole-ownership neighborhood, is a collection of clustered homesites linked by hiking and cross-country ski trails, and nestled into the woods between four holes on the resort’s signature Mountain Ridge golf course. A number of Trailside cabins have been constructed, and additional golf course lots are now available.

Planning for the Future

Crystal's plans for the future include:

  • A mixed-use project at the base of the Loki & Thor slopes with a new snow sports learning center, several residential complexes and an additional outdoor pool
  • Expansion of the Inn at the Mountain with additional residential and commercial units
  • Replacement of the Lodge with a new building designed to accommodate day skier food service, with residential units on the upper levels
  • Mixed-use retail and residential development within the core/village
  • Additional on-mountain and golf course-oriented residential development; snow tubing; more ski slopes and lifts and on-going snowmaking improvements

The vision for Crystal's future as documented in Emergent Directions is an evolving road map that guides all land use decisions. But it is not a static plan: rather it is dynamic and can adapt to changes in market conditions. According to MacInnes, “With an iterative approach to development, we can carefully design future development to meet market preferences and create sustainable value over time.”


A future view from the Village,
looking toward the Clipper
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The active north end – a new headquarters for ski school & kids programs and ski-out accommodations