Corduroy Groomed Snow

History of Nub's Nob

Dorie and Nub Sarns view the hill that will become Nub’s Nob for the first time. Tree cutting, lodge construction and chairlift installation begins.

It finally snows and Nub’s Nob opens for its first day of skiing on January 18, 1959. There are three trails and one double chairlift. A single day weekend lift ticket is $5. Season Passes are $20 for individuals, $50 for families.

Old Smokey, Scarface, The Chute, NW Passage (now Sno Pro) and The Valley are added. Juilleret’s Restaurant becomes the in-lodge eatery.

The Pomalift is installed on Dories Bowl. There is an Olympic swimming pool and bunkhouse for male guests added. A weekend one day lift ticket is still $5.

A second double chairlift is built to the summit. There are now 10 slopes and the rope tow area is doubled in size.

The run “Crazy Otto” opens, named after long-time maintenance man and groomer Otto Washburn.

Dorie Sarns assumes ownership and management while Nubbie moves to Maine.

The front slopes of Nub’s Nob are now developed pretty much as they look today.

The Poma Lift, previously on Dorie’s Bowl, is moved to the west side of Mr. Charlie.

“Crazy Otto” drives the snowcat, Wanda Davert works in the office while Dorie Sarns runs the resort with her big dogs by her side.

Jack Frank and friends start The Ski Academy.

The Pleasantview Ski Corp. (Walter and Alfred Fisher) purchase the area from Dorie Sarns. Legendary snowmaker Jim Dilworth joins Nub’s Nob as General Manager. Jim Bartlett joins him as Area Manager. The area has 14 slopes, 15 air/water duckbill snow guns and 4 chairlifts.

The hill now has 16 slopes and 4 chairlifts. Research and development of the Nub’s Nob snowmaking gun begins.

Nub’s Nob South and the Orange chairlift open, adding 5 runs. Adult daily lift tickets are $13. Research and development of the Nub’s Nob snowmaking gun continues.

There are now 21 slopes and 5 chairlifts. A one hour private lesson with the Ski School is $20. Research and development of the Nub’s Nob snowmaking gun continues.

Nub’s Nob is awarded a patent for the invention of the Nub’s Nob snowmaking gun. 10 guns are now in use on the slopes.

Northwest Passage gets bulldozed to create Sno Pro, named for the late Jim Dilworth. Stepping into Dilly’s big shoes, Jim Bartlett is named General Manager. Marty Moore takes the reins as Area Manager. The lodge has a big lobby expansion and 4 more patented Nub’s Nob snow guns go to work.

The old yellow double chair comes down, replaced by the yellow triple seat chairlift. Moved from between Scarface and Chute, the new yellow speeds skiers up the hill between Chute and the Twilight Zone. Chute gets 8 new powerful snow gun towers. A new groomer is added to the fleet. The nursery is doubled in size.

The old restaurant gives way to a huge new Cafeteria. 10 more snow guns are added the hill and the rental area expands.

The Brown triple chair is added to Nub’s Nob South. Bayview and Dogleg slopes open. 11 Nub’s Nob snow guns are added to the arsenal.

The Big Time beginners Area debuts with a handle tow. This 10 acre beginner slope is the first free beginner area in the country. 

28 snow guns are built by the crew. The entrance gets a new rock and beam sign, and parking is greatly expanded.

Weekend and holiday single day tickets are $34 for adults.

Nub’s Nob is voted “Midwest’s Best Snow” for the first time. The old Dories Blue double chairlift is replaced by today’s big Red four seater.

While the crew is putting up the Red Chair they completely rebuild Revelry and Dories Bowl.

The two seat Purple Lift is added to the Beginner Area.

Southern Comfort Glade opens on the South Side, the first tree-covered “glade” run in Michigan.

The new Locker Room opens at the base of Big Time.

Nub’s Nob trades land with the State of Michigan, the first step toward building Pintail Peak.

The Main Lodge undergoes a major expansion and renovation.

6 more snow guns come out of garage and the Southern Comfort Glade is expanded.

