Tyrollean Hills – Gaylord

According to the Otsego Chamber of Commerce 50th Anniversary History: In the mid-1970’s, the Pinnacles Ski Resort was re-named Tyrolean Hills. It operated until 1988.

Tyrolean Hills Hoodie

40 Responses to Tyrollean Hills – Gaylord

  1. Bob Lindsteadt says:

    I wouldn’t say it really ‘operated’ until 1988. There was skiing there until then — but it wasn’t really a ‘resort’ by then. I had a ‘friend’ (somewhat of a “self promoter!”) who was supposed to become the manager of the place. I was, by then a member of the National Ski Patrol. He invited me out to the hill to look over the operation and set up the patrol room.

    I discovered there was nothing there you could call a ‘resort!’ The place had been stripped by previous owners and vandals. Even to the light fixtures and some of the plumbing!

    As I remember, there were two rope tows operating and a lunchroom.
    That was all!

    I gave my ‘friend’ a list of supplies and equipment to order in for the (hopeful?) patrol room. Turned out there was no money to buy the items! Seems that the new owners of the ‘resort’ had stiffed everybody in town that would extend them credit and then, “disappeared!”

    I was a member of the volunteer ambulance service of Otsego County at that time. (Retired after Twelve years service as an EMT Specialist.)

    On the same weekend that the earlier mentioned ‘credit problem’ was exposed, I was in the E. R. at Otsego county memorable hospital when a young boy was brought in by a very upset father. Seem his son had been skiing at Tyrolean hills that afternoon and had been pushed while in the lift line and fallen backwards . The ‘patroller’ who had attended him told the parents he had only bruised legs above the boot tops and to ‘just take him home and apply ice packs to the back of his legs.’ Four hours later, after much pain — his x-rays showed TWO broken fibulae!

    That was the end of my affiliation with Tyrolean hills — and a short time later — the end of that, so-called, ‘resort!’

    • kapollock says:

      Bob – see my reply below. I wish you would have had the opportunity to see what it was not what it became. I was in the area a few weeks ago and went back out there – what it has become is an absolute shame.

  2. Jenny Bennett says:

    My family skied at Tyrollean Hills at lot during the late 70’s – early 80’s. It was a beautiful place. At that time, the restaurant was very good. I remember my Dad raving about the steak dinners!! My favorite place was the fireplace. The fireplace was surrounded by built-in seating area that was a few steps down from the main floor. As a little kid, I thought that fireplace was so cool!! I also remember sleeping there while my parents sat in the bar with friends.

  3. H S Brookins says:

    I have a TON of pictures of the inside of Tyrolean Hills Resort. A few friends and I were granted permission by the property owner in 2008 to take a Midnight Tour. Yes, it was pretty scary to say the least. The resort or what was left of it intrigued us all. The building has long since been vandalized and torn to shreds, yet the fireplace that was mentioned above is still standing along with a lot of other rooms. I’m not sure if anyone would like to see these pictures, but if this site admin would like to message me at angelfeather81@yahoo.com and I can send them to you.

  4. kapollock says:

    My parents ( Chan and Marge Pollock ) purchased the Pinnacles from Mr. Henry Philips and his investors and built the Tyrolean Hills into what was its premier time of existence – late 60’s and early 70’s. We invested a significant amount of effort and money to include at first updating the old Pinnacle’s to something that could begin as a new Northern Michigan Resort rebranded as Tyrolean Hills. Over the course of our family ownership, the Pollock Family and employees of Tyrolean Hills invested considerable time, effort and dollars in updating all of the hotel rooms, redesigned the kitchen to a restaurant quality environment with dining room gas steak grills for our famous Friday night “sizzling” steak night mentioned, We moved the ski shop from the old log cabin added the new addition to the main lodge with the upstairs lounge, added the swimming pool / sauna’s, added night skiing, the addition of the backside poma lift, 10 new runs and updated all snowmaking and ski area grooming equipment. We created a respected, mid-west renown ski resort, ski school and national ski patrol program ( all filmed at least 7 times for Michigan Outdoor – more then any other resort at the time in MI, besides Boyne properties ). We also added summer activities including horseback riding, fishing on the black river, hunting on the property and the pigeon river forest and built a 9 hole golf course and 3 tennis courts to attract summer visitors. In addition, we subdivided the property on the 5 mile entrance to resort and built many of the full time resident homes established during this time frame. The property was booming with capacity crowds all winter and very well respected in the industry, with plans to expand a world class championship golf course and to establish the resort as the premier Northern Michigan outdoor summer concert venue, until the accidental death of my mother, Marge Pollock, on December 20, 1973, on the property. Our family left the business to the other 4 ( bank investors ) in 1974 resulting in the complete demise of Tyrolean Hills. I did manage to ski on the property during the other two ownerships of the Tyrolean Hills brand, but it was no way comparable to what it was during its hey day.. Ask anyone in the Gaylord area include the past and present owners of what was Sylvan – now Treetops… What Treetops is today was the Pollock family vision back in 1968.

