Some 60 years ago, Everett Kircher began transforming the defunct Harbor Highlands ski area into a year-round resort with the best skiing in the Midwest. Boyne Highlands, as Kircher named his vision, delivered. With 435 skiable acres, it became the largest ski area in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, offering the highest vertical terrain and mile-long runs, along with cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and fat biking in winter and 72 holes of championship golf, horseback trail rides and more in summer. Zipline adventures are available in both seasons.
Now, the resort is embarking on an ambitious multiyear vision. The 2030 Transformational Journey, unveiled in December, begins with rebranding as The Highlands at Harbor Springs. “As we carry out our Transformational Journey, The Highlands will rise once again to become the grande dame of Midwest resorts with a nurtured sense of charm and place, elevated guest services, and four seasons of curated experiences, all with an enduring commitment to protecting our environment,” says Stephen Kircher, president and CEO of Boyne Resorts and son of Everett Kircher.
The transformation, already underway, is extensive:
» Radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to provide streamlined, direct-to-lift ticket purchases.
» New equipment to enable snowmaking in marginal temperatures and to provide for the creation of new features within the resort’s five terrain parks.
» Northern Michigan’s only TrackMan Range, a 30-bay setup that allows golfers to practice distance control and shot-shaping using tour-proven swing and ball-flight tracking and analysis.
» The makeover of Donald Ross Memorial golf course’s Hole #1 to an accurate facsimile of the famed #6 at Seminole Golf Club in Florida.
» Main Lodge renovations, including expanded guest rooms and suites.
» Enriched culinary experiences, including a new restaurant that will serve a fusion of steakhouse and Asian fare and feature a speakeasy that evokes a bygone era of northern Michigan’s infamous clubs.