When Jim & Sandy 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 their inaugural ski season, five of the seven rope tows were condemned. What humble beginnings.
The Wisemans 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 12 runs, a 225 vertical foot peak (Highest in Southwest Michigan) and seven lifts, including 2 quads and one triple.
Sadly, Jim passed in December of 2021, just as we began our 53rd season of operations. View Obituary Here>>> Although Jim is no longer with us, Swiss Valley continues to be operated by the Wiseman Family, led by his daughter, Jamie Wiseman Stafne.
What’s New 2023-2024
- 2023 Parking lot improvements, Entire Lot RESURFACED with Asphalt Millings, Additional LED Lighting Installed
- 2023 Added 3 New SMI Super Polecat Snowmakers to our fleet
- 2023 Added nearly 300 Pair of HEAD BYS Rental Skis, 25 New Head Snowboards & over 200 Additional Helmets to our Rental Fleet
- 2023 Added Snowmaking & LED Lighting to Weezy’s Way
- 2023 Completed Phase 3 of our 5 Year Snowmaking line replacement nearly 2,000 Feet of new water line installed
- 2023 Converted more interior lighting to Energy Effecient LED
- 2023 Replaced Roof and Scalloped Facia Boards on Main Lodge
- 2023 Replaced Roofs on all Lift Shacks
- 2023 New paint, lighting and decor in the interior of the Main Lodge & Cafe 225
- 2023 Rentals and Ski Patrol Building Painted, Front of Main Lodge Painted
- 2023 Updated Furnaces in Rentals Building to Improve Comfort and Dehumidify/Dry Equipment Faster
- 2023 Added a small pine tree farm to better separate “The Ditch” Terrain Park from the run “Hope It Snowed”
Swiss Valley History Timeline
- 1960- Began as Little Switzerland
- Originally built by Dagmar and Louie Danley.
- 1968- James & Sandy Wiseman purchased the area.
- The Wiseman Family have owned and operated Swiss Valley for the past 55+ 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 1 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.
New for 2022 – 2023
- 2022 Added 5 New SMI Super Polecat Snowmakers to our fleet
- 2022 Finished On Hill Lighting Conversions to Full LED
- 2022 Added a new run, “Wheezy’s Way” a run through the trees off Triple/Mountain Do.
- 2022 Triple Chairlift Painted
- 2022 New VFD High efficiency Snowmaking Pump Added
- 2022 Replaced over 1400′ of Snowmaking Pipe up Triple, Increasing snowmaking capacity
- 2022 Cafe’ 225′ Renovation, redesign of Cafe Service Area
- 2022 Renovated Rental Department, Added almost 300 Pair of New Snowboard Boots, New Bindings and Snowboards. Replaced 1,950 Pair of Ski Boots and added 260 New Rental Helmets to our fleet.
- 2022 Continued Converting indoor lighting to LED.
- 2022 Cut back brush along several runs widening skiable terrain
- 2022 Added NASTAR Racing!
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