Resort opens for summer, plans new tubing ride

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Kaylee Schwab takes an exciting ride on the Aerial Adventure park at Whitefish Mountain Resort.

Despite Big Mountain’s white hat of lingering snow, Whitefish Mountain Resort is ready for its summer season.

The resort is opening early for Memorial Day Weekend, inviting visitors on Saturday, May 26 to enjoy the zip line tours, Aerial Adventure Park, scenic lift rides and mountain biking in the Bad Rock zone and cross-country trails. Additional activities will open up as the snow melts. The resort will be open daily starting June 16 through Labor Day and will remain open on weekends until Sept. 23.

Resort spokesperson Riley Polumbus said the lifts are ready for visitors even with snow still remaining on some unplowed spots on the summit.

“It’s like 5 1/2 feet up there. But we’re prepped and ready to welcome riders on the chairlift, definitely no skiing but it will be ready for summer rides,” she said.

New to the resort’s summer offerings this year will be a tubing activity on the Magic Carpet hill at the Base Lodge. The resort will add two side-by-side slides next to a new conveyor carpet which summer tubing riders will use to get to the top of the hill. Once at the top, each rider will ride solo 300 feet down a slippery surface.

While the tubing won’t be ready just yet, Polumbus said it should be open by June 16.

“It’s going to be one more thing that some of the younger kids can do. We don’t have an age limit, but there’s a minimum height of 34 inches,” Polumbus said. “It’s definitely aiming to give another activity for the little guys.”

The resort will also be hosting the Northwest Cup, a mountain bike racing event, from Aug. 24 to 26. The Montana Enduro Series is also returning to the mountain on July 15.

Last summer was one of, if not the busiest summers on the mountain, Polumbus said, and after setting a new record for total skier visits this past winter, the resort is setting its sights on another productive summer season.

“It’s nice to build on the momentum of other previous summers,” she said. “It’s not as easy to quantify [visits in] summer as it is in winter. Skier visits counts everybody going on lifts and the summer is a different beast.”

Polumbus said she’s also hoping locals take a peek at what the resort has to offer in the summer.

“We have such a great local base of skiers and snowboarders, and I know there’s so many other things to do in the summer, but at the same time I hope that people who haven’t been up here in a while take the chance to come check it out,” she said.

In May and June, guests who visit the resort can take advantage of early season pricing on zip line tours and the Aerial Adventure Park. From May 26 through June 30 the five-zip tour is $55 and the seven-zip tour is $63 per person, and the Aerial Adventure Park is $41 for ages 13 and up and $31 for kids ages 7-12. Pricing for the tubing will be $12 for a two-ride ticket and $20 for a four-ride ticket.

Winter 2017-18 season passholders will get 50 percent off all summer activities for the weekends of May 26-27, June 2-3 and June 9-10. Passholders receive free rides on the scenic lift and must bring their season pass to receive discounts for activities, food and beverages.

Guests can go to skiwhitefish.com and pre-purchase discounted tickets for the alpine slide, scenic lift and the bike park.

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