    Keith Pollock, son of Chan and Marge Pollock (Vancouver, BC)

    • Jessica says:

      my grandfather was the care taker of this property when I was growing up. my grandma waitressed there and that’s where I learned how to ski. I have many many memories there and have also seen unexplainable things there after it closed down. this place holds a place in my heart. I think that kids may have vandalized (sadly) this place in search of the spirits that remain or hang out in this building and property. It still scares me being there at night even to this day. but as a child I have some of the best memories and some weird ones too.

      • kapollock says:

        Hi Jessica,

        Would your grandparents have been Henry (Hank) and Ruth Philps?

        Keith Pollock
        Son of Chan and Marge Pollock, Owners 1965-1974
        Tyrolean Hills Resort, Gaylord, MI

    • I was fascinated to read your history of Pinnacles/Tyrolean Hills ski area. We have made our home in Tyrolean Hills and love this area. My husband purchased our property in the 80’s and managed to enjoy some of the activities of the day. Unfortunately for me, by the time I came into the picture, the resort was closed and hadn’t operated for some time. I wish I could have been here to enjoy the area in it’s hay day. Do you know if there are any trail maps around? I would love to find one if you can help.
      Susan Genovesi – Tyrolean Hills

      • Eric Tubbs says:

        Susan,
        We’ve had a chalet on Deer Trail since 1973 and I’ve also experienced the loss of trails. I rode motorcycles on all of those trails and knew them like the back of my hand. I don’t know them by name but I could drive around and show you what trails where there. We drove by your place by the lake this past weekend. I’d love to speak with you, send me a reply if you’re interested in talking.

        Eric Tubbs

    • Hi Keith,
      You mentioned in your earlier reply to me that you could probably recall from memory most of the trails here. Do you recall Valley Trail? If you do, can you recall how it came about AND how far you could travel on it? I assume you’ve had no luck finding any trail maps but in lieu of a physical Mao, maybe your memory will suffice .
      Susan

    • Eric Tubbs says:

      Keith,
      I learned to ski at the age of five at the Pinnacles and still remember Henry Phillips sitting with us at breakfast. We stayed there often until your dad bought it and built our chalet on Deer Trail. We still own the chalet, in fact I was up there with my wife this past weekend. My three kids all grew up skiing in the Gaylord area (mostly the Otsego Club) and we have vast fond memories of the chalet and the Tyrolean Hills property. I’m so grateful to your dad for convincing my folks to build there. Maybe not the best financial investment but our good times there are priceless.

      Eric Tubbs
      Son of Don and Carolyn Tubbs

      • Keith Pollock says:

        Hi Eric,

        Sorry – I should check this listing more often. I wish I would have, as I was out at Tyrolean Hills a couple weeks ago during Alpenfest. Took a walk around the property and a visit down memory lane with my wife. I sure wish the resort was still in my family – I am sure we would have made it successful. I’m planning to be back over this coming Labor Day weekend – if you are in the area let me know, it would be nice to meet up and exchange stories. take care.

