Family friendly, economical, good mix of trails
Looking a little worn in parts, crowded from 11-4
We greatly enjoyed our trip to Shanty Creek. The 3 days of snowfall resulted in excelland skiing conditions. We found that we could ski onto the lift or had very short waits most of the weekend except during the 11-4 hours, when many of the local folks used special deals to enjoy the mountain. Even then, the wait was only a minute or two. The slopes were never terribly crowded on Schuss Mountain once you got off of the very top part of the mountain where all of the lifts met.
I thought the staff was very friendly a pretty patient even when he crowds came. I really enjoyed the night skiing and they had bonfires along several of the slopes where you could rest in chairs and warm up.
Special kudos to the rental people who were patient with my family as they picked and returned different peices of equipment. I appreciated the fact that Katie (I think that was her name) took the time at 9:30 p.m. on Saturday night to pick through the available ski boots to find a dry pair for my daughter. The guys in the ski shop were great in letting me demo several boards amd fixing up my sons's at minimal charge.
I enjoyed the music that they played at the lifts (even some 80's stuff for the older crowd). I also liked the fact that most of the lifts ended up in the same place at the top of the Schuss Mountain, which made keeping track of family pretty easy.
We rented a condo at Schuss Moutnain which was a little beat up. The kitchenette was pretty small which is the only complaint my wife had. We did have one baseboard heater that did not work. We called and a service person was over within a few hours, but it did not appear that they fixed the problem. Nonetheless, the heat was not a problem. There were several units that faced the bunny slope that appear to be in poor condition, including one that had a large sheet of plastic pulled over the porch. Overall, our unit was okay but it, like the rest of the Schuss Mountain part of the resort is looking a little frayed. However, I will say that we were able to stay there and ski for about 1/3 of the cost of our trip to Boyne Highlands. Also, it was very convenient to get to and from the slopes.
The Cedar River Lodge, on the other hand, looked like it was in great shape. We did not got to Summit Mountain, so I can't comment on that.
I would highly suggest sking the slopes over by the red lift, especially when Schuss Mountain gets crowded. The down side of having all of the lifts dumping out on top of the mountain is that there a lot of people there and the beginning of the runs can get a little backed up. When we went over to red lift, there were fewer crowds. Also, the runs by the red lift, although shorter, offfer a more woodsy, isolated feel.
My son really enjoyed the terrain park. The had two terrain park runs, one for beginners and one for experts. He also loved the heated indoor and outdoor pool.
I can't really comment much on night life. They had a band Sunday night but not many people there. The dining facility looked more upscale than other parts of Schuss. The service was prompt and friendly and they refilled our chips without charge. We went to bed about ten so we probably missed most of whatever night life they had. But I would guess the resort caters more to budget concious families and locals.
We will go back again for a long weekend but will try to get a nicer unit. I can't give 5 stars because of the wear and tear at Schuss reception area and in the condo units but it was a very solid 4.