The King of Schuss: Resort proudly continues beloved royal tradition

By: 
Chrissy Stahl, Contributing Writer

Courtesy photo

A glimpse into the past reveals King Daniel Iannotti (center) gallivanting around Schuss Mountain with his loyal companions, dressed in royal attire. King Daniel was said to be a very charismatic character who loved to entertain the masses.

 

Courtesy photo

In present day, the King of Schuss can easily be found among the crowds on Saturdays and holidays throughout the ski season. Here, he is pictured with a sampling of his loyal companions – members of Schuss Mountain’s Ski Patrol.

 

REGION – Once upon a time, back in the mid-1960s in the land of Chicago, there lived a man named Daniel Iannotti. Daniel was a successful stockbroker who had a lovely wife named Dorothy and together they had two wonderful children, a boy named Daniel and a girl named Madelyn.

Daniel was becoming unhappy with life in the big city and had made plenty of money trading stocks, so he began to dream of a better life for him and his much-loved family. He dreamt of opening a ski resort and having a paradise of his own in the style of a Bavarian ski hamlet.

Iannotti began searching for just the right spot in which to erect his very own Bavarian kingdom. He searched the land wide over, from Wisconsin to Minnesota, when at last he discovered a parcel of land in northern Michigan, a beautiful place that many refer to as “God’s country.”

Located just three miles from a new small ski resort called Summit Mountain (aka Shanty Creek), Daniel decided to embark upon the journey north, to what would become known as The Kingdom of Schuss.

Soon construction began and on Dec. 23, 1967 The Kingdom of Schuss ski resort had its grand opening. King Daniel declared the Kingdom a nation unto itself, he dubbed his wife “Queen Dorothy” and his children the “Prince and Princess of Schuss.”

The Kingdom of Schuss was complete with its own border control station, a currency known as Squaller, a native language called Schwiss and it even had its own time zone, called Central Fun Time.

A few years into the kingdom’s existence – as Roy Deskin, the owner of Shanty Creek, had incorporated the addition of a golf course to his ski resort – King Daniel would soon follow suit. In 1972 a nine-hole golf course, designed by Warner Bowen, was opened. Currently, that is known as the front nine. In 1977 the back nine were added.

Today the kingdom still stands. Skiers and winter enthusiasts from throughout the world come to enjoy the beauty of nature in a magical place that all now know as Schuss Mountain. King Daniel and his memory are celebrated by the “King of Schuss” mascot that can be seen every Saturday and on holidays throughout the resort during ski season. 

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