  5. Chan Pollock says:

    I’m a son of the Pollocks mentioned by my brother in this blog. I’m a little older, so I can help with a few more facts. There were 7 total investors that purchased the 2,000 acre property from the prior investor group in 1968. Chan and Marge Pollock were one of the 7 investors and managed the place from 68 to ’74. The other 6 were doctors from the Ohio area that enjoyed skiing. Prior to that, it was managed by Hank and Ruthie Phelps and Chan and Marge ran the ski shop concession with the Lippert family from 65-68 in the basement of the old log building by the chairlift. John Lippert was a VP at Gaylord State Bank at the time. Lift tickets were something like $5. Keith is correct that a lot of money was invested to put in the pool, golf, ski shop addition, lodge and grounds upgrades, “the back” runs and new poma, etc. (“Lynn”, the main owner of Sylvan Knob helped us install that poma during the summer of ’72 or 73!) There were several rooms in the main “lodge”, a converted barn which dates back to the 30’s when the property was a large ranch. The original ranch house was back on the black river and was full of hunting trophies. The place was busy every weekend from Christmas to closing. Families stayed in the lodge and large groups stayed in the “dorm”, another converted ranch barn. Keith and I were teenagers at the time and had plenty of fun, year-round. I, too, have seen the shambles of the present day place. It’s a shame, certainly. Chan Sr. left the investor group in 74 and the remaining 6 kept it moving and I don’t know what happened from there. The land is dotted with producing gas wells, and there are a few year-round residents in the area, probably living in houses built by my dad and his helpers. Had my mother not had that accidental car crash that took her life out there on the bend in the access road by the “old North 40” (what we called the last field on the right), it just might have turned in to another Treetops. That was certainly the vision. It is certainly great to say “I grew up on a ski hill in Gaylord”. We have zillions of great memories. I’m fortunate enough to live in the Evergreen, CO area now, just a few miles from the skiing out here.

    Chan Pollock Jr., Evergreen, CO

    • Jessica says:

      My grandpa would have been the caretaker in the late 80’s. his name is Rudy hertlein. It’s crazy to here you speak of your mom’s accident. I always thought that maybe it was just a story. did they put her car on the back of the bunny hill? my grandpa’s house is almost at the bottom of one of the back hills. you have to drive past it to get to the lodge. I grew up out there..remember the pool. skiing, and different owners. may I ask what happened in the accident with your mom? wondered the real story. I think we have seen or felt her on the property. so cool getting in touch with you. I don’t want to ever lose those memories

      • Chan Pollock says:

        Hi Jessica. Yes, it was a 1960-something white Opal Cadet. After the accident, we hauled it up behind the quanset hut up against the trees (that half rounded metal building and left it there). That hut, by the way, used to be in the middle of the parking lot to the left of the big silo. We cut it in half and towed half of it with two bulldozers to its current location. (Boy is that another story!) Accident was a head on collision on the icy access road with one of the workers pretty near where your grandpa lived. She was hurt pretty badly, but OK enough to get to Gaylord for medical help. Passed away at the doctor’s office from spleen damage. My brother, who has also posted here, went thru the windshield and got banged up but survived. The other driver survived also, but I hear passed away recently. He was driving a big Pontiac. The Opal was no match for it. We have lots of much better memories from there. Keith and I skied nearly every weekend day and some nights after school – 68-’73.

      • I live out in Tyrolean Hills Jessica and wonder about your Grandfather, Rudy Hertlein. Is he still living? I know his heath began to deteriorate and his son moved him somewhere but have had no contact since. Hopefully, he’s well. Do you know if there are any old maps or brochures that may show the cross-country ski trails throughout Tyrolean?

      • ReneeM says:

        Hey Jessica! Renee Brunette here. My parents were friends with your grandparents and I used to play with you and your sister

      • Susan Ayres-Genovesi says:

        Hi Jessica,

        Is it you who has moved into Rudy’s house? I’ve heard we have new neighbors but nothing more than that. How is Rudy?

  6. Hi Susan, – we use to live in the first home off sawyer road as first enter the property (on left). My father, brother and me build most of the chalet style home heading in to Tyrolean hills (Pinnacles) on the main road. Growing up there, I know the property from the lake at the entry to the pond at the resort, to the old river house (which is gone now), up and down the river and most of the swamp surrounding the area. I might have a few old brochures that would show some of the trails. I’ll dig through my stuff to see what I can find for you – I could probably tell you by memory as most of them were snowmobile trails in the winter, horseback riding – and dirt bike trails in the summer. take care, Keith Pollock

    • So you’ve been all over this place! Did you the Boughner Family? They owned a lot of property on Sparr Rd…including the corner store…Sparr Mall. Anyway…Don Boughner was all over this place as a kid too…he’s 64 now. He, like you are what I consider a “great resource”! To be able to derive info about this place from people who were around then…is very difficult until I found this site. I wish there was a map showing all roads and trails before this property was subdivided for homes and cottages. I’d be MOST grateful for a map of the trails, if you can find one. We have a couple of property owners who have decided they don’t want anyone enjoying a trail that runs across the back of their property, so they have put up gates and made the trail impassible to other property owners…in spite of restrictions in everyone’s deed. So, we’ll have to take him to court. The restrictions refer to “existing trails” but without a map proving that that particular trail was “existing”…it’s up to conjecture on how long the trail has been there and if it is a trail that was existing at that time. After talking to Don, I’m certain the trail is in fact an existing trail but a map would be perfect!
      I believe the house you said you lived in is where Jim Hilt family live now…and have for quite some time. Nice people. How long has it been since you were back here? Sadly, the ski lodge property has been vandalized so many times that it is just a shell now…partial at that. The property is owned by a builder in lower-Michigan and uses it for hunting.

