Slope bums in Chicago have long faced a sad truth: Quality skiing is a long drive north or a flight west. Enter (massively upgraded) Wilmot Mountain, just over the Wisconsin border. Last winter, Vail Resorts acquired the property, which is about an hour from the city, and overhauled it in the off-season.
Dollars spent on renovations
Square feet for the kids’ ski school
Features, such as jumps, moguls, and halfpipes, in the new terrain park
Percent more capacity on the chairlifts
Miles of pipe to feed the updated snowmaking system
(it is still the flatlands of the Midwest)