When Jim Wiseman Purchased what is now Swiss Valley back in 1968 the entire operation consisted of an old farmhouse and seven rope tows. The day before opening of his inaugural ski season, five of the seven rope tows were condemned. What humble beginnings.
Wiseman persevered, and today Swiss Valley is within an hour’s drive of over one million people. Swiss Valley entices folks to come ski from all over southern Michigan, Indiana and Illinois, with 11 runs, a 225 vertical foot peak (Highest in Southwest Michigan) and seven lifts, including 2 quads and one triple.
Swiss Valley History Timeline
- 1960- Began as Little Switzerland
- Originally built by Dagmar and Louie Danley.
- 1968- James Wiseman purchased the area and has owned and operated Swiss Valley for the past 50+ years.
- We started in 1968 with 122 pair of rental skis and we presently have 2000 pair of rental skis and over 500 snowboards.
- In 1968 we had 7 rope tows, no snow making and only one lodge for services.
- In 1978 & 1979 we operated earth movers 24 hours a day during the two summer seasons to move 1.5 million cubic yards of dirt to build our area to 225 vertical feet, and increase our longest of 11 runs to 1800 feet.
Swiss Valley Present
- We now have 4 rope tows, 2 quads and one triple chairlift providing an uphill capacity of 9,800 skiers per hour.
- In 1997 we added the terrain park, which offers tabletops, high spines, grind rails and pyramids for skiers, snowboarders and twin tippers who want to perfect their stunts. In 2007 we added an additional “starter” terrain park in response to request for easy, fun , low surface features that are great for learning to jib, ride and bonk.
- Night Skiing is available every night on 100% of the area.
- Snow Farming guarantees skiing! – All we need is cold weather. We have a tremendous snowmaking capacity, with the ability to turn over 2000 gallons of water per minute into snow. Given temperatures in the low teens, with the operation of our snowmaking guns for 30 hours, and using 3.3. Million gallons of water we are able to have 100% of our runs open without the gift of snow from Mother Nature.
- Ski & Board Shop offers a full line of equipment, apparel and trained service personnel.
- Several different facilities include a National Ski Patrol Building, Cafeteria, The Chalet and a Fireside Lounge for restaurant dining, live music and relaxing.
- 2005-2006 Expanded the Terrain Park, adding more features.
- 2006 – 2007 Season, upgrade to the snow making system, installed new pipe system and more hydrants for increased and more efficient snow making.
- 2007 – 2008 Season,The Starter Park was added.
- 2012 An additional Pisten Bully was purchased completing the triple Bully fleet.
- 2013 Main Lodge Bathrooms & Changing Rooms Re-Conditioned
- 2014 Lower Lodge Bathrooms and Valley Kids Area Re-Conditioned
- 2018 Wireless Internet Service Installed
- 2019 Rental Equipment Areas combined for better skier and snowboarder ease of use.
- 2020 Additional Terrain Park Features & Rental Equipment Purchased, Snowmaking Gun Fleet Refurbished, Outdoor Ticketing Deck Added onto Main Lodge and Expansion of Outdoor Seating
- 2020 Added “Skibanas” slope side rental tents for small groups.
- 2020 Added The Double Diamond Beer Garden between the upper and lower lodges
New for 2021 – 2022
- 2021 Added SMI Super Polecat Snowmaker to our fleet
- 2021 Added Pisten Bully Park 400 Groomer to our fleet. We now have 4 Pisten Bully Groomers!
- 2021 Quad 80 and Quad 83 Chairlifts Painted
- 2021 New Chair Pads for Triple Chair
- 2021 Major Snowmaking Pipe Improvements and Water Capacity Increase
- 2021 New Flooring in Chalet, Fireplace Lounge and Lower Lodge Bathrooms
- 2021 Improved Lighting Indoors, Upgrade to Energy Efficient LED, Planned Upgrade for Hill Lighting for 2022 Season.
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