I skied cascade on New Years Eve of 07/08. We got there 30 minutes before the slopes opened. No ticket lines. From opening to mid morning they were packed. From 10am-8pm we avoided the packed high speed quad (resort open 9am-11:59pm). All the other lift lines were minimal all day. The snow was superb.
For beginners they have a great lift called Schoolmarm. I think it is a little shorter than the average lift so kids can load easier. The hill it services is perfect to learn on. (I did years ago) For the advanced skier; sorry, this is Wisconsin. The black diamonds are comparable to a blue in the Rocky Mtns. That being said, they do offer more black runs than anyone in the area, and they are never busy. Cascade does a good job of working in rails and big jumps into the parks. The best thing about Cascade is the high speed quad. It is the only one I know of in southern Wisconsin. My experiences on non holiday periods are short lift lines on all lifts. Short lines and a fast lift lets you get in twice the runs.
Lodging can be quite affordable. I recommend The Ridge Motor Inn of Portage. There is a free shuttle to the resort every hour if you don’t want to drive. Rooms as low as $50. Years ago it was the Best Western so it has an indoor pool and hot tub. Be warned it is a budget hotel and slightly run down, but it is clean. I go to ski, who cares about a 5-star lodge.