The chainsaws begin logging out Pintail Peak.

Nub’s Nob is awarded #1 Day Ski Resort in the Midwest by Ski Magazine.

Last season’s Lodge expansion wins the Snow Country Magazine’s Ski Area Design national award.

Pintail Peak opens with the Black quad chair and 12 runs. It is heralded in the press as “Michigan’s best trail expansion in 10 years.” 

Snowboarders watch a total reshaping of the halfpipe.

Both the Locker Building and adjoining parking area are expanded.

Nub’s Nob’s 40th anniversary is celebrated with a new run, Big 4-0.

Night skiing becomes available on the South Side.

The “Pipe Dragon” halfpipe groomer shows up and carves the snow into perfect walls in the Terrain Park.

Ski Magazine ranks Nub’s the #1 day ski area in the Midwest.

The Rental building expands to its current size.

The kids let the Crew open their secret runs: Foo Land & Foo Foo Land.

Ski Magazine ranks Nub’s the #1 day ski area in the Midwest again.

Powerline Glade opens, Nub’s first double black diamond run.

Ranked #6 in North America for snow grooming and awarded 2 Gold Medals for excellence in Snow Grooming and Family Programs by Ski Magazine. These awards are the first ever for a Midwestern resort in a national competition.

Nub’s is the #1 NASTAR resort in the Midwest for the first time.

Ski Magazine ranks Nub’s #1 overall in the Midwest for the first time.

Ski Magazine ranks Nub’s #1 overall in the Midwest and awards three gold medals to us in the national ranking for snow, grooming and service. This is the 2nd time any midwestern resort has been ranked nationally among the biggest resorts in the country, and both times it was Nub’s.

Parents Magazine features Nub’s Nob as the only Midwestern resort in their November issue “Great Family Ski Vacations.”

The Pintail Peak Warming House opens.

The Locker Building and parking lot are both expanded again.

The Detroit News awards Nub’s “Michigan’s Best Ski Resort”. Ski Magazine ranks Nub’s #1 overall in the Midwest for the third time – something no other Midwestern resort has ever done.

The first Super Pipe in the Midwest is sculpted from the woods near the top of Big Time.

Slopes now total 49 and snow guns 223.

Ski Magazine ranks Nub’s #1 in the Midwest for snow, grooming, service and value.

The Tower Glades open on Pintail Peak. Slopes now total 52.

Free wireless internet access is now available in the lobby.

The Detroit News readers poll once again votes Nub’s “Michigan’s Best Ski Resort.”

Two new glade runs open: T4 in the Tower Glades and the woods south of Bayview are opened up.

Whitefish on Pintail Peak gets a major remodeling, opening up more views of Little Traverse Bay.

Nub’s Nob celebrates 50 years.

2007 Ski Magazine Reader Survey voting Nub’s Terrain Park #1 and our slope grooming expertise #4 in all of North America. This is the third time Nub’s has won a national award and we remain the only Midwest area to make the cut ever.

The Grey triple chair is erected on Pintail Peak.

Oakland Press awards Nub’s “Michigan’s Best Ski Resort”.

Transworld Snowboarding Magazine names the Nub’s Super Pipe as one of the “Top 5 East Coast Pipes.”

NM3 Magazine rates all the Michigan ski areas. Nub’s voted #1 in the following categories: Best Snow, Best Grooming, Toughest Groomed Terrain, Toughest Bumps, Best Half Pipe.

The Super Pipe is retired and a new Race Arena takes its place.

Scott Stillings retires as Winter Sports School Director after 10 years at the helm, Rebecca Behm steps into Scott’s shoes.

A 60 acre land swap with the State of Michigan is completed during the summer, expanding our property to the northeast. This land offers opportunities for expansion of both XC and downhill trails in the future.

Terrain park voted #1 in Michigan and in the top 3 Parks in the Midwest by the readers of Transworld Snowboarding magazine.


Panda Land is added to the South Side with animal statue adornment.

Outside Magazine picked the Nub’s Terrain Parks as the Best in the Midwest.


