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Warm weather brings December golf, closes ski resorts

Posted at 6:41 PM, Dec 14, 2021

ALLEGAN COUNTY, Mich. — Maple Hill golf course is excited to be open. It's a December rarity: no snow, and carts out on the golf course. Sixty-five-degree weather means their phones have been ringing off the hook with callers wondering if they will be open.

Against the wishes of perhaps only the greenskeeper, they will be opening the course.

“Yeah, he’s not thrilled about it. But you know, the grass kinda goes dormant, so you can’t mess it up too bad,” Owner of Maple Hill Andy Kitchen said.

But at Bittersweet Ski Resort in Allegan County: a bittersweet moment, as they watch their man-made snow melt.

“It's a lot of effort, too. We have six guys at night that make snow. We have six guys during the day. So you’ve got payroll; you’ve got electricity. So it’s tough to watch it melt. But you can’t let it bother you too much,” Bittersweet Ski Resort General Manager Victor Gayheart said.

Gayheart says this type of thing really used to bother him. But after 34 seasons at a ski resort in West Michigan, he knows better than to count on Mother Nature to be reliable.

“We’re not worried. It’s still fairly early, too,” Gayheart said.

Gayheart says 30% of their sales come from during holiday breaks like the one coming up. He hopes by then, the cold will come and bring some skiers with it.

READ MORE: Your West Michigan forecast

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