Mt. Brighton – Brighton

Mt. Brighton was the last of the southeast Michigan “majors” to open, sometime in the mid-1960’s. In The Cass City Chronicle for Feb. 3, 1966, the AAA Guide to Winter Sports Fun in Michigan lists Brighton with 6 runs (including 2 for beginners), J-Bar, 5 rope tows, snowmaking and night skiing.

19 Responses to Mt. Brighton – Brighton

  1. MILSAP says:

    On Jan. 20, 2012, Geoff Smith left the following comment on our page for Brighton in the Southeast Michigan Ski Regions, pointing out that I had so far neglected to create a page of Mt. Brighton in our “Current Areas” section. Geoff said,
    “Mt. Brighton was the last “big” SE Michigan area developed (after Mt Holly, Pine Knob and Alpine Valley) in the mid 1960′s and was located a few miles west of US 27 off of I-96 in Brighton. There were 4 owners. One, Gene Hill, was the head ski instructor and area promoter. Another, Bill Riskey, was nationally reknowned for his snow making expertise. I coached ski racers there in the 1970′s and several Jr Olympic and collegiate racers got their start there. Tim Hill, Gene’s son, is currently US Masters champion for his age group.”

    • Rick Riskey says:

      Its Great hearing all the fond memories everyone has about Mt Brighton we also have our share Thanks The Riskey Family

      • Lori Fullerton Melton says:

        Rick, we had a blast there as a family. Ray would always talk to Bill whenever we were there. Many good memories. Lori Fullerton Melton

  2. Susan Jarvis says:

    Geoff, How can I contact Gene…I would love to find his son Mark, Matt and Jeff…I taught with Gene’s group starting 1976….Thanks!

    • Mark Forrest Hill says:

      Hi Susan,
      I can’t believe I stumbled onto this site and saw your post. I remember teaching with you at Mt. Brighton back in the 70’s. I now live in CA (I was doing a little research about my family) . It would be great to hear how you’re doing. Drop me a line if you get a chance.

      Best regards-
      Forrest (aka Mark)

      p.s. I’ve been going by my middle name for the past 15 years (that’s what happens when you move to California 🙂 )..

    • geoff smith says:

      Hi Susan. I see Forrest aka Mark found you. The last I heard Gene and Pat were living in Steamboat Springs. Tim is an md (orthodpedist) living in the Seattle area. Geoff is a commercial real estate broker in the Detroit area. I don’t have a clue where Matt is.

  3. Trucker Mark says:

    I skied Mt Brighton a few times during the early to mid-1970s. I remember at one time they had an expert run “Big Riskey” on the one side, and on the opposite side they had an unusual set-up where the same lift loaded in both directions, the one direction went up the main hill right next to Big Riskey and the other direction served “Little Riskey”, which was a tame little hill opposite the main hill. I haven’t skied there since the winter of 1975-76, but for several years during this last decade, I used to deliver meat to Taorello’s Market in Brighton, on my way up to Meijer’s warehouse in Lansing, and driving by brought back fond memories too.

  4. Susan Jarvis says:

    Trying to find the Gene Hill family from MT Brighton from that era…if Geoff could help me out with this…I taught there 1976 thru1983….under Gene Hill

  5. Susan Jarvis says:

    Hey Mark, leave me your email or phone number….I go to CA every year–my parents have a small place in Palm Springs….I planned on moving into their place this next year–I am so glad I had left that message –I was trying to find you guys! So tell me what you are up to….email me at……wonder where Kathy is…

  6. Susan Jarvis says:

    I think I will start skiing again this year…I really think back on how much fun we had –hiding inside to miss a lesson…hehehe…remember Ziggy….Doug Wren is still teaching I think at Kandahar(sp) and working at a golf course during the summer.

  7. Doug Wren says:

    Hi Sue,
    Do you know how long I have been waiting to hear those famous words,”I’m gona come back this season.” You have made my whole season.

    How are you? Haven’t seen or heard of you in quinete a while. Yes I am still teaching but at Winter Walden and Boyne Highlands. Still come to Mt Brighton with the Winter Walden group.
    Now that you age coming back to skiing we’ll have to take a run or two.Good hearing of you.

