Otsego Ski Club – Gaylord

The Otsego Ski Club opened in 1939. On Fri., Mar. 14, 1941, the “Michigan Mirror” column of The Cass City Chronicle said:

At Gaylord, highest point of the
lower peninsula,(is)the Otsego Ski Club,
with a log clubhouse overlooking
the majestic Valley of White Sands
through which the Sturgeon River
twists...

In 1955, Alan  Gornick purchased the resort from the estate of Donald McLouth.  Today, the 4000 acre resort has 105  guest rooms, 4 golf courses, ski hill, and restaurant. OSC for a time also referred to the ski area they operated as a private club with no public sales as Hidden Valley.

In 1959, Sports Illustrated noted: Hidden Valley, Gaylord added a 1380′ double chair lift with a 270′ rise added by Otsego Ski Club; admission by membership only.

A Room at the Hidden Valley Lodgecourtesy of Vintage Ski

A Room at the Hidden Valley Lodge
courtesy of Vintage Ski

Read more:http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1134079/index.htm#ixzz1Hxb9eXGu

As of this writing, Otsego has been in continuous operation as a ski area for 72 years and is the oldest ski club in America with it’s own ski facility. They have 5 chairlifts, including a high speed quad and 2 halfpipes.

There was a report last spring (2012) that the area would not re-open for the 2012-13 season. However, their website was updated in late fall (2012) to indicate that winter operations will continue under the control of a new company consisting of two ski club members. The ski area opened as planned for the 2012-13 season on Dec. 26. They plan to be open for the season on weekends and holidays. It seems that we do not have to move it to our “lost” areas section.

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5 Responses to Otsego Ski Club – Gaylord

  1. Tom Ritter says:

    There are five chairs, 3 two place, 1 three place, and 1 four place (not high speed) plus a rope tow as of 2012. The club was sold to Osprey LLC around 2007 and is up for sale now. Our latest claim to fame was the creation, two years ago, of a 22′ Super pipe prior to the Vancover Olympics. We hosted 14 teams from all over the world who trained at Otsego.

    • Bob Sisco says:

      Tom, is Otsego ski hill open to the public? If I recall correctly it was open on a Wednesday or Thursday night a few years back.
      I have played golf at the Tribute which goes around much of the ski area and would like the opportunity to ski there if possible. A day there and Treetops/ Sylvan would make a nice weekend. Looks like a nice widespread trail layout.
      Intriguing the type of lift brand they had/ have there( Miner Denver)

      • Craig Whaley says:

        Otsego is still private in the winters. Members are allowed to bring as many guests to ski as they want, however, a guest is only allowed 1 visit per year regardless of what member brings that guest.

        As for the lifts we do have Miner Denver lifts still up and running. The newest quad lift that we put in around 10 years ago is a CTEC.

  2. Bob Sisco says:

    I finally skied at Otsego club 2/9/19 after the area had been purchased at auction and opened to the public.$65 walk up rate.It felt like a private area as the conditions were excellent although cold with a few inches a fresh snow. Although nothing real challenging it was still fun and has character and the River cabin at the bottom of chair 5 was bustling and they had a small bus with converted snow tracks bringing non skiers to and fro. Old fashioned fireplace and ambience.
    As a lift nut it was neat to see the highest concentration of short lived Miner Denver lifts. One was not working( lift 4) The lattice tower and center pole chair at the entrance is a Telecar( not a Miner Denver as the sign says) and installed about the same time as Nubs Nob first chair in ’59. Jean Pomagalski (Poma) was on hand for christening. So much ski history here in Gaylord area and this area started it all, glad to have finally skied it and hope the best for
    new owners.

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