The Big Chief of Michigan's western UP ski country, Indianhead Mountain Resort, turns a half-century this season, and you can look for lots of specials throughout the season. 

The resort was discovered by Illinois businessman Jack English in 1959 when he and some friends were looking for a place to start a Midwest ski resort as an alternative to flying out West to ski.  They purchased an old dairy farm, converted the barn into a lodge, added a couple of T-Bars, a rope tow, and opened for business that winter. 

All of that is still in use, updated of course, and they've added quite a bit over the last 50 years.  Today there is a resort village, complete with condos, a hotel and restaurant, fitness center, and a new day lodge perched on top of the mountain overlooking the Ottawa National Forest.  Views range up to 40 miles from the upside-down resort. 

The mountain offers a big vertical drop of 638 feet, 29 slopes and trails, some nearly a mile in length, two terrain parks and is serviced by nine lifts.  It's big time skiing and riding and has long been a family favorite for many Heartlanders over the years. 

"Literally tens of thousands of people have learned to ski at Indianhead.  We see grandparents bringing their children and grandchildren back to enjoy the experience.  That's three generations of family that now return year after year to ski and ride at the resort," said longtime GM Barry Bolich. 

New this season is an expansion of the Big Chief Terrain Park, which will nearly double in size making it one of the Midwest's largest terrain parks.

If you book a hotel room by Oct. 23 for a stay between opening day - tentatively planned for Nov. 24 - and Dec. 25, the room is $50 for the night.  Book a hotel room for any weekend in January or February by the same date and save 30-percent off the regular rate.  These are a couple of early anniversary specials.  Look for more at OnTheSnow.com throughout the season.

More information. Or call 800-346-3426.