Don’t be surprised if you see a few more kids on the slopes in upcoming years. More than 153,000 children and adults from 34 states registered for beginner lessons from professional instructors this January as part of Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month/Bring a Friend (LSSM/BAF)—an increase of more than 50,000 compared to 2012 and more than 130,000 since the initiative began in January 2009.
They coudn’t have done it without help from resorts. The majority of participating ski and snowboard areas offered a discounted lift, lesson and rental equipment beginner’s packages. Most made their LSSM offer available to consumers for the entire month. Seventy percent of the ski/snowboard areas reported that their consumer participation was higher compared to last year. Forty-four percent thought that the amount of snow in their region positively affected participation.
Many newcomers were children, with them and other registrants winning BAF prizes from suppliers, retailers, reps and industry media. Those who won the grand prize trips to Utah (Canyons, Deer Valley and Park City), Idaho (Sun Valley) and Vermont (Smugglers’ Notch) will be announced by the end of March.
“Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month/Bring a Friend has enjoyed support from all aspects of the snow sports industry and that’s what makes it work so well,” says Task LSSM Force Chair Raelene Davis, marketing VP for Ski Utah.
LSSM/BAF partners include all snow sports industry national associations, state and regional resort associations, retailer buying and membership groups, winter sports reps associations and members of the trade media. The initiative supports the Firth Lady’s Let’s Move campaign. LSSM encourages children and adults to get exercise outdoors on snow. Its slogan is “Humans Were Never Meant to Hibernate.”
National Ski Areas Association will announce the winner of its Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month Marketing Award at the organization’s conference in Palm Springs, Calif., April 30 – May 3.