Just in time for all those new skis and snowboards received as holiday gifts, January has been firmly branded by the snow sports industry as Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month.
Continuing the marketing initiative that has been aimed at newcomers since 2009, mountains in Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts have scheduled numerous promotions designed to help new skiers and riders hit the slopes. Last year, 153,000 new participants nationwide took advantage of the free lessons and rentals.
You can search by state or zip code to find the closest participating resort at www.skiandsnowboardmonth.org, and the marketing websites for both Ski NH (www.skinh.com) and Ski Vermont (www.skivermont.com) do a good job highlighting what’s available in each state. The program also includes freebies and incentives for learning cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
Steals and deals
Cannon will have a 2-for-$72 deal on New Year’s Day . . . Killington will be rolling out