Last weekend one of my closest friends turned 25 years old. To celebrate, we took a highly anticipated girls trip to Ontario, Canada for the official MLK Ski Weekend (also referred to as “Black Ski Weekend”).
Haven’t heard of it before? Check the website for a good overview of what it’s all about. This year was my first time hearing about it, but apparently it has been a huge event for the past 19 years. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my frosted vacation. Here are some thoughts in detail for those of you considering participating in the future!
This is the second year the event has been held at the Blue Mountain Village in Ontario, Canada. The resort was beautiful, clean, easy to navigate, and had lots of attractions. My favorite was the Ridge Runner – Ontario’s first mountain coaster. You slowly ride to the top of the mountain, and get to control your own speed as you go careening back down. The scenery was absolutely to die for! You also have the option to go rock climbing, snowmobiling, wine touring, skiing, swimming, snowboarding, tubing, ice skating, and just about any other activity you can think of. There are plenty of restaurants, bars, and shops/markets, as well. Every native I encountered was extremely hospitable (watch out Mississippi), and outside of exchanging currency and hearing a lot more French than usual, being there wasn’t much of a cultural adjustment. I very highly recommend the Blue Mountain Village to anybody looking for a place to vacation in Canada!
- Accommodations: There are different prices for suites, villas, and chalets, all offering different amenities and accommodating different group sizes. My friends and I stayed in Rivergrass, a 2 bed 2 bath suite with a full kitchen, cookware and dishes, a pull-out couch, and charcoal grill. There was also a private Rivergrass Jacuzzi and spa just outside our patio in the backyard. Six of us paid ~$250 each (you do the math), and I think for what we got the price was well worth it (although, it could have included wifi).
- Optional event coach bus: This year the cost was $99 for round-trip transportation to and from the Detroit Airport and Blue Mountain Village. We decided to be adventurous and book it because it was a good deal and sounded like a lot fun. It was indeed at first, but 8 hours later we were still inching down some Canadian road 86 miles away from our destination and IT WAS NOT AT ALL FUN ANYMORE. You can read a little more about that experience here, but let’s just say I will NOT be getting on another bus ANYTIME SOON.
- Optional event wristband: This$99 wristband grants access to all of the events hosted by MLK Ski Week without additional costs. I’ll get more into those actual events below, but let me tell you resort activities are NOT included in this cost. That includes ice skating, skiing, snowmobiling, tubing, etc. If you’re interested in attending solely for these activities, go ahead and save your pennies from that wristband, because they don’t come cheap, honey.
Organizers had the weekend packed with events this year! There was speed dating, comedy, karaoke, bonfires, day parties, theme parties (pajamas, 90’s, glow in the dark), after parties…and that’s just naming a few! I didn’t make it to every event, but I did get to enjoy most of them. I can say with 100% certainty that I was never, ever bored! Now, admission to all of these events can be purchased separately, but buying that $99 wristband in advance is definitely the cheapest option. Whether or not you get one depends on how much you actually plan to participate in these events. I didn’t really care for the nightly theme parties, they were full of people, but the space itself was too big. They also catered a lot of the music to only a handful of regions, and I didn’t really care for hearing East/West Coast, Louisiana, Texas, and Detroit music every damn night. That aside, every other activity was definitely lit (that means “really fun”, for those of you who don’t speak black millennial). Even outside of the MLK Events, I enjoyed myself a lot at the resort activities with friends and locals. I had a ball and will cherish the memories for a long, long time.
Obligatory Moral Rant:
Some of the event organizers were obnoxiously sexist and ignorant. I, like many of the other women there, paid my hard earned money to these people, so it bothered me that the entire time they had such little respect for our overwhelming presence. I found it incredibly immature and sometimes downright disgusting. I hope that moving forward the organizers put a more conscious effort into minding gender sensitivity, or in other words not being such stereotypical douchebag, sexist pigs.
For sake of fairness, let me be clear in saying that these actions represented only a small percentage of people on this trip. Not EVERY organizer contributed to or condoned this behavior – my experiences with those I chose to engage with was overwhelmingly positive and I was NEVER directly challenged or disrespected in anyway.
Have you been to a MLK Ski Weekend Event before? Or any other winter getaway? Would you visit Blue Mountain Village?