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Work begins at Adventure Mountain

GREENLAND — With temperatures hovering around 90 degrees, the last thing on the minds of most people is downhill winter snow skiing.

But not if you’re a member of the Mountain Lions, based out of Adventure Mountain.

The Mountain Lions have long discussed and intended to bring the Rope Tow and the Ski Hill back into operation.

In 2016, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources approved a recreation passport grant for up to $45,000.

To secure the grant, the Mountain Lions needed to raise more than $30,000.

“Our match on that grant includes a $10,000 donation from Kip McIntyre in honor of his mother, Claudia,” Mountain Lions member Dean Juntunen said. “We also received a $22,800 grant from the Portage Health Foundation.”

The DNR confirmed last week the Mountain Lions received the grant. The DNR said the grant money can’t be used for anything other than the recreation passport mission. Included in the grant is a new rope tow. Funding for a horse stable behind the horse arena was included in the grant as a request from the fair board.

“We are good to go on our rope tow,” Juntunen said. “The towers are being delivered soon, and the contractor will start digging.”

While the 350 vertical foot ski hill with multiple runs goes back way before 1975, it was listed in AAA Michigan as a downhill ski hill that gets over 250 inches of “powder.” At that time it was promoted as having 3 runs, along with a rope tow.

The hill got its name from the Adventure Copper Mine, located adjacent to the ski hill.

The Mountain Lions lease the Adventure Mountain Recreation Complex from Greenland Township. The agreement is that the Lions will provide recreation opportunities for the community.

The Ontonagon County Fair Board has a sublease with the Mountain Lions to provide the County Fair every year.

The Mountain Lions Clubhouse will be used as a chalet for the skiers and the snow-boarders. The building has a kitchen and a full view of all the runs, which works out good for parents to watch their children enjoy the abundance of snow that Greenland always receives.

Winter recreation is nothing new for the organization as they have had a skating rink right next to the clubhouse and at the bottom of the hill for a number of years.

However with projects and funding postponed or cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Mountain Lions were concerned about the DNR portion of the project.

The pandemic caused the reopening of the Mountain Lions owned Adventure Mountain Raceway to be postponed until the summer of 2021.

“We’ve seen multiple delays on the rope tow project, including that big flood in Houghton a couple years ago,” Juntunen said. “That one set our engineering back a full year. We’re excited about finally providing affordable family fun on Adventure Mountain next winter.”

Funds raised from the many events the organization does, and the funds from Adventure Mountain Ski Hill go to local and national charitable causes.

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