Crystal Mnt, Boyne Highlands, or Boyne Mt for 1st timers

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Crystal Mnt, Boyne Highlands, or Boyne Mt for 1st timers

Postby chelle11 » Wed Jan 21, 2009 3:32 pm

Hello!
My husband wants to take a family ski trip to Michigan. We are from a suburb of Chicago. My husband knows how to ski, however this will be the first time for myself and my three children ages 4, 7, and 9. I have been looking on the internet trying to figure things out, but thought I would come here for some real, first hand advice.

I will tell you that I am a big wimp and a "scaredy cat", but I am willing to try to learn to ski. I want to find a place where we (my children and I) will be successful. I don't want it to be too challenging. The people at Boyne tell me Boyne Highlands would be better for the first timers than Boyne Mountain. I was also considering Crystal Mountain. Again, it doesn't need to be challenging. I just want a place we would feel comfortable, have nice fitting ski equipment, and if there were other things to do with my kids than ski that would be great too. I'm not sure how the kids will be. They may love it and never want to stop or maybe it would be nice to have other things for them to do. I saw both Boyne places had tubing and the Highlands had a dog sled ride. All three seem to have pools. I also was looking at Nubs Nob.

Can anyone tell me what the beginner area is like for these places? My guess is my children and I will be spending most of our time in the beginners area. It seems like Crystal Mountain has a smaller beginner area than either Boyne Mountain or Boyne Highlands. All three have the "magic carpet" ride instead of tow ropes. It also seemed (from looking on line at a map) that there was a smaller type chair lift called Camelot at Boyne Highlands. Does Boyne Mountain also have a smaller type Chairlift? I also saw Nubs Nob had a purple chairlift for beginngers. Remember, I'm a wimp and my youngest is 4 years old.

Again, just any advice would really be appreciated!

Thanks again!
Michelle
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Re: Crystal Mnt, Boyne Highlands, or Boyne Mt for 1st timers

Postby Admin » Wed Jan 21, 2009 3:42 pm

While our Midwestern forum sees less traffic than our Eastern or Western forums, I'm sure that one of our resident Midwesterners will provide helpful advice. I can't provide that, but I wanted to welcome you to not just our site, but the sport as well. Be prepared for a new addiction. :wink:
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Re: Crystal Mnt, Boyne Highlands, or Boyne Mt for 1st timers

Postby mikesathome » Wed Jan 21, 2009 4:08 pm

My 2cents:

Boynehighlands would be the place I would pick for a great family learning environment, they have certified instructors, and a great beginner area.
They have a magic carpet lift (you basically stand on a carpet conveyor that takes you up a small beginner hill) lots of little things that keep the kids learning and having fun, little snow forts and stuff like that they can play if they get board with skiing.

Once you are ready to take a chair lift up, they have a great beginner one that is very slow, and the hill you come down is very flat, perfect for beginners. They have a tubing hill, dog sled rides, and 2 or 3 great outdoor pools.

The town of Petoskey (about 10mins away from Boynehighlands) is also a great area with lots of little shops, and some good places to eat, places to stay if you don't want to stay at Boyehighlands, and a few spots to stop and check out the light house and mostly frozen over lake Michigan. Keep in mind you must be a guest at Boynehighlands to use the outdoor hot tubs/pools.

Boyne Mt is almost the same as Boynehighlands, but they don't have a slow beginner chair lift, and the beginner area is smaller and don't have all the little forts and stuff they can play in. They have 1 outdoor hot tub from what i recall, not as nice as Boynehighlands.
Boyne MT does have the new indoor water park, avalanche bay, i have never been, but it looks really fun for kids and adults (they have an indoor surfing wave thingy, i want to try one day)

If you eat in Petoskey you must try http://www.cityparkgrill.com/ non-smoking till 9pm

I am not sure about nubs-nobs beginner area, I know at one time the beginner lift was free. The is no on site lodging at nubs-nob

I am on this message board just about everyday, so ask away with questions.
I don't have any kids yet (wife's due this summer!), but i have been going to these ski areas for 25years, and know the hills and towns around them very well.

Hope this helped!

And welcome to http://www.firsttracksonline.com/ message boards, you found a great site with lots of great people that love the sport and are willing to pass along REAL information!
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Re: Crystal Mnt, Boyne Highlands, or Boyne Mt for 1st timers

Postby dank » Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:23 am

Based on what you have told us I would recommend Boyne Highlands. Boyne has a very good reputation for their ski schools and has a nice beginner area, and plenty of other ammentities. The proximity of Nubs Nob to the Highlands will allow you to easily sample another resort if you desire.

Crystal is a nice place for families as well, though I haven’t been there skiing in years (drove through this summer). The advantage for you would be that they are probably about an hour or more closer to Chicago. Crystal has less in the immediate surrounding area than Boyne.

Good luck, and come back after your trip and let us know how it went.
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Re: Crystal Mnt, Boyne Highlands, or Boyne Mt for 1st timers

Postby irishskier » Thu Jan 22, 2009 11:50 am

I concur that the Highlands is the best. It is certainly the most family oriented and kid friendly. Maybe Nub's would be by 2nd suggections, I think it is the best place in Michigan overall.

Another cool thing about the Highlands is that the run dog sled rides that are too much fun - the kids will LOVE IT!

Hope you get to make the trip!
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Re: Crystal Mnt, Boyne Highlands, or Boyne Mt for 1st timers

Postby chelle11 » Fri Jan 23, 2009 9:19 am

Thank you all for your advice. We have made reservations for the Boyne Highlands! We will be going at the end of February. I'll write back and let you know how we did. Hopefully we will come back all in one piece! I read several posts down about a 13 year old girl getting killed by running into a retaining wall on Schuss Mountain. Reading that makes me a nervous wreck! I will be sure to put helmets on my kids and myself.

Thank you again for taking the time to write and offer your advice. I really appreciate it! Also, congratulations to "Mikesathome" on your upcoming birth of your first child!
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