I am getting ready to head to Chetek Saturday (from Chicago), so I checked this thread to see how fishing was going. When I saw your post, I was glad to see that the crappies are biting. When I saw that you stayed at the Shorewood, I KNEW that you had a horror story to tell. My extended family has been going to Chetek every year for the last twenty, and when we started out, we stayed at a couple of different resorts until we found one that had enough cabins for us, and we all liked. One of those years was "the Shorewood year". Whenever someone in our group brings it up, we laugh hysterically about how poorly that place is run, and how completely inhospitable the host and hostess are. We learned a painful lesson in our stay there, but we still get a good laugh about those wretched people.
I do find it hard to believe that you did not meet welcoming and friendly people in town, because that is one of the things that we all love about that place. Visiting the Chetek Bakery is a highlight by itself because the people are so nice, and the baked goods are fantastic. And we have been going long enough that we have figured out where to go and what to do in the area, so nobody ends up bored.
Don't give up on Chetek, the lakes are great, the people are nice and it is a truly great place for a family vacation. You just need to find a different resort, because the Shorewood is the pits.
I sure hope that the crappie bite is still happening when I get out on the water Sunday. I'd love to spend Sunday afternoon cleaning fish, but regardless, I know we will have a great time.