Minnesota ski areas with slopeside lodging offer much that appeals to day-trippers, too. In fact, readers of Ski magazine recently named Welch Village and Lutsen Mountains to a list of the Midwest's top 10 ski operations.
Here are some pertinent facts about places where you won't have to get in your car at the end of the ski day.
Welch Village, Welch, Minn.
Phone: 651-222-7079. Ask for information on group packages that include lift tickets and overnight lodging at Mountain Cabins. Remember, these units provide the bare essentials only and are rented primarily to church and Scout groups.
Web address: http://www.welchvillage.com.
Number of runs and lifts: More than 40 trails, eight chairlifts, snowboard terrain park. Two chalets, both with food service, one with bar.
Spirit Mountain, Duluth
Phone: For general ski area information, call 1-800-642-6377 or 1-218-628-2891. For Mountain Villas information, call 1-800-642-6377.
Web addresses: Visit http://www.spiritmt.com for ski area information or http://www.visitduluth.com/mtvillas for Mountain Villa inquiries.
Number of runs and lifts: Twenty-three trails, five lifts, including the state's only high-speed lift. Snowboard terrain. Hilltop chalet offers food, bar, spectacular views of Duluth Harbor.
Lutsen Mountains, Tofte, Minn.
Phone: For general ski area information, call 1-218-663-7281. For Caribou Highlands lodging, call 1-800-642-6036. For Eagle Ridge lodging, call 1-800-360-7666.
Web addresses: General Lutsen Mountains information can be found at http://www.lutsen.com/winter/winter_frameset.html. For Caribou Highlands, visit http://www.caribouhighlands.com. For Eagle Ridge, visit http://www.lutsen.com/eagleridge.
Number of runs and lifts: 61 trails, nine lifts, snowboard terrain. Papa Charlie's Saloon at base area offers food, bar, entertainment.
Giants Ridge, Biwabik, Minn.
Phone: Call 1-800-688-7669 or 1-218-865-4143 for general ski area information. To contact the Lodge at Giants Ridge, call 1-877-442-6877 or 1-218-865-7170.
Web addresses: Visit http://giantsridge.com for general ski area information. For information on the Lodge at Giants Ridge, visit http://www.giantsridge.com/lodge.html.
Number of runs and lifts: 34 trails, six lifts, snowboard terrain. Base chalet has food, liquor.