      Take care…
      Susan G

      • Keith Pollock says:

        Hi Susan,

        I was out at Tyrolean Hills a couple weeks ago during Alpenfest to take a look around the old neighborhood and attend a high school reunion. It is always so disheartening to see what Tyrolean Hills once was under my parents management to what it is now. I feel so badly for all the families that invested in our vision, only to see what it has become. Such a shame. I see someone has put up gates to now allow access into the property any more – looks like the owner did it to keep people out of their hunting areas – but it helps to know the back roads and trails 🙂 There use to be actual maps of the areas that we provided with snowmobile rentals. I would suggest speaking to one of the very old home owners in the area that are still there (like Dunnigan’s, next to the large alfalfa field or out by the lake) – I don’t think Moody’s still own the chalet at the top of the hill (on pavement) where the electric power crosses. Either on of these old owners would have maps. you might also try Don / Phyllis Boughner at Sparr Mall or Tommy Boughner at corner of Kris and Sparr Rd. – both were dedicated employees and close to our family back in early 70’s. I’d really like to contact the present owner as I believe there is still personal items that belong to my family in the attic of the lodge – we use to store items up there… mostly photos and stuff – probably why the claims of my mother haunt the old resort… do you know who the current owner is and how someone might contact them?

  7. Jessica Hertlein says:

    My grandpa’s health is good. He doesn’t move around very good and wasn’t able to live alone anymore. There was always a brochure laying around somewhere around the house. Where are you at back there?

  8. I’m so glad to hear Rudy is well. There are several of us who knew him and think of him. I am often asked how he’s doing and didn’t have any idea…until now. Thanks!
    We live by Lake 19 at the top of the hill. My husband bought the property years ago, well before we married before the ski lodge closed the last time. After we married…26 years ago, we started building this place and a few years ago moved up here. We love it!
    Tell Rudy…that Karl & Gisa, Angelo Genovesi & a few others…that we’re glad to hear he’s well and “HI!”

    thanks Jessica!

    • ReneeM says:

      Hello. How are you related to Karl and Gisa. My parents used to hang with them and snowmobile. I remember Gisa doing eyeliner on me like she had. Their chows used to scare me to death

  9. Jessica Hertlein says:

    I will be sure to tell him. I wish he could still be up there, as that was where he was truly happy. I hope someone can find a map for you. I always hated going out on the trails and finding thst someone has moved in and put up a gate or fence. So beautiful out there. The view from the top of the ski hill is my favorite. I camped up there once, years ago.

  10. GeorgeAcker says:

    Live in the bush between Gaylord, Grayling, Mancelona, and Kalkaska. Tyroleans Hills was a great small area where my girls and wife learned to ski in the early 80’s along with Mt. Mancelona, Michawye, and Skyline. Miss them all, lots of great memories.

  11. Eric,
    We met Billy Tubbs a few weeks ago up here. May I assume you are of the same clan? Don Tubbs owns the property next to us…your father perhaps?
    Susan

    • David Tubbs says:

      Susan, this is David Tubbs, Eric’s brother. Billy is my son. He said you may be interested in purchasing the lot my father owns. Our family would be interested in selling. You can reach me via email at dktubbs@sbcglobal.net or via cell at 810-404-7801. We still own our chalet on Deer Trail, many found memories and making more with our grandchildren now.

  12. Tim says:

    Anyone remember Dugan?

  13. Keith Pillock says:

    I am one of two sons of the owners of Tyrolean Hills. Our family ( the Pollock’s ) owned the ski shop in the old log cabin warming house basement with the Lippert’s during The Pinnacle days and the purchased the property and renamed it, “Tyrolean Hills”. We enhanced the lodge, dormitories, added the ski shop, upper lounge, pool, refurbished the kitchen and bar and added night skiing, the Poma lift for the back ski runs, put in snow making equipment and added a summer 9 hole golf course. Our family made
    Tyrolean Hills a destination vacation spot and ran the resort at its prime. We sold the resort due to a death in our immediate family and it then went down the tube…. Ask anyone in the Gaylord area, the Pollock’s wee the only ones tha made Tyrrikean Hillis a viable business… Oh how i wish it still was in the family!!!!!

