John Kircher, who helped Boyne Resorts buy Crystal 20 years ago, will now put $5 million into improvements, such as a new snow-making system.

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After two decades of ownership by Michigan-based Boyne Resorts, the Crystal Mountain Ski Resort is changing hands. Sort of.

The buyer is John Kircher, the resort’s longtime manager and a son of Boyne Resorts’ founder.

Kircher, 59, for years oversaw the western operations of Boyne, which spanned Washington, Utah and British Columbia. It was he who led the purchase in 1997 of the Crystal Mountain ski area from a group of 850 shareholders.

But in late March he swapped out his shares in Boyne for complete ownership of the resort, where he has lived for two decades.

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“I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time,” Kircher said in an interview. “You can get 100 percent of all the fun of being in the ski business from one place rather than multiple resorts. So I’m kind of scaling back, concentrating on one place I really enjoy.”

Kircher said he will put $5 million into improvements, such as a new snow-making system that will give the resort “capabilities unmatched anywhere in the region.”

There will also be new lights on the Quicksilver run and extended skiing hours on peak weekends and holidays. New gondola cabins will increase carrying capacity by 22 percent.

Improvements planned for next year include a new covered magic carpet and rebuilt lifts at Gold Hills and Discovery. Kircher is also pondering adding mountain biking and better access to the Campbell Basin area, according to a Crystal Mountain statement.