As many of you already know, January is Learn to Ski & Snowboard month--and there's something to be had for both first timers and experienced skiers and snowboarders. Last season, I took part in this program (which involved skiing with never-ever friends) and was named Ambassador of the Year (more on that below).
Learn to Ski & Snowboard Deals (Lower Midwest)
Across the US, there are numerous deals to be had for people interested in hitting the slopes for the first time. Here are a few of the deals at resorts in my general area:
Paoli Peaks (Southern Indiana): $45 Equipment Rental & Snow Pass (for Discovery Zone only) during weekends in January. Upgrade to a full lift ticket when you're ready to explore the trails. Click here for more info.
Hidden Valley (St. Louis Area): $69 Online Only - Adult Snow Pass, Rentals, & Ski Lesson. Click here for more info.
Perfect North Slopes (Cincinnati Area): No deal listed for LSSM, but an Introductory Ski or Snowboard lesson is included with lift-ticket purchase. Click here for more info.
Learn to Ski & Snowboard Deals (Utah)
Ski Utah: Ski Utah is a HUGE supporter of the Learn to Ski & Snowboard program. Check out their LSSM page for a whole list of Utah resorts with lesson, rental, and package deals for first timers.
Take a First Timer, Win Some Stuff
If you already know how to ski--you may get just as much out of the program. Bring your friends and share a photo of them on the slopes (use the tag #firstdayfaces) to get in the running for weekly prizes (awarded until Feb. 24th). Check out the FirstDayFaces page for more info.
You can also enter the Bring a Friend challenge to win even more prizes. Bring your friends, help them sign up for lessons, and enter the Bring a Friend challenge (which runs until Feb. 28th).
My Own Experience
I got a late start last year when I decided to introduce my eight-year-old daughter to skiing in mid-January. It had been over 10 years since I had skied. While doing some research before that first trip, I found the Learn to Ski & Snowboard website and decided to enter the Bring a Friend challenge.
After that first day on the slopes, my daughter was hooked, and the fire was re-lit for me. Oh, and I also won the weekly contest and a really cool Armada jacket.
At that point, I couldn't stop talking about skiing--and the invitations followed. I'm going skiing anyway, might as well take some friends! I became a Snow Sports Ambassador, and I was lucky enough to be named Ambassador of the Year at the end of the season. Last season's prizes included a pair of Head Skis & Tyrolia bindings, a North Face jacket, Falke ski socks, a seasons pass to my "local" resort (Paoli Peaks)--and a trip to Utah!
Needless to say, I highly recommend taking part!