SKI Deals 2002: Midwest

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PAOLI PEAKS, IND.,

starts you skiing for free and then gives you such cheap midweek newbie deals that you can't afford to quit. Simply show up on a Tuesday or a Friday at 10:30 a.m., and you'll get a free lesson, a free rental and a free snow pass to the beginner area. If you simply want to play hooky and ski or ride midweek, just show your hotel room key and you'll get a three-day snow pass for $39. Call 812-723-4696, or visit www.skipeaks.com.

BOYNE USA RESORTS, MICH., unveils the new Express Rental System and the $99 Unlimited Season Express & Rental Package. Get fitted with the latest gear at 11 locations around the state, and it will be awaiting your arrival at Boyne Mountain or either of its sister resorts, Boyne Highlands, Mich., or Big Sky, Mont. Rent as often as you like for that one-time payment. Call 800-462-6963, visit www.boyne.com, or call your local Bavarian Village or Boyne Country Sports.

GRANITE PEAK, WIS., offers a child's lift ticket free for each day you purchase an adult lift ticket (two-day minimum). Each ticket includes nightskiing. Call 715-845-2846 or visit www.skigranitepeak.com.

LUTSEN, MINN., is cheap for those quick on the draw. A group of area properties have put aside a block of rooms for $119 packages that include two nights' lodging and two days' lifts. (It's $99 per person for quad occupancy.) Each week at least 100 rooms are available, sometimes as many as 180. Call 218-663-7281 for more information, but it's a web-booked package, so visit www.lutsen.com to reserve.

VILLA OLIVIA, ILL., encourages parents to get kids on skis young with affordable rates. Enroll 7- to 9-year-olds in the $99 Ski-Wee program, which includes three two-hour lessons, equipment rentals and lift tickets. Call 630-289-1000 ext. 740 after Nov. 1 for details and registration. Visit www.villaolivia.com.