My husband and I just got back from skiing at Giant's Ridge on Saturday, February 17th. We haven't downhill skied at Lutsen (cross-country there only), so keep that in mind as you read this.
Having skied at the places near the Twin Cities multiple times, we really enjoyed the change in scenery (literally) that Giants Ridge had to offer. There were times when we just stopped, mid-run, to gape at the scenery offered before us - it was beautiful! We are intermediate skiers who sometimes take the Black Diamonds, but beyond the thrill of the speed rush, we enjoy good snow, good slopes, and long runs (longer than we were used to, anyhow!).
We were fortunate in that there weren't huge crowds, and we enjoyed relative peace & quiet while skiing, and virtually NO lift lines.
We'd recommend Giants Ridge for Beginner & Intermediate skiers - there's easily enough runs to keep them occupied. :)