Lakewood, CO. – Resort associations and ski areas in 34 states are gearing up to offer free or affordable ski and snowboard lessons during Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month – January, 2011. “Humans Were Never Meant to Hibernate” is the theme for this national effort to get children and adults outside this winter for fun and exercise on snow. Ski icon Glen Plake and Olympic Gold medal winner Bode Miller serve as ambassadors for Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month.
National Ski Areas Association statistics show between 10 and 12 million skiers and riders in the U.S. Last year, the association calculated there were 59.8 million visits to ski resorts for skiing and snowboarding.
Learning programs in participating states are easily accessible via the new site SkiandSnowboardMonth.org. It provides links to packages and special deals which vary from state to state.
Highlights include the following:
Resort associations in three New England states – Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine – are collaborating to offer free beginner ski and snowboard lessons January 3 – 9, 2011. Packages vary but typically include a beginner lesson taught by a professional instructor, rentals and a lift ticket for the beginner learning area. First time participants must register at Ski Vermont, Ski NH or Ski Maine’s websites to qualify for the free offer.
Vermont Governor Jim Douglas has declared January Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month.
Two additional month-long Ski Vermont programs are “Bring a Friend”, designed to appeal to skiers and snowboarders who want to share their love of their sports with a friend/family member, “Partner with a Pal”, that encourages friends or family members to their first day on the slopes by taking lessons together. Both are two-for one offers.
Twenty-six ski areas in New York are offering 20 percent off their lift ticket, group lesson and rental package beginning January 3 and continuing throughout the month. The only blackout date is MLK weekend.
Blue Hills, Jiminy Peak, Nashoba Valley, and Wachusett are four of 12 ski areas and resorts in Massachusetts supporting Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month. Other locations in the state run a variety of learning programs.
Governor Ed Rendell has issued a proclamation declaring January Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month throughout Pennsylvania. All 22 Pennsylvania ski areas in are offering a $5 back voucher on already discounted mid-week learning packages. Packages include a beginner lesson, rentals and a lift ticket for the beginner area. Individual ski areas, such as I Liberty, Camelback and Shawnee, are running special Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month packages.
Resorts in the Southeast Ski Areas Association’s (SSAA) five state region – Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee – are offering programs. So is Ski West Virginia, a seperate group.
“Discover Michigan” partners with McDonald’s restaurants to offer specially priced cross country, Alpine and snowboard lessons at 23 facilities. Fees are $20, $30 and $40 respectively. Other Midwest Ski Areas Association states also are offering a variety of packages.
Ski New Mexico is collaborating with KOAT TV-7 to provide a special learning program for youths ages 6 – 12 during January. The $30 package is being offered at eight alpine ski areas and one Nordic center.
Colorado Ski Country, USA, is offering a free “First Class” program to its fifth grade “Passport” holders during January. Passport holders new to skiing and snowboarding get a free beginner lesson and rentals at the Colorado Ski Country USA resort of their choice. Passports are booklets filled with free and discounted ski and snowboard experiences at CSC member resorts.
Colorado Ski Country USA member resorts will also be highlighting their Learn to Ski and Snowboard opportunities at ColoradoSki.com. Four independent resorts in Colorado – Beaver Creek, Keystone, Breckenridge and Vail -are also offering special learning programs through Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month.
Utah’s 14 ski resorts will all provide learn to ski and snowboard offers. Many of the packages include a lesson, rental and lift ticket for less than $40. For example, Park City Mountain Resort’s Start Now program includes lift access, an afternoon lesson and rental for $25. Participants can partake in the program up to five times enabling them ample to develop the skills necessary to become more proficient.
Further west and on the west coast, Diamond Peak at Incline Village is offering a $29 lesson package January 10 – 14. Lessons, including rentals and a lift ticket, are held at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Diamond Peak is Nevada’s only site for Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month. California Snow represents 11 resorts in that state with learning programs including Heaven Valley and Northstar, also in the Lake Tahoe region.
Further north, Ski Oregon’s 10 resorts are offering programs during Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month. Ski Washington, with 13 resorts, and Ski Idaho, with 14 resorts, also are participating. Fourteen ski areas and resorts in Montana are collaborating on the Learn to Ski in Three program that includes lifts, lessons and rentals for three days. Costs vary depending on the location. Jackson Hole is the only Wyoming resort involved in Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month. Ski the Northwest Rockies resorts are offering its EZ Ski or Ride 1-2-3 program. The group represents four resorts in Washington and Idaho.
In Alaska, the Sunday Morning Learning Special at Eaglecrest costs $19 for a two hour lesson from 10 a.m. to noon, a lift ticket and rentals. Participants get a $10 off voucher for the resort’s Triple Play package that includes three days of lessons