In 1971, the Devil’s Head Ski Resort opened up for business. In 1998, I broke my wrist on one of their blue square runs. This trivial fact got a laugh out of Joe Vintengl, the general manager of Devils Head Ski Resort.
I had been snowboarding. In fact, it was my first time snowboarding and my first time at Devil’s Head.
“That’s a typical snowboard injury,” said Vittengl. “You threw the downhill edge down.”
It was exactly what had happened. I had gotten excited, made a sharp turn, and caught my downhill edge in the snow, tossing me head over heels down the mountain. The ski patrol came and I was put in one of those red plastic bags and skied down to safety.
Joe was probably there, too. As general manager, he is in charge of virtually every aspect of the Devil’s Head Resort. From the ski patrol, to the grooming of the mountain, to the snacks, dining, and family themed parties, Joe is the man to talk to.
The original resort consisted of a 92-room hotel, four chairlifts, and ten runs. The following summer the Devil’s Head Golf Resort was opened with an 18 hole golf course. Since then, Devil’s Head has almost doubled in size.
“We’ve expanded quite a bit,” says Vittengl. “We’ve probably doubled in size. We’ve added two more nine hole courses, we’ve got two 18’s, we kept adding slopes and lifts and more lodging and condos. So it’s grown steadily through the years.
Devil’s Head is in the process of constructing luxury condominiums throughout the resort. Construction began in 2007 and more than half of the 30 planned luxury condos have been built. Some of these condos will allow ski-in-skiout possibilities for its guests.
The Condos are now located next to the golf course, but Devil’s Head plans to build new runs in the near future to make the Condos more accessible to the mountain. Ski in ski out resorts are very uncommon for the Midwest, and so are luxury condos.
“The condo’s are pretty exciting. What we’re doing is selling them off for fractional ownership, so you can buy a ¼ of a condo. Devil’s Head provides the property management and we rent them out and then split the rental revenue wtih the condo owners,” said Vittengl.
The Glacier Ridge Condos are available to rent, as well as purchase. The condos have the capability of sleeping up to 8 people comfortably, with a master bedroom and two guest rooms in each building.
“They’re gorgeous condos. They represent the luxury accommodations for us. It’s pretty unique, actually. You’d have to go all the way up to the upper peninsula to find condominiums on the slopes. We’re basically the only ski area in the Midwest to have condos.”
Previously, families skiing in the Wisconsin area had to rent adjacent rooms if they wanted to stay close together during their trip. The Glacier Ridge Condos change that, giving affordable luxury getaways in the heart of the Midwest. Each of the three story condos are fully furnished, and have views of the golf course and the mountain from one of the three balconies or the walk-out patio.
The condos were designed to have everything a vacationing family would need. The fully equipped kitchen makes it easy to cook meals when you get off the slopes, and the game room gives kids plenty of space to play. There are also two plasma TV’s in each condo if you ever get board of watching the sunset over the mountains.
When you do make it out of the condo to ski, you are only a few steps away from the slopes.
“There are runs being added that will put you right next to the condos. Right now, it’s pretty close,” said Vittengl. “The condos are on the golf course and they’re pretty close to the ski slopes too.”
Devil’s Head has more to boast about than just its luxury condos. It also has the third largest skiing area in the Midwest, and one of the only half pipes.
“We’ve got about a 3000 ft terrain park run littered with all kinds of rails, jumps and spines. We’ve got a half pipe that’s probably about 300 ft. long.
Devil’s Head offers its fair share of terrain for snowboarders and skiers to work on their next big trick, but the resort also caters to downhill racers.
“We’ve got a lot of race programs going on. We do NASTAR, which is a big, nationally ranked program. We do family racing on the weekends. We also have league racing on Thursday nights,” said Vittengl.
And the skiing doesn’t stop when the sun goes down. One of the best aspects of skiing in the Midwest is that you can continue skiing long past dusk.
“We have about 80% of our runs open at night,” said Vittengl.
The rest of the mountain is made up primarily of green circle and blue square runs, which appeals to the mountains demographic.
“We cater pretty heavy to the beginning to intermediate crowd to be honest with you. We have advanced runs, but they really don’t get used very much. The majority of our people go to the greens and blues. We’re kind of just like a big beginner factory,” said Vittengl. “We’re really in place for family getaways. You know, parents don’t have to worry about their kids getting on some really harsh terrain.”
When I first started skiing at Devil’s Head I was in the fifth grade. There was a ski club that took us from Chicago up to the mountain for the weekend. Today, Devil’s head still gets about 90% of their business from the Chicago land area. They also regularly receive youth groups like the boy scouts and birthday parties.
But skiing isn’t the only thing they have to keep the attention of the kiddies. Throughout the season, Devil’s Head has themed parties on the weekends. Past themed parties include; Jamaican reggae fest, cowboy theme, and Mardi Gras.
Reggae fest is one of the most popular. We have a reggae band playing at the bar, Jamaican cuisine, and everybody’s wearing the hats and dreadlocks,” said Vittengl. “We also do a kids night out. We do face painting, and we take the kids away from the parents, from like 6 to 9:30. That way the parents can go skiing, out for dinner, or drinks.
When the snow melts, the resort shifts gears and opens up its golf course. Devil’s Head prides itself on being a four season resort and maintains its year round crowd with two 18-hole golf courses and two 9-hole golf courses.
“The golfing is awesome,” said Vittengl. “It’s really hilly so there really is a lot of up and down stretched out over a large area.”
Devil’s Head Resort is a great family getaway anytime of year. The world class terrain park, and versatile downhill runs can entertain you and your family all day. And at night, the luxury condos can offer you a comfort and convenience that isn’t available anywhere else in the Midwest.
“One of the huge advantages that we have here is that people can pull up on a Friday, park their car, unload, and stay here for the weekend without having to ever get back in,” said Vittengl. “It’s the convenience of the slope side lodging.” For more information log onto www.devilsheadresort.com.