I really think its just a matter of charging what people are willing to pay and taking them for suckers.
I'm struggling to see how the resorts in the Midwest have anywhere near the operating costs that the much larger all mountain resorts out West do, but I'm open to hearing about it.
I'd wager the costs/acre are higher than they are out West. We average 60-80" of snow per YEAR. Utah or WA or CO can get that, and often does, in a weekend. It's quite expensive to make snow, and because of the warmer temps and lower elevations, we don't get much help from Ma Nature either.
Just a hunch, though, I could be completely wrong