Schuss Mountain was the Rodney Dangerfield of Michigan skiing until it became part of Shanty Creek Resorts. Now the Shanty/Schuss combo¿located on separate peaks about three miles apart¿encompasses 41 runs and 600 lodging options. Last winter Schuss Mountain came into its own by adding 40 feet of vertical to the top of the mountain, 12 new runs off its north side (to bring its total to 29 runs) and replacing its rickety doubles with four new quad chairs. The front side of the mountain has black diamonds in the center with trails becoming easier as they spread from the middle, so groups of varying ability levels can ride the same chair. The new slopes off the north side are beginner/intermediate and wind through a hardwood forest. While the skiing has improved at Schuss Mountain, the attraction of both "villages," as Shanty Creek likes to call them, continues to be a genteel skiing experience: Pools, spas, live entertainment and children's activities draw guests even when the skiing is less than perfect. Think Beaver Creek in miniature.
What's New A fifth quad chair up the center of the mountain, a snowboard terrain park with a quarterpipe.
A Good Deal The weekend package has been reduced: skiing on Friday night, two Supertickets (skiing at both Schuss and Shanty), two nights lodging for $199 per person; (800) 678-4111.
High/Low Rank (Shanty/Schuss combined) Service (1), Lodging (1), Dining (1); Terrain (10), Challenge (11).
Don't MissCross-country ski from Schuss Village to Summit Village and dine in the Lakeview Room overlooking Lake Bellaire, then take the shuttle back to Schuss.