Sunburst Ski Area is located about 45 minutes north of Milwaukee, Wisconsin in Kewaskum. This little town is just north of West Bend on U.S. 45. This location is the latest to get a Wisconsin Outside downhill ski Review. Trollhaugen Ski Area near Dresser, Wisconsin was the first location to get reviewed.
Read the Trollhaugen Ski Area review here:
The point of the reviews is not to deter people from downhill skiing at any resort, but just to give a general idea of what the ski hill is like. Just like fishing, a decent day skiing beats a good day at work, so all of the ski hills are worth checking out.
Variety of runs
There were four pretty decent runs at Sunburst when I visited there and the combination made it interesting enough to spend three to four hours there. Holy Moly was closed, so when there is enough natural snow and cold enough for them to make enough snow, there is plenty of variety to keep the skiing interesting. +1 point
Holy Moly, Exhibition, and Bull Run are the steepest three at Sunburst. Bull Run goes practically straight down and gives a nice quick adrenaline rush. For a hill in southern Wisconsin, the terrain is plenty steep, but they are pretty quick runs lasting under a minute.+.75
Family oriented/Activities other than downhill skiing
Sunburst has a tubing area next door to the skiing hill. They also sell Nordic passes where skiers can ski the grounds in the afternoon during the week when the downhill skiing is closed. Sunburst Ski Area Marketing Director Roberto Guercini told me that these passes have been selling like hot cakes this winter as the snow made at Sunburst has been the only snow around.
When there is natural snow, Sunburst is only 7 miles away from the amazing North Kettle Moraine State Park. This means that if a family or a group of people come and some want to Nordic ski and others want to downhill ski then the downhill skiers can be dropped off at Sunburst while the Nordic skiers continue a little farther north. +1
Sunburst even has its own twitter handle, which tweets about its daily deals. There last tweet offered half price tickets to college students with a college ID. +1
This is Sunburst’s strong point. They are located only an hour away from metropolitan Milwaukee, less than two hours from Madison, and only a couple hours away from Green Bay. People escaping from Chicago only have a little over two hours to drive to Sunburst. +1
There are some hotels in Kewaskum and of course Milwaukee has many locations, but there is no lodge attached to the Sunburst Ski Area location. +.5
Sunburst has a cool bar located inside their building with a nice view of the ski hill through glass windows. Outside of this, there are only local pubs in Kewaskum and Milwaukee for those looking for a little fun after the ski. +.5
I wrote an article about Sunburst for another website declaring it to be an oasis of white in a brown ugly world. Thanks to snow making capacity, sometimes when the temperatures are not accommodating real snow, Sunburst is the only place around for winter outdoor adventure. On ski lifts rides to the top, many skiers commented how thankful that Sunburst had some snow so there was something to do on a Saturday afternoon. The other strong point about Sunburst is its proximity to large Wisconsin metropolitan areas.
The downside of Sunburst is it does not have long enough runs. Another problem is skiing and snowboarding is a sport loved and appreciated by young people. When you have a ski hill near a metropolitan area you get a lot of families. This could discourage some skiers who do not want to hear the yells of young whippersnappers. To me this is a positive thing as I like to see young people outdoors, but it could be a negative for people wanting some peace and quiet during their ski experience. +1.25
Total score for Sunburst is a 7/10
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