  8. laura shields says:

    I used to ski there in the 90s with a couple buddys of mine TJ Burke and Dexter Rutekki before they moved to Aspen.

  9. MILSAP says:

    On Feb. 7, 2013, Rob Ryan left the following comment: Mt. Brighton opened in 1962. At first there were 16 owners but after a few years most dropped out. Of the original owners, Doyle Tippett and Bill Ryan remained until Bill and Lillian Ryan sold their piece to Doyle in 1986. Though it was great to grow up in the ski business I can still provoke a familier refrain from my mother, “You’re at the mercy of the elements”

  10. Robin Galbraith vincent says:

    So nice to hear so many of these names from the past. I have so many great memories. Susan I still have an old pair of 210 hart comp skis that you either sold or gave to me. Does anyone know where Kathy is or and of the Rudy, Catails ?

  11. John Wyma says:

    A few years back I ran into Gene Hill at Steamboat, spent over an hour listening to great stories about him and his partners building up Brighton, he told of hiring buldozers, making fast trips to recently failed ski areas to buy the chairlifts, he and his partners would disassemble the chairlifts, haul them in thier pickups to Brighton, and reassemble them, he told of hiring a cable weaver to adjust the old cables to fit the newly positioned towers. Each chairlift had a history from another ski area. He told great stories of the ski school and it’s early days. That time spent with Gene will never be forgotten and those stories will forever be a great memory.

  12. fred wark says:

    The Hills, at least Mrs, are still in Franklin MI. A few weeks ago she told me that this past winter was the first winter in 60+ years that she did not put a pair of skiis on her feet

  13. bob morris says:

    My dad Don Morris was on the ski patrol at Mt Brighton in the 60s and 70s. I remember a run called the Big Riskey and other folks there. Ferris Steinhauser was a dude of some note. We had many great times there. Thanks to all.

  14. David Thomas Hart says:

    Such great tales from the past. I graduated Brighton High School in 1983. During my junior and senior years I had the same schedule. The moment school ended I raced home to my house near the eastern side of Brighton US 23/Spencer/Buno rds. Grab my paper hat and striped brown uniform for my couple hours as a Grill Cook at Micky D’s.. Then off to paradise, for a quiet only child from the UK I would tell my relatives back in Manchester of the “Great Mt. Brighton” With its massive & oh so dangerous ski runs. How there were people from all over the country coming to our “Resort”. I knew the reality of my paradise and that is exactly what it was, Paradise! Riding the swinging lifts to the top of “Big Risky,” sometimes the wind would blow so hard you swore you might fall to your death. There were some wonderful people that frequented our hill from all over the world but mostly from the far off nations of Milford, Howell and South lyon. I loved to ski with my best ski buddy Bill Cook. He pretty much taught me everything on skiing. Then there were also the cold winter nights during the week when the runs were pretty much empty. Those were the best of times for a 17 year old with only a few very close friends, going up the lift, thinking of where my life would go? Back to England where my entire large extended family still lived. Stay in the States and think about how to keep my car running long enough to get off to CMU. Just everyday things a teenager would think about. What better place to be than Mt. Brighton. Busy weekends with busses bringing college girls from all Michigan & Ohio University’s or those quiet nights i mentioned above where you could only hear the wind as your lift bounced it’s way to the top. I was asked to try to be home before 11pm so there wasn’t many hours of Paradise during the week. But every moment I spent at Mt. Brighton in the early 80’s was just that, Paradise. Thank you to those who created it.
    Oh yeah, Yes, stay in the states, off to Oakland Comm College then CMU. Got married to an angel who has given me 2 wonderful son’s (First Hart’s to be born in the United States of America.)
    I tell them stories of the big “Tree Jump” at the bottom of the red. They say, yeah, sure dad, you flew 10 feet into the air?… Yes, when I was slightly out of control… looking at something nice going up the lift.. Whoops! I enjoyed reading others and writing mine, Thank you.

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