It will cost you less to learn to ski or snowboard January 2016, as top ski and snowboard resorts throughout the West offer free or steeply discounted ski and snowboard lessons during the eighth annual Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month. Several resorts even are offering FREE season passes for those who complete the beginner lessons, so you can play in the snow for the rest of the season, perfecting your turns.
There were more than 53 million ski and snowboard days in the U.S. last year, and this season could be even better, considering the bounty of champagne powder that resorts in the Western USA received early in the season.
Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month is a time when locations large and small offer special deals for children and adults who want to learn. The program focuses on taking lessons from professional instructors rather than encouraging newcomers to teach themselves or try to learn from a friend, family member or spouse.
Most beginner deals for Alpine skiing and snowboarding and typically offer a 90-minute introductory on-snow experience. Deals vary by state or individual resort.
For example, Ski Utah, the association which represents most resorts in the state, is coordinating a $45 package targeted primarily to Utah residents, while Ski New Mexico runs an annual program with a local TV station for for school children at all of its member resorts.
Individual resorts throughout the U.S. have developed their own Learn to Ski and Snowboard or “Bring a Friend” programs, as well as for locations hosting the snow sports industry’s “World’s Largest Lesson” event on January 8, 2015.
The Special Programs section of the web site provides links. Here is a sampling of current locations in the western part of the country and more will be added. Midwest and Eastern locations will be covered separately.
Alpine Meadows: For $59 first time skiers and riders 13+ can sign up for the beginner package that features a lift ticket, lesson and rentals. These are half day Lessons with start times at 10:00 am and 1:00pm. Guests should arrive 1 hour before the lesson to get rental gear. The program is available Monday-Friday, January 4-29. For details go to: http://www.squawalpine.com
Homewood: For $49 adult first timers can learn to ski or ride with a certified professional instructor. Lessons are available in the morning and afternoon from 10 am -12:30pm and 1 pm-3:30pm. The package includes the lesson, lift ticket, rentals, and a special promotion for additional lessons that include rentals and lift tickets. http://www.skihomewood.com
Mountain High: Purchase a Beginner Package for $75 midweek ($85 weekends) and receive a second lesson FREE! ($41 value) This learn to ski or snowboard package provides everything needed to get started including two (2) 1hr & 45min lessons (First lesson at 10am, Second lesson at 1pm), ski or snowboard rentals, and an 8-Hour, lower mountain lift ticket. http://www.mthigh.com
Copper Mountain: Newcomers ages 16 and up a hassle-free, $199 the package that includes three ski or snowboard lessons, lift tickets; equipment rentals. close-in parking and lunch on the second and third days. Upon graduation and completion of the third lesson, Copper provides participants with a free season pass so guests can progress further for the remainder of the winter. Quantities are limited, must be purchased in person at Copper Mountain. For details, visit www.CopperColorado.com/SRSU.
Crested Butte: First time skiers and riders, ages 15 and older can sign up for a First Time Beginner Adventure lesson with CB’s Ski + Ride School for $79. This package includes full-day ski or snowboard lesson, full day adult lift ticket (valid for limited lift access on the day of the lesson) and halfoff a single-day equipment rental package. Limit is one lesson package per person. Reservations are required. For details visit: http://www.skicb.com
Loveland Ski Area: The 3-Class Pass program rewards first time skiers and snowboarders who complete the three lesson package with a free season pass. Pay as you go and receive the season pass after completing the three lessons package, pre-buy the three lesson packages and use the season pass all winter long. All children 6-14 also receive a free season pass after completing three lesson packages. For details visit: http://www.skiloveland.com
Granby Ranch: The “Get On The Snow” is for ages 13+, for $249 January 4 – 31, 2016. Those who complete two days of lessons can ski and ride FREE for the rest of the season with a complimentary season pass. The package includes two days of lessons, lift tickets, equipment rentals and a season pass upon completion. Lessons do not have to be on consecutive days. Each guest may enroll once. Advance reservations are required. For details visit: http://www.granbyranch.com
Sunlight Mountain: “Learn to Shine” package includes a total of eight days of skiing, including three lessons with rental equipment and a lift ticket for each lesson. After three lessons, Sunlight provides a five-day season pass to use for the rest of the season! Cost is $375. For details visit: http://www.sunlightmtn.com
Winter Park: Buy one full day lesson/lift/lunch/rental product and get one free. Valid Monday-Thursday only, January 4-28. Cost is $199 for adults and $219 for kids. Both offers must be used as a full day kids or adults lesson/lift/lunch/rental package. For details visit: http://www.winterparkresort.com
Brundage: For the VIP Beginner Learning program, newcomers need to pre-register with the ski & ride school and speak with a lesson specialist. Beginners can book back-to-back lessons over a few days or over the course of the season. Get a free 2015/16 season pass after the fourth lesson. The program is for beginners ages 8 to adult. Group lessons start at $39. Rentals are $20. For details, call 208.634.6631 or visit: http://www.brundage.com
Lookout Pass: The $39 “Success Beginner Package” includes one lift ticket, equipment rental and lesson. The package is for beginners ages 6 and up. Lessons can be reserved by phone at 208-744-1301 Ext. 15 or online registration must be made 24 hours in advance. For details visit: http://www.skilookout.com
