Wilmot Mountain

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Wilmot Mountain
Location Wilmot CDP, Town of Randall / Town of Salem, Kenosha County, Wisconsin, U.S.
Nearest city Wilmot, Wisconsin
Vertical 190 ft (58 m)
Top elevation 960 ft (293 m)[1]
Base elevation 770 ft (235 m)
Skiable area 120 acres (0.49 km2)
Runs 25
Longest run 2,500 ft (760 m)
Lift system 11 chairlifts
Lift capacity 12,500 skiers/hr
Terrain parks 5
Snowfall 48 in (120 cm)
Snowmaking Yes
Night skiing Yes
Website wilmotmountain.com
Base of Hill, Evening
Upper Cat, Evening
Upper Cat, day
Wilmot Flyover
Lift #1, over State Line run
By Lift #8, in front of lodge
Base of Competition run
Middle of hill - Superior

Wilmot Mountain is a ski area in Kenosha County, Wisconsin. It is located in the Census-designated place of Wilmot and lies in both the Town of Randall and the Town of Salem, just north of the border with Illinois. Located in the southern region of Wisconsin's Kettle Moraine, Wilmot Mountain is the result of glaciation. The self-proclaimed "Matterhorn of the Midwest" was founded by Walter Stopa in 1938 after a thorough research of the area’s topography. With a vertical drop of about 200 feet (60 m),[1] it is a relatively small hill. It is also one of the few hills where the mountain is wide open, with few trees or barriers to crossing the hill. A skier can transverse several runs while skiing downhill. Night skiing is available on the entire hill.

Wilmot Mountain is located 40 miles south-southwest of Milwaukee and 55 miles (90 km) north of Chicago and was owned by the same family since it was founded in 1938 until Vail Resorts purchased the resort in early 2016 for an unknown amount, with promises to update the base area and terrain park. Vail Resorts says they completed about $13 million in renovations in 2016. Most days small aircraft from the nearby Westosha airport can be seen high above, circling the hill.

Winter Sports - Skiing, Snowboarding, and Snow Tubing[edit]


Wilmot Mountain caters to skiers, snowboarders, and snow tubers. The new snow tubing facility opened in 2012 with twenty tubing lanes over 1,000 feet (300 m) in length, and a state-of-the-art covered conveyor lift. A brand new lodge houses the ticket sales, food and beverage options, rental items, conference rooms, and banquet facilities.

Wilmot Mountain's Snow Tubing Area was built at a separate area so it does not take away from the existing skiing and snowboarding runs.

The longest ski & snowboard run, State Line, parallels the Illinois / Wisconsin border - a small section near the top is in Illinois. The terrain park at Wilmot Mountain has a full combination of beginner to advanced boxes, rails and jibbing features.

Wilmot Mountain has a full service ski and snowboard school with over 300 certified instructors, a well tenured and certified snowboard instructor staff, and a comprehensive children's program.

It also has an award winning[2] National Ski Patrol group.

Alpine racing[edit]

Wilmot has an active race program and is the destination of many race clubs and groups. Weekly race training is run in the evenings by their on-site race program. The Chicago Metropolitan Ski Council (CMSC) holds Slalom or Giant Slalom races eight days each season using two newly contoured runs designed with racing in mind.[3] NASTAR races were held weekly until 2004. Wilmot no longer holds NASTAR races.


Wilmot started making their own snow in 1952 using Joe Tropiano[4] snow machines, basically a lawn watering device with heaters to prevent freezing. Today they use a combination of older and new, high-tech snow making equipment. Wilmot makes snow whenever the temperature drops low enough, even during hours of operation.


In 1938, Walt Stopa bought Property from a Local farmer, and Founded Wilmot Hills. This was started off with a rope tow. The rope tow was made by the drive mechanism from a Model A Ford. In 1968, Walt adds the first Wilmot Chairlift. This is still being used to this day, even after Vail added new ones. In 1986, Walt Dies on June 10th 1986. Putting Diane Reese (Daughter, 69) and Micheal Reese (Son in-law) as Owner and General Manager. In 1989, Diane, and Micheal add the Iron Kettle dining facility. In 1999, Diane Fires Micheal Leaving herself in charge of both positions. Wilmot goes downhill. In 2001, Dennis Sheen (Diane's Son in-law, 60) takes charge as General Manager. Wilmot is fixed. In 2011, Dennis Sheen adds the tubing facility to Wilmot Mountain. He also Changed the Logo to the Well Known 3 Hill Logo. With Red Text that reads "WILMOT MOUNTAIN" In January 2016, Diane sells Wilmot Mountain to Vail Resorts for $20 Million. In March 2016, Dennis Sheen is fired, and Taylor Ogilive takes his position. In Summer of 2016, Vail Resorts invests $13.2 Million Dollars in renovations. On December 14th, 2016, Wilmot Mountain Opens Last, compared to Alpine Valley Resort (Wisconsin) (12/8/2016), and Grand Geneva (12/10/2016) Without Renovations, Wilmot Mountain Would have opened on 12/1/2016.

Auto racing[edit]

The roads surrounding the parking lot and resort have a very unusual shape, including a hairpin curve. The design resembles a race track oval, and with good reason - there used to be a race course on the grounds. From 1954 to 1967, the ski resort was home to Wilmot Hills Race Course. In the summer months the Ski Lodge served food and drinks to race fans. Aerial photos of the area clearly show the race track, although part of the course is now covered by building additions.


The resort has several cafeterias, 2 pubs, pizza restaurant, ski shop, rentals and lockers. Nearby Wilmot and Antioch offer the typical selection of restaurants and accommodations.

Notable facts[edit]

  • In January 2016, Wilmot Mountain was sold to Vail Resorts for $20 Million
  • Wilmot’s Ski School was founded in 1939 by Helmut Teichner [5]
  • Gander Mountain was founded in Wilmot
  • Exhibition Run was re-contoured in the mid-1980s and a large boulder removed
  • Lights installed for night skiing in 1955 (It was such a novelty that The Tonight Show featured it)
  • The Mountains in the W Stand for Mountain in the 2016 Logo.

Multiple Junior Olympic Medal winners have skied for the Wilmot Mountain Junior Race Team

Logo History[edit]


Wilmot Mountain is located at coordinates 42°30′0″N 88°11′20″W / 42.50000°N 88.18889°W / 42.50000; -88.18889Coordinates: 42°30′0″N 88°11′20″W / 42.50000°N 88.18889°W / 42.50000; -88.18889, just 1/2 mile south of Wilmot WI on the east side of Fox River road and north of CK. It is 45 minutes southwest of Mitchell International Airport and 60 minutes northwest of O'Hare Airport. From I-94, take the exit for Route 50 west to County Road W south. W is not marked at the intersection - just look for the gas station. Go east on County Road C to Wilmot.

Shot from the top of Superior run, 2-18-07.


External links[edit]