State Issues Cease and Desist Letter to Mount Mancelona Over Ski Lift

Friday, the state sent a cease and desist letter to a Northern Michigan ski resort over the use of a ski lift.

The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) says Mount Mancelona has an unsafe ski lift and no permit.

Mount Mancelona says that lift was not open to the public, and the owner has been cooperating with the state.

Sam Porter bought the historic 1952 ski property two years ago and has been working to revitalize it.

To do that, Porter says he called the state himself to advise him on how to plan and budget for a safe T-bar lift on the property.

“[The state inspector and I] spent the whole day…to get prepared for what we need to do,” Porter said about the lifts. “The only thing we’ve done here is sell rooms like Airbnb.”

The ski hill has not been open to the public in the meantime. The state sent a cease and desist letter to make sure the lift was not used.

Porter says the policy is good, and protects people’s safety as well as the liability of the state.

Any ski lift deemed unsafe or without a permit could face civil or criminal sanctions if they continue operating. Mount Mancelona has not been fined.

“We weren’t open, we weren’t selling tickets,” said Porter. “I think we’re doing what is right to prepare and make it safe and get an inspection for the future.”

Porter is working closely with LARA to make sure the historic ski hill can be enjoyed for years to come.

Porter says his goal is to keep Mount Mancelona open to save a dying species of small town ski hills.

His vision is to turn the property into a four-season recreational destination that could support festivals, sport, skiing and nonprofit programs. Long term, he hopes the property can help stimulate Mancelona’s economy.