2002 Number 4 Resort in the Midwest: Shanty Creek, Mich.

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Resort Guide 2002 Shanty Creek Pic B

Shanty Creek is best viewed through a wide-angle lens. One reader describes it as "very large and sprawling." With three villages, a variety of lodging, gourmet restaurants, two ski peaks, 46 ski runs, 11 lifts and its own transit system, Shanty Creek is more "full service" than most Midwest resorts. Bolstered by a first-place Midwest finish in Dining, plus a runner-up in Lodging, Shanty Creek is more like Beaver Creek than Alta. Skiing is presented here in a genteel manner. "The staff is anxious to please," says one reader. Although its fourth-place finish this year shows that skiers appreciate the resort's amenities, more important is Shanty's No. 8 ranking in Terrain-the first time the resort has ever cracked the top 10. Skiers are learning that you can ski the easier trails below Summit Village, the tree-lined intermediate slopes bordering Cedar River Village and the nine rock-solid black-diamonds that cascade into Schuss Village-all in the same day on one Superticket. "It's a great place for learning and working on skills and technique," notes a reader. Combine the amenities with good skiing, and it's no wonder Shanty Creek is popular. "Great for families and conferences," observes a reader, while another notes the "fun attitude, good service and good snow for Midwest skiing." As one reader succinctly says: "It has everything I want."

WHAT'S NEW Performance ski packages which feature Atomic skis and Salomon bindings; Thursday nightskiing at Schuss.

A GOOD DEAL Value Season, opening day-Dec. 25 and March 17-April, $50 per person includes one night's lodging, ski Superticket or dinner, and up to four children under 17 sleep and ski free (when sharing accommodations with parents). Call 800-678-4111.

HIGH/LOW MIDWEST RANK On-Mountain Food (1), Dining (1), Lodging (2); Value (10), Snow (11), Challenge (11).

DON'T MISS Signing the kids up for Snow Stars or Snow Angels (3- to 5-year-olds), so they can ski with the resort's purple mascot, Gandy Goose. Participants receive a Gandy Cup and unlimited refills of Goose Juice.

READER REMARKS (+) "Nice lodging, good food, and many activities; fun attitude." (-) "Could use better grooming and day-skier facilities; a little remote."