If you want a weekend gathering in Michigan's Lower Peninsula, I'd suggest Schuss. They have similar terrain to Boyne, except a lot less of it, and generally attract shorter lift lines on weekends, except for holidays. Everybody has longer lines on holidays. Slow weekends, especially before the year-end holidays or late January/early February, the Boynes wouldn't be too bad for crowds.
Anyway, I'd be up for a Michigan Bears get-together anywhere east of Marquette and north of Cadillac as long as it isn't a time when I'm required to work. (Hopefully teaching at Boyne Mtn. this season)