Hit the Slopes During 'Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month'

Thursday January 10, 2019

The 11th annual Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month has a new twist. "The Month" kicked off on January 1 and it will continue through January 31, 2019. Now, ski and snowboard areas across the U.S. are gearing up for a special celebration on Friday, January 11 — the first National Learn to Ski or Snowboard Day.

New York State has the most resorts officially signed up for January 11 with 11 locations but resorts in 21 other states also have registered, including Alaska, California, Colorado, Iowa, Idaho, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. The governors of Massachusetts and Utah have declared January Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month and both the PA House and Senate passed resolutions declaring the same. More states expect to receive proclamations.

Through the efforts of Ski Utah, more than 300 children from elementary schools around Utah will take beginner ski or snowboard lessons at various Utah ski resorts on January 11. Some resorts are offering extra affordable deals such as Butternut in MA ($10 beginner lessons), Holiday Valley in NY ($25 beginner package) and Shawnee in PA ($29 package for the first 100 who sign up). PA's Blue Mountain is offering free lessons that day.

According to Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month organizers, the goal for January 11 is to try and set a new snow sports industry record for the most beginner lessons taught in one day. The Learn to Ski and Snowboard initiative encourages newcomers to take lessons from professional instructors rather than trying to teach themselves or ask a friend or family member to teach them.

All "officially" participating resorts are listed on the www.learntoskiandsnowboard.org web site. Those that have signed up for the DAY are posted under the Jan. 11 menu tab. Resorts providing special learning offers throughout the MONTH are listed under Special Offers.

"You wouldn't ask a friend or family member to teach you how to skydive so why do that with skiing or snowboarding," said Mary Jo Tarallo, director of the Learn to Ski and Snowboard initiative. "We want newcomers to come out and have some fun on the snow by learning some initial skills from those who are trained to teach them."

Industry research shows that most newcomers want to learn the sports so they can spend more time with friends or family members. The other motivating factor is more of a "bucket list approach" — "something I've always wanted to do", according to a national study conducted by RRC Associates located in Boulder, CO.

The initiative also encourages newcomers and current participants to Bring a Friend for a day of fun on the slopes. "Our slogan is 'Humans Were Never Meant to Hibernate', said Tarallo, "so we encourage folks of all ages to get outside during January and learn something new."

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