Gaylord’s family-friendly Treetops Resort and the Gaylord Area Convention & Tourism Bureau have teamed for the second December in as many years by offering a unique deal: Ski Free Getaway.

Stay at a participating property, and ski and ride free at the resort Friday through Sunday, Dec. 14-16. Choose from 11 Gaylord-area properties starting at $58 per room. The deal amounts to anywhere from a $13 to $50 per night savings on the room alone. Top that with lift tickets that normally are $42 per person on weekends, and your savings adds up quickly.

Here’s what you’ll get: pick from the 11 resorts. They’re found by going to Gaylord tourism’s website and clicking on the events listing. Call and tell them you’re booking for the Ski Free Getaway. Properties range from the lodges of quaint Marsh Ridge Resort to the 10-room Waters Inn south of the city.

Check in at the property of your choice and your free lift ticket vouchers will be waiting. Each overnight voucher is good for one day of skiing or riding starting at 2 p.m. on Dec. 14.

There’s also a free ski clinic being offered at Treetops on Saturday, Dec. 15, so whether you’re a rank beginner or have been riding or skiing since you could walk, it amounts to another big savings.

When you’re not skiing or boarding, try the tubing run at Treetops, or rent a snowmobile from Treetops or another vendor to explore the hundreds of miles of trails nearby. Or, try your feet on the cross-country ski trails ringing the area, including routes along the trout-rich Pigeon River.

Gaylord offered the same deal last year, but the winter wasn’t too forthcoming. Thanks to good early snow, Treetops did open this past weekend with an 8- to 24-inch base. This week is starting out warmer than usual, but will cool off midweek. Treetops is closed until Friday afternoon, Dec. 7.

Some local meteorologists are predicting a “normal” northern Michigan winter and that means plenty of snow, so stay tuned and do your Heikki Lunta snow dance. Treetops also has great rates the rest of the winter with weekly specials at its website.