Lakewood, CO – Organizers of Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month (formerly Learn a Snow Sport Month) announced last week that ski industry veteran Mary Jo Tarallo, formerly of SnowSports Industries America (SIA), will serve as the Executive Director of the grassroots initiative aimed at getting more kids and families on the slopes.
“I am pleased to be working with our industry colleagues on this important and energetic initiative not only to increase participation in skiing and snowboarding, but also to retain the loyalty of new customers over time. NSAA’s Model for Growth research offers some excellent insight on how to proceed, but it’s the work of passionate volunteers and ski area staff in the field that ultimately lead to the success of our efforts,” says Tarallo, who is perhaps most noted for creating the Winter Feels Good campaign and for her direction of Winter Trails, a national event that last season drew nearly 11,000 participants.
According to preliminary results, more than 30,000 beginner ski and snowboard lessons were provided through resorts involved with the initiative in 2009-10. In all, 32 states have supported the effort, and Governors of 16 states officially proclaimed last January as Learn a Snow Sport Month. In addition, 16 resort associations, four national organizations and more than 300 resorts and Nordic centers nationwide collaborated on the effort. An educational session highlighting success stories from this year’s effort was presented to a standing room-only audience at this month’s NSAA’s National Convention & Tradeshow in Orlando, Fla., where leaders also discussed plans for Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month 2011.
According to Tarallo, the initiative will continue to draw its energy from the support and direction of state and regional associations. Industry trade media played an instrumental role in spreading the word through ads and articles in their January issues. A grant from NSAA and additional support from PSIA-AASI are augmenting on-going support from state and regional resort associations to help fund the initiative. Additional partners will be announced in the future.