  14. Susan Ayres-Genovesi says:

    Hi Keith,
    I wish this area was still what it once was…what fun it would have been. It seems now that the folks that come back here simply want to “live off the grid”. It’s very frustrating. I don’t know if you knew Swartz…I can’t recall his first name. Anyway, his son Bernard is currently waiting for a decision by the court for blocking Valley Trail and landlocking him from his property. It’s been over 3 months after waiting 2 years for a court date! It’s all very disappointing for sure. There is still nothing I would appreciate more than someone who knows ALL the trails to guide me through them. I’d like to map them for the future…so there is no question as to where the original trails were/are.
    The current owner of the property the ski lodge sat on is Joey Grupido. His address is:

    Christopher & Heather Grupido
    392 Indian Lake Rd
    Lake Orion, MI 48362

    If there is anything personal remaining in the building, I hope Joey will be open to sharing them with you. I hope you’ll let me know how that goes for you.

    I hope you’ll let me know when you plan to come up again. I’d love to meet you and learn a little more about our little haven. We live at 9535 Birch Run and my email is: susan.genovesi@gmail.com

    Susan Genovesi
    989-731-4537

  15. jessica hertlein says:

    Omg, Renee! I remember you 🙂 so good to connect with you. Wow. Look me up on fb, if you’re on there. Would love to catch up. Hope you and your family are doing well.

  16. Mark Holston says:

    I have been through the property as a younger kid, and was always enthralled by the history and beauty of it, even in the shape it is now. It is certainly very neat to read the first hand accounts of what it once was. There was mention of a pool and a log cabin, but for some reason I can not seem to remember either one of those. Grant it, it has been over 10 years since I walked around there.

  17. Keith Pollock says:

    Hi Mark,

    Son of the owner in the 70’s here. We added the pool / saunas and rental shop additions to the original lodge, also added the night skiing and slopes with poma lift on back side of ski hill. Vandals have all but destroyed most of the lodge. Enclosed pool would be left side of the lodge building and the ski shop / lounge would be at the front of the lodge. Log cabin warming hut / old ski shop was torn down in the late 80s by another owner. The private “Ford” log cabin on the black river was taken down and moved outside of Otsego county. Property is now owned by a private party.

  18. David Tubbs says:

    Remember it all well. Pretty much learned to ski there and later taught my kids there. My father knew your mom and dad well. I think he worked out a trade on a lot for a pickup. Many good memories with Lynch, Moony, Dunigan, Akins families.

  19. Of those families just mentioned, the one family that still owns property is the Dunigan family. Sadly, Rudy Hertlein has passed away and his property sold to Geiers who have an A-frame and considerable property within Tyrolean Hills.

  20. jessica hertlein says:

    The log cabin was at the bottom of the chair lift and has been gone for many years (much longer than 10, probably longer than 20. The pool I want to say, was filled in.

  21. Paul ferszt says:

    Does anyone remember a waitress named Cheri she worked in the lodge during the early 70,s

  22. Max R. Thiele says:

    To all who whose comments preceed mine:
    I come from a time when the 3000 acre, former Hereford ranch was a few years into being operated as a hunting/fishing club, owned by Parker Waller & wife and financed by memberships principally from eastern Michigan. The log lodge was then, and is still in my memory, a munificent structure with some wall logs exceeding 30″ diameter, hosting members who fished the Black’s great waters and hunted the hills and swamps, when bobcats and deer walked freely and frequently across the grounds and circular driveway out front, when the drumming of partridge seemed like choreographed, 50 piece, orchestrations, when trout were caught in the Black River pond out front as the sun rose and then eaten for breakfast at the dining room table rounded by 20, red leather captain’s chairs, when one was unfailingly greeted upon early and late entrances to the grounds by the Club’s Junior Chamber of Commerce, a herd of 30-40 deer that grazed in that first field off Sawyer Rd. on the way past Lake Nineteen with its “floating island”, when 8 ft. logs of “gofer wood” were brought through the patio doors to feed the two, side-by-side fireplaces in the great room, when there was nothing there but the lodge, that unusual, 3 story, firebrick barn, the “help” house, fields and their fences, and Waller’s idea for a future ski resort.
    If anyone has a picture of the original, log cabin lodge. I would surely like to get a copy.

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