Learn to Ski and Snowboard was a great success. Organizers estimate that ski areas nationwide provided more than 60,000 lessons to children and adults this past January. The results are based on a preliminary survey of participating resorts and resort association partners, and represent a 100 percent increase over the 2010 effort. In addition, the initiative that seeks to get more kids and families on the slopes, generated an estimated $4 million dollars in general media coverage for snow sports. That is in addition to approximately $250,000 in gratis advertising provided by the industry trade media.
“The beauty of this program is its flexibility,” said LSSM director Mary Jo Tarallo. “We provide the tools so the partners can be as creative as possible in crafting programs that suit their needs. All we ask is that they present a viable learning program during January.”
Social media tools and media outreach were the prominent methods used to promote programs. The Head Ski Company offered a financial contribution dedicated toward producing several hundred promotional posters that were on display at ski areas nationwide.
Nearly all respondents said they used a combination of existing learning programs with new elements for Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month, which is celebrated each January. Some areas even provided incentives for current skiers and snowboarders to “bring a friend”. Others combined a learning package with lodging. Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine collaborated to offer a lift, lesson, rental package for free the first week in January. In Utah, Park City executed a multiple trial program that reaped a high level of repeat visits among lesson takers.
Local and regional promotional efforts are backed up by national PR outreach and a website set up to drive traffic to learning programs. The website also provides content that helps children and adults get involved in skiing and/or snowboarding and help participants become more proficient. Find more information online at skiandsnowboardmonth.org