Nub's Nob finishing No. 1 in the Midwest is the biggest upset since Apollo Creed's lights were turned out by Rocky Balboa. One reader says Nub's is the "Midwest's best-kept secret." That's about to change. Finishing first is no small accomplishment. The area in northwest lower Michigan has no lodging, no maitre d' and a miniscule advertising budget. But that may not be a bad thing. Clearly, the resort's focus is on the snow, for which it earned top honors for the second consecutive year. It boasts 159 snow guns on just 246 acres. "Best snow in Michigan, and plenty of it," says one reader. "Great snowmaking, and the whole area is groomed twice a day," adds another. The layout at Nub's features a complex variety of slopes spilling from a 427-foot vertical, plus stunning overlooks of Lake Michigan's Little Traverse Bay. The frontside boasts killer steeps such as Chute and Scarface, augmented this winter with the addition of the double-black glade run, Powerline Glade. Nub's North offers wide-open bowls, as well as a terrain park and halfpipe. Novices and intermediates will feel like they're back East on Nub's South, where narrow trails slither through hardwoods. And Pintail Peak, a separate mountain, has 12 trails that boast an "outback" experience. The Nub's Nob route to No. 1 is quite simple. As one reader puts it: "They concentrate on skiing."
WHAT'S NEW A-just-for-kids beginner trail called Foo Land, located next to the Pleasantview run; for experts, pitched treeskiing in Powerline Glade between Sno Pro and Twilight Zone.
A GOOD DEAL Free skiing for beginners on the Purple chairlift and Bigtime run. Call 231-526-2131 or visit www.nubsnob.com.
HIGH/LOW MIDWEST RANK Snow (1), Weather (1), Grooming (2); Après-Ski (7), Dining (8), Lodging (11).
DON'T MISS Friday and Saturday nightskiing on freshly groomed slopes, 6 p.m.-10 p.m., $19 adults, $12 kids.
READER REMARKS (+) "Nicest people I've experienced; bigger than it looks." (-) "High lift-ticket prices; sunny days are rare."