Great for beginners
Lacke of off-piste skiing / gladed terrain / advanced runs
I have been to everything on the Lower Peninsula worth visiting. Timber Ridge to Nubs Nob and everything in between. Boyne Highlands is a great resort in the Petoskey area. Across the street from Boyne Highlands is Nubs Nob. I will not focus on Nubs Nob in this review. But I will say Nubs Nob has hands down more variety, more gladed runs, more lift accessible terrain, and better terrain period.
I went closing day 2009. It was dumping out. Forecast was 1-2 inches overnight, and 4-6 inches during Sunday. There was a good half a foot on the ground to play with of powder over the boilerplate ice. The place has a high speed lift, something Nubs Nob does not have. Some of the terrain goes over some flatter spots. If you are looking at the terrain map, and you see the Tournament runs. That entire area looks a lot more accessible than it really is. It's not hard to get to if you have 2 working legs. But for some reason another lift over there would make sense.
They have a nice lodge we ate at. Some pasta and wings were had. Not bad, and right with resort pricing. Nubs Nob doesn't have this as well.
I went with a skier who is not that good, and they reported that the trails were really easy, and allowed them to really progress and build confidence in their skiing. They wouldn't be caught on a blue run at Shanty Creek or Boyne Mountain but they were on blue runs at the Highlands. You will find wide open runs, huge highways if you will to go down. A lot of room for you to ski in comparison to most runs.
The place looks to have challenging terrain, but Boyne Mountain has better. Oddly enough across the street you find incredible runs, but not as much at Boyne Highlands. Crowds were average Petoskey sized crowds. By that I mean you shouldn't really ever find yourself waiting in line on a Sunday afternoon.
I would rate this resort better if there hadn't been an accident on Sunday. There was a lot of wet damp snow. Only a few rows of cars in the parking lot. So the chairs were accumulating standing frozen / water. It's closing day, and the lift operators are a little lazy. Hanging out in the lift boxes more. Not throwing fresh snow down on the ice laden loading zone for traction.I noticed the loading area was slippery. I witnessed the person I ski with fall right off the chair and fall under the lift because the chairs had become slippery, and I slipped on the loading zone before I even got to a trail because it was sheer ice. I know skiing is a sport with risks, but this is the first time I've really seen this problem. The temperatures were prime for this kind of stuff with it snowing wet damp snow at 30 degrees. But after these accidents occurred lift operators began swiping the chair tops with brooms at least. Still not tossing snow on the loading zones. Most good hills (Shanty, Nubs, Boyne Mountain, and so on) have 2 people working a lift and are doing of a combination of these two tasks. It was the last day and it felt like it, and the workers did not have the enthusiasm. I think that lift safety should be more important, and the resort failed to maintain the loading zones at the very least.
Would I ski at Nubs Nob or Boyne Highlands? Nubs Nob hands down any day, for the terrain / lifts. Nubs Nob does one thing, and one thing only. They sell you lift accessible terrain with snow. Boyne Highlands is a resort, with more to worry about then just the trails / lifts.