Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Number One in the Midwest

It seems like it was just yesterday...
Stepping out of the car into the Crystal Mountain parking lot a few weeks ago, I was struck with a comical replay of my first time there over a decade ago.  It was a ski retreat in high school, and I was so excited to be the only girl in our group snowboarding that weekend. The only problem was that I had no idea what I was doing. After a few embarrassing moments spent sprawled out in the snow, legs and arms tumbling every which way, I finally got the hang of sliding down hill with a four and a half foot board strapped to my feet and found myself suddenly addicted to my new favorite snow sport. The following year, a dozen girls in my group were giving snowboarding a-go.



Crystal Mountain Resort & Spa in Thompsonville is vastly different than it was eleven years ago, yet still holds the same warm feeling it always has. It's no surprise that it has been named Ski Magazine's #1 Resort in the Midwest. Let us ponder why...

Four Reasons Crystal Mountain Stands Out Amongst the Rest:
1. Top Notch Skiing: Crystal features 45 downhill slopes, three terrain parks, and a super-cross course; nine lifts including the Crystal Clipper high-speed quad - the fastest lift in Northern Michigan; and award-winning kids programs and a nationally certified ski and snowboard school. They have also earned a slew of awards including Best X-C Trails and #2 Downhill Ski Area by Michigan Living magazine, National Skier/Boarder Safety Awareness Award, #1 in Midwest by SnowCountry readers, RCI Gold Crown Resort and SnowCountry's Top 10 Cross Country Resorts in Midwest.
    Crystal Spa Locker Room - yes, the LOCKER
    ROOM, complete with Crystal's own line
    of earth-friendly bath products.
    2. LEED Certified Crystal Spa: During our recent visit, the spa was a definite highlight of our tour. Just walking through the serene space left Kelly and I feeling calm and relaxed. Even the locker rooms were amazing. The great thing about it, in addition to the attention to detail and award-winning services, is that the Crystal Spa is the only LEED certified spa in the Midwest and one of only six in the entire U.S. What does that mean exactly? This spa is gem of environmental efficiency. The 18,500 square-foot facility was designed and built to minimize its impact on the environment in every aspect. What's not to love about that?

    3. Jam-Packed Line Up: Perhaps skiing isn't your cup of tea. No worries, Crystal Mountain certainly has you covered. Try cross country skiing, snow shoeing, sleigh rides, winter biathlon paintball (no really), ice skating, snowmobiling, an outdoor hot tub, bonfires, children's activities galore and that's just in the winter! Every season is filled with unique events perfect for everyone from avid snow sport enthusiasts and romance-seeking couples to families and business travelers. In the summer there's the Crystal Coaster and the Park at Water's Edge for children of all ages. Fall brings amazing color tours while year round the Michigan Legacy Art Park. 

    Did we mention the fabulous lodging options?
    4. Family Owned: I was surprised to find out that a massive operation like Crystal Mountain was still family owned and operated. George Petritz, a local businessman, has been with Crystal Mountain since its beginning and took sole ownership of the property in 1981. His philosophy was a simple one: "We believe that our customers should be treated as family members," he once said. "As if they are guests in our own home." Today, Crystal Mountain continues to prosper under his philosophic with George's daughter, Chris (Petritz) MacInnes and her husband, Jim MacInnes taking the reins.

    This post doesn't even begin to cover the wonder that is Crystal Mountain Resort & Spa, so you should probably make plans to experience is yourself. Of course, we want to help make that happen, so this week (drum roll please), we're giving away a 2010-2011 season's pass.

    Do you want to win the season's pass to Crystal?
    It's simple, as always. Just comment with your favorite winter activity, and it could be you. The winner will be drawn on Friday, January 7th. Good luck!

    High five and happy skiing/boarding!

    -Shannon

      27 comments:

      eee said...

      Unfortunately unoriginal, but snowboarding at Crystal Mountain is easily my favorite winter activity. Especially the Buck run early in the morning or Back Bowl when we're lucky enough to have some powder.

      andrea bailey erb. baian@musc.edu said...

      Tubing! Bc im a south carolinian and only make it to michigan once a year! No skill involved!

      Tyler Reed said...

      I love all kinds of winter activities! I love to ski at crystal as much as I can afford! I also love to ice skate and snowmobile. Crystal mountain is great and all the workers are so friendly!

      Danielle said...

      Downhill Skiing!

      Margaret said...

      Love to ice skate & downhill skiing especially at Crystal. Love the family centered feeling there.

      Vkop said...

      Cross country skiing

      Jennifer said...

      I would definitely have to say skiing or snowboarding. And it's always a plus when it's at Crystal Mountain. :-)

      Gary said...

      That's an easy one. Sitting in the lodge, enjoying a nice glass or wine (or two) while watching the family ski and snowboard outside.

      runningmomoftwo said...

      Downhill skiing is our favorite. I just went for the first time in over 10 years and had a blast!

      Derek said...

      Love Crystal. Downhill Skiing is the best!

      Anonymous said...

      Crossing country skiing is the best; I love the way it makes you feel!

      Anonymous said...

      Skiing at Crystal is my favorite winter activity! Especially when the sky is blue and the snow is fresh and white!

      Sarah F said...

      skiing of course!!!

      Stiner said...

      I Love Love Love Downhill Skiing. I am an addict.

      Anonymous said...

      I love Crystal on a nice sunny day where I can hit the powder in backcountry ALL day long.

      jessica said...

      I love snowboarding at crystal the best!

      Anonymous said...

      Snowboarding!!

      (fishysnowboarder at yahoo dot com)

      Diane said...

      Tubing and sledding with the family.
      dmcgowan7270@charter.net

      mnallen said...

      Sleeding!! That is our favorite

      Anonymous said...

      Growing up in Pennsylvania meant a lot of snow and outdoor activities, but when I moved to Michigan in 1992, I realized a whole new world of winter activities. Our family enjoys going up North throughout all of the seasons and sharing that time together. We like tubing/sledding and pond hockey the most, but anything Crystal Mtn. offers is exceptional and would be wonderful to experience more of.

      Partlo said...

      A long snowshoe, then collapsing into a snow angel, followed with a well deserved hot cocoa.

      Ryenn said...

      Its definitely favorite winter activities, not activity! Skiing is by far my favorite thing to do, whether it be competing or just for fun. But who doesn't enjoy creating jumps and sledding down giant hills with their friends. I love all winter activities though it helps that they usually include hot chocolate afterward =]

      jeff said...

      I enjoy sledding with my children down one of the hills in the back of our house!

      Joel said...

      you really cant beat tubing down a huge hill/mountain... like crystal for example

      River City Studios, Ltd. Staff said...
      This comment has been removed by the author.
      River City Studios, Ltd. Staff said...

      Downhill Skiing!! Despite the traumatic experience I had my first time ever doing it (I fell in front of the giant lodge window and everyone saw it) I still really love it!

      bazooka joe said...

      id say my favorite part is going face first down nose dive @ crystal mountain and losing every piece of equipment except my snow pants! god i love skiing @ crystal mountain!