Heartland snow sports enthusiasts don't have to go to Lake Tahoe to mix gaming and skiing, or enjoy the enticing lodging packages that you find there because of the casinos.

The Black Hills of South Dakota, with the infamous town of Deadwood, is offering some attractive winter sports packages this winter. Ski and snowboard by day and get in plenty of gaming action at night in the 80-some casinos lining the streets of the historic town. This is where Wild Bill Hickok was shot in a poker game.

The Black Hills Stay and Ski Package, which starts from $135 per person, double occupancy, includes a two-night stay, a day skiing or riding at Terry Peak and a day at Mystic Miner, plus gaming and entertainment coupons.

There are also lift and lodging packages for both ski areas. Packages start from $119 per person, double occupancy at Terry Peak and from $240 for a family of four at Mystic Miner.

Terry Peak, with a mountain size 1,100-foot vertical drop, offers over 30 runs - some up to two miles long - four chairlifts (two high-speed quads), a halfpipe and freestyle terrain park. It offers skiing and boarding for all levels, and even expert glades to test your skiing mettle. It's the tallest ski area in the Heartland.

Mystic Miner offers 44 trails and a little over 850 feet of vertical drop. There's also approximately 10 miles of groomed cross-country trails that wind through the scenic South Dakota mountains.

The Black Hills, 7,200 feet above sea level, have the highest peaks between the Rockies and Alps in Europe; higher than any mountain range along the east coast. It's also a lot less expensive than a trip to the Rocky Mountains or the Alps.

The discounts are designed to entice gamblers, but even in Deadwood, you don't have to give it all back at the tables.

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