Our first automated tuning machine is replaced by a new WINTERSTEIGER Mercury model.

Our National Ski Patrol is named the #1 Large Patrol in the nation!

Outside Magazine rates our terrain parks as tops in the Midwest and the locals vote Nub’s the Best in the Northwest via the Petoskey News Review reader survey.


Professional ski tuner Pat Dueweke joins our staff to head up Tune and Demo Center. Pat also has more experience than anyone in the country with our WINTERSTEIGER Mercury model automated tuning machine.

Locals vote Nub’s the Best in the Northwest via the Petoskey News Review reader survey.

The Crew develops another glade run on Pintail Peak, Outback Jack Glade.


Nub’s Nob now leads the Midwest in most NASTAR racers.


Celebrating our 60 year anniversary.

After 30 years as General Manager, Jim “JB” Bartlett retires, passing the torch to Ben Doornbos.


The popular Nub’s Nob locker room is expanded with help from our friends at Evening Star Joinery. This expansion added over 200 new lockers.

Pintail Peak received an upgrade with two beautiful paintings by local artist Mary Bea and a new espresso bar.

The Upper Orange Loop is introduced, a 2k snowshoe and uphill ski trail. The 12′ wall halfpipe underneath the Red Lift makes a triumphant return following the resurrection of our Pipe Magician.

The Bahnhof takes over as title sponsor of our popular weeknight race league.


Our snowmaking system was upgraded with an additional well.

The back deck was replaced and expanded with better access to the Winter Garden near the Pub.

The Brown Bagger went through a major renovation with an upgraded bathroom, counter top space with electric circuits for crockpots, expanded storage for ski bags, and improved ambiance.

Our computer network was replaced to expand and improve our Wifi for guests and improve processing speed with new POS computers.

Outside we developed the Upper Orange Loop, a mixed snowshoe and uphill ski terrain with access to the glades surrounding JB Arena.


The hill closes for the season on Friday, March 13th due to State of Michigan COVID-19 restrictions on public gatherings.

Nub’s Nob incorporates the Winter Sports School as an internal department with new Director Brad Miller, Racing Director Brewster McVicker, and WSS Office Manager Racquel Dobry. Among many other programs, a new Cross-Country Academy is started.

Over the summer a pickup window was added off the Pub, and picnic space was added outside of the Brown Bagger.

The Winter Garden was transformed into an outdoor gathering space, with fire pits, seating and heaters.

The Blue Lift had its final season. Over the summer we dismantled and removed the towers and loading stations, raffling off most of the chairs. We took this as an opportunity to enhance the skiing on Valley, so we relocated several snowmaking towers and underwent a significant earthmoving project.


The 2020-21 season operated under new COVID-19 measures. The public was not able to eat or drink inside, all indoor spaces had capacity restrictions, and many skiers opted to tailgate or get together in the recently overhauled Winter Garden.

The Midwest’s first covered conveyor was added to the Big Time Beginner Area, affectionately dubbed “The Space Worm.”

The Winter Garden received further improvements, including in-ground heat, a new entrance off of the cafeteria, and two additional fire pits.

The crew got a new Pisten Bully PB 400 groomer and built nine new snow guns, bringing the total to 315.

The Technology Center acquires a second tuning machine, dedicated to high-performance race tunes.

The Main Lodge underwent a series of renovations, including new bathrooms, flooring and indoor seating.


The racecourse on Birch Run is overhauled, with new LED lighting, a sheltered start shack, timers and clocks.

The nordic trails are expanded, with a larger Upper Red loop blazed by legendary realtor and man-about-town, John Baker, in addition to a reconfigured Lower Red. Scott “Guppy” Koontz and Crew cut the trail.

10 new snow guns are built along Bayview and Southwest Passage, totaling 325.


The flagship Green Lift is dismantled and replaced with a new lift, manufactured by Skytrac.

A concert venue is added to the Winter Garden.

A new race house is built at the bottom of Smokey.

Smokey and Scarface get new snowmaking infrastructure, while Smokey and Valley get new LED lighting.