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The Keweenaw’s Mont Ripley set to open Dec. 19

RIPLEY — Visitors to the Copper Country seeking winter excitement are eagerly anticipating the opening of Mont Ripley this weekend in Hancock, Michigan. Located in the snowiest city in the Midwest, Mont Ripley announced they will open this Saturday, Dec. 19.

Mont Ripley opened in 1934 and was taken over by Michigan Technological University in 1944. The ski area now serves as a destination for students and the public interested in downhill skiing, snowboarding, and tubing. As the oldest ski area in Michigan and snowiest city in the Midwest, Mont Ripley is a true alpine town experience: Twenty-two trails, terrain park, tubing park, 112 acres, and a scenic overlook of the Keweenaw Waterway.

Despite the lack of snow so far this winter, Nick Sirdenis, Mont Ripley’s general manager, is confident Ripley will be up to the challenge. “We installed the UP’s best snowmaking system 21 years ago because of years like this,” explained Sirdenis. “If visitors have any questions about our conditions, we have the best web cam of any ski hill I have ever seen to give them the ability to make the best-informed decision about if they want to come, on our website.”

Ripley staff have been busy this fall planning and implementing COVID19-related safety measures to protect staff and customers. Changes include reducing face-to-face transactions for equipment rentals and lift tickets by upgrading its website, adding information signage and increasing indoor social distancing space by adding two outdoor event tents. “The biggest protocol has been communication, letting people know what exactly is expected of them when they’re playing at Mont Ripley,” explained Sirdenis. “Our whole website is dedicated to getting this message out and much of our social media communication has been on that subject.”

“We’re really excited to have Mont Ripley opening this weekend because it’s an important part of the Keweenaw outdoor winter experience,” said Brad Barnett, executive director for the Keweenaw Convention & Visitors Bureau. “And I’m really proud of the effort and precautions Michigan Tech is making to protect visitors and our community.”

For more information on Mont Ripley visit https://www.mtu.edu/mont-ripley/

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