Archived Story

Snow tubing hill opens in Berrien Springs

Published 11:51am Thursday, December 17, 2009

Five Pine Ministries, located in Berrien Center, plans to open early for snow tubing on their 400-foot tubing hill.

“We will be making snow to add to what is already on the ground. With the colder weather we should be open before Christmas,” said Michael Holets, executive director. “The new thing this year is a double tube. We are testing one to see if we will be purchasing more of them. They will be great for parents with small kids.”

The 400-foot “Thrill of the Hill” features five exciting and heart-pounding runs. Five Pines has 100 nylon-covered, plastic-bottomed tubes as a part of the price of admission.
The official Opening Day Celebration is Sunday, Dec. 27. The day will begin at 1 p.m. and go until 5:30 p.m. The opening day celebration will include free hot dogs and hot chocolate. Guests will enjoy tubing hill games like Drag Races, Quarterback Pass and Hoop Toss. Hourly door prize drawings will be held for coupons for free food and several chances at season passes. Additionally, tubing/skiing individual season passes will be discounted from $25 to $15.

“We believe that this is a fun, safe atmosphere that gives families an opportunity to enjoy the winter season together,” Holets said. “Even in tough times, Five Pines is a real value. We are keeping the same rate that we have had for a couple of years. This is a pretty special place where families can come to build deeper relationships through outdoor recreation.”

Individual prices for tubing are $8 for adults (12 and older); $7 for children (ages 6-11); and children 5 and under are free. Season passes for tubing and/ cross-country skiing are available for $25 per person, but the passes can be purchased on opening day for just $15 each. The photo ID pass is valid for only the purchaser for tubing and skiing for the entire 2009-2010 winter season. Also, there is a maximum daily fee of $35 for a family.

Five Pines offers a break from tubing or skiing in their 150-year-old barn, the Harv Chrouser Activity Center. The center has a wood stove, snack shop, general store and big-screen TV.  Also, families can play board games or explore the two game lofts, which offer pool, bumper pool, foosball, pingpong and air hockey.

With the right temperature, Five Pines has snow-making capabilities that help ensure the best tubing conditions possible to maximize your enjoyment. For the latest information, check the Five Pines Web site, www.fivepines.org, for current conditions, as well as directions and other activities provided by the camp.

Five Pines also has specially-designed educational and outdoor programs during the week for school groups, with a special ski and tube combined package rate.  Night tubing is available for groups of 25 or more by reservation only. There are also weekend rates for organizational groups of 15 or more by reservation only.

Holets concluded by saying, “We want Five Pines to be a place to create loads of memories and satisfying traditions. We are very proud to be a positive place and influence in our community.”

Holiday public hours are: Dec. 21 through Jan. 3, open Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 27, 1 to 5:30 p.m.; closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

Weekend public hours are every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and every Sunday from 1 to 5:30 p.m. for individuals, families and organizational groups with reservations through the end of February.

Five Pines Ministries is located at 6597 Smith Rd., two miles east of Berrien Springs.

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