Schweitzer Mountain: The $39 first timers package for skiers or snowboarders includes a standard beginner lift ticket, lesson and basic rental package. It is available to anyone ages 7 and up. Call 208-255-3070 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for specific times, details and reservations. If you Bring-a-Friend and both sign up for Ski FREE in 3, you’ll each get a FREE lift ticket to use any time in the season. For details visit: http://www.schweitzer.com
Mt Hood Ski Bowl: The program is for beginners 8 years and older and includes lift/lesson and rental starting January 8th. Two people for price of one can take lessons during the week for $ 48 (Reg.$ 48 each). The midweek price of $48 is available during weekends in January – 9/10,16/17,23/24,30/31. Kids ski 4-7/ board 6 & 7 years old: 2 for 1 during the week semiprivate-$ 80 total (Reg. $80 each) Midweek price of $80 per child during weekends 9/10,16/17,23/24,30/31th of January2016 (reg. $ 99 each) Times vary by day so check the web site. For details visit: http://www.skibowl.com
Mt. Ashland: Participate with a friend in the “First Time Ski or Snowboard Package” for $50 and the second guest receives a 50% discount, for equipment rental, beginner lift ticket and a lesson. Participate with a friend in the “Next Step Ski or Snowboard Package” for $70 and the second guest receives half off for rentals, an all mountain lift ticket and a lesson. Children ages 3 1/2 – 12 can participate in a “Snow Scooter” or “Ridge Runner” package at $60 and the second guest receives a 50% discount for a lesson, equipment rentals, and an all mountain lift ticket. The packages are available Thursdays through Mondays during January. Ccall 541-482-2897 or visit http://www.MtAshland.com
Mt. Bachelor: The “Ski or Ride in 5” program is January 4, 2016 though March 18, 2016. It costs $199 and includes five lessons on dates of choice for a two-hour lesson per day, plus equipment and a lift ticket for the entire day of each lesson, and reserved close-in parking privileges. After completing the five-lesson program, participants receive a FREE Winter Season Pass or 12 Day Pass good for the remainder of the 2015-2016 winter season and a significant discount on Winter Season Passes for the next two years. Holiday blackout dates include February 13-15, 2016. Participants must register by January 31, 2016. For details visit: http://www.mtbachelor.com
Diamond Peak Ski Resort: The special Learn to Ski & Ride package is January 11- 15 only. The Ski and Snowboard School (ages 7 and up) will have Learn to Ski and Burton Learn to Ride packages for $39. The package includes a beginner lift ticket, rental equipment and 1:45 minute morning or afternoon lesson. There’s also a two-hour $39 Learn to Ski package for ages 4-7 at 10am. For details visit: http://www.diamondpeak.com
For all programs visit Ski Utah
Alta: The Learn to Ski Program offers first-timers an opportunity to choose up to four days of discounted lessons and rental packages. Reservations are required. The cost for children and adults is $45 for a 2-hour lesson & rentals, plus a $20 registration fee. Beginners must register by January 31. The program is offered on Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays and is available for the rest of the season. Blackout dates are Dec. 19-Jan. 3; Jan. 15-17; Feb. 12-19. Participants can purchase a discount beginner lift ticket for $26 and can receive a Copper Card when four days are completed.
Deer Valley: For first-time local skiers only, and only on Saturday, January 30 from 9 am to 12 pm. A local is defined as anyone with a current Utah Diver’s license. Participants must be 13 years or older. Anyone under the age of 18 must have a parent or guardian to sign the ski rental agreement and Acknowledgement of Risks Agreement. The $45 cost includes the ski lesson, lift ticket, ski rentals, locker/basket check storage, and helmet.
Snowbasin: On January 23rd only, pay $45 for an all day lesson, lift and rental for ages 13+. Beginners need to register at least 7 days in advance at 801-620-1015. Beginners must mention the Ski Utah Learn to Ski/Ride Program to qualify for the discount.
Solitude: For one-time use for skiers ages five and up and snowboarders age eight and up. The offer is valid January 5-31, 2016 excluding Jan. 9, the Jan. 16-19 holiday weekend, and Jan. 23 nd 30, for afternoon group sessions only. Reservations should be made at least one week in advance by calling 801-536-5730 or emailing email@example.com.
Sundance: The beginner program valid on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings in January. It includes a full day lift ticket, full day rental (basic rental package) and a two 1/2 hour morning lesson for $60.00 (a $40 savings). The package must be purchased in the Ski and snowboard school office. Guest will be asked to provide valid Utah Identification.
49 degrees: The Learn 2 Ski or Snowboard package is $74, and a Learn 2 Plus Package is $99. It’s part of their EZ 1-2-3 (3 day package). For more information, call the Ski & Snowboard School at (509) 935-6649, extension 610
Mt Spokane: The EZ-Ski or Ride package for beginners costs $99 through January, 2016. It includes three tickets, three lessons, and three equipment rentals for one price. Purchase it in January 2016 and use it anytime during the 2015/16 season. For details visit: http://www.mtspokane.com
White Pass: The all-inclusive rental / lift /lesson “EZ Ski/Ride Package” is available during January and any other three days of the 2015/16 season, for ages four and up. The cost is $149.95 for a Buy Package get Second Package FREE offer, which breaks down to $25/trip lift, lesson. The aim is to get beginners skiing and riding in just three trips to the mountain! For details visit: http://www.skiwhitepass.com
Grand Targhee Resort: The “1-2-3 Start Me Up” program is in effect throughout January. Upon completion of your third lesson, you’ll receive a 2015-16 winter season pas. The package includes three two-hour group lessons, daily rental equipment, and all day lift tickets, good on Shoshone and Papoose. Lessons are morning or afternoon for ages six and up. The cost is $279. For details visit: http://www.grandtarghee.com
So grab your gloves and your goggles, and go out and play in the snow. It’s fun, it’s great exercise, and the fresh air and the scenery add to the experience.