Midwest Resorts Bounce Back for Spring Skiing

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A recent two-week span of summer-like temperatures brought an otherwise record-breaking Midwest ski season to a screeching halt for many of the ski resorts. Virtually all of the ski areas in the southern sections of the region had a banner Presidents' Weekend and then had to shut their doors a week later.

Cold weather and a return of snow showers means the lifts are running again at several ski areas, serving up great skiing and timely bargains. March discounted late-season pricing

Lutsen Mountains, MN, for example, has 50 runs open and a "Snow Guarantee." If less than 80% of their runs are open you can cancel your reservations with no penalty; they are that confident that their conditions will remain consistent through April 16.

Michigan's Upper Peninsula is known for its record snow totals, so it was no surprise when 12 inches fell on March 11 followed by another 8 inches on March 15. Indianhead Mountain in Wakefield with an average base of 65", plans to stay open seven days a week through March and anticipates being open on weekends until April 9.

Next door to Indianhead, Blackjack Resort has recorded so much recent powder that the resort is leaving four of its runs ungroomed "for the powderhounds." It's also offering a March Internet Coupon on its website, good for $5 off any lift ticket during March. Also in the Upper Peninsula, Ski Brule in Iron River is 100% open with a base of 50-120". Thanks to a spate of cold weather, Ski Brule has been cranking the snowguns at full blast. Nub's Nob in Harbor Springs, voted the number one in the Midwest for snow quality and grooming by readers of SKI, takes great pride in its snowmaking. The resort cranked up its arsenal of snowguns last week and made snow for 43 straight hours. The result is that 34 runs are open, more than twice as many as any other lower Michigan resort. Typically, Nub's is open into April, and this spring should not be any different.

Spring also means great golf and ski combos. Shanty Creek in Bellaire is taking another tack with its Schuss Mountain slopes. Visitors to Shanty Creek in Bellair can ski the 23 open runs at Schuss Mountain in the morning and then use their lift ticket to play a round of golf on the Summit course in the afternoon.

Boyne Mountain in Boyne Falls and Boyne Highlands in Harbor Springs are also in on the golf act. Between them, the two offer 26 runs open for skiing and two courses open for golf, the Alpine course at Boyne Mountain and the Heather course at Boyne Highlands. Guests at Boyne Highlands may present a lift ticket and golf at no charge.