Need a budget spot in Wisconsin for big familyWe need a reasonably priced lodge-type location for a family of 33 people with water, available for June of 2011, hopefully in the middle of Wisconsin. - Marcia, Grafton, Wis.
You're smart to plan this far ahead. I don't know what you consider reasonably priced, but in general, large groups have buying power that keeps per-person prices low.
You could consider any lake resort. For example, Garmisch Resort near Cable, on Lake Namekagon, has six cabins that sleep 10 to 15 people. If you were to rent the Schwarzwald Haus for a week, the cost per person would be about $30 per night.
You'll pay about the same thing to stay at Heartwood Conference Center & Resort in Minong, about 40 minutes west of Hayward. It's on the Namekagon River and includes two private lakes. Its Pine Village duplexes sleep up to 14 each and have
kitchens and fireplaces. Meals are available for groups.
You could also rent private cabins. I just rented two cabins on Minnesota's North Shore from Vacation Rentals by Owner, for a weekend ski trip with my outdoors club, and the cost was $35 per person per night. Rates are less for week-long stays.
For more, see Renting a vacation house.
However, if you want to get really low, here are some options. For more, see Cabins for a crowd.
Wyalusing State Park at the confluence of the Wisconsin and Mississippi rivers near Prairie du Chien has four buildings that each accommodate 27 people, with indoor bathrooms and a separate kitchen; $4 per person with a $200 minimum, 608-996-2261.
Wisconsin also rents two rustic cabins in Point Beach State Forest, north of Two Rivers on Lake Michigan; one sleeps 14 and the other 16, $60 or $5 per person. Each has a boardwalk to a white-sand beach on Lake Michigan and has a fire pit, pump and latrine but no electricity. There's also a covered pavilion for eating.
Mackenzie Environmental Learning Center near Poynette, Wis.
This center between Wisconsin Dells and Madison is operated by the
Wisconsin Wildlife Federation in partnership with the Wisconsin DNR and
Friends of the Mackenzie Center.
Groups can stay in two dorms, which sleep 80, and use the lodge with commercial kitchen. Cost is $15 per person, with a minimum of $200 per night, plus a $20 reservation fee. 608-635-8100.