Londo here, fresh off an unexpectedly extended trip to Grand Rapids, and Boyne, Michigan for the MRA Test Fest and Trade Show. I landed in Grand Rapids a week ago with no idea what to expect for the upcoming week. I had spent quite a few years skiing in Wisconsin and was looking forward to getting back to my Midwest skiing roots for 3 days of appointments and mayhem.
Boyne, Michigan is located in North Western Michigan not far from the shores of Lake Michigan. If you look at it on a map you will notice it is very far north, and right smack dab in the middle of this joyous second round of a polar vortex. The first day of the demo was one of the coldest experiences I have had at an on snow event. The deep toe freeze kicked in at about 9:30, and with an air temperature of only 1 the only thing keeping me warm was my hangover. Regardless Midwestern accounts were stoked to come by the tent and check out what was new from Bern, we had great feedback on our Kingston and Rollins models and can’t wait to get them on shelves across the Midwest.
At only 552 feet of vertical Boyne is certainly about more than just the skiing, and the real magic of the whole place is the resort and the people visiting and working there. Boyne is modeled after a bavarian village and also continues to operate the oldest chairlift in the world, which was originally operated in Sun Valley, ID. Not much has changed about Boyne since its inception in the late 60’s which really adds to it’s charm.
And charm it does! Now the real gem of MRA, Boyne, and any Midwestern ski event is the apres scene. MRA hosts an after party and happy hour(s) after every day of the show and the setting couldn’t be more perfect. Enter The Snowflake Lounge, there’s no doubt your grandpa raged this place as hard or harder than we did this week. Walking into this place for the first time I felt as if we f’ed up the hot tub and were actually entering the plot of Hot Tub Time Machine. I was relieved to wake up the next day in 2014 despite having the second worse hangover of my life. From it’s impressive carpet, to it’s untraditional pool ball selection The Snowflake lounge is one of the most classic bars I have ever had the privilege of partying in.
Thanks to all our friends, retailers, and boyne locals for making this a trip to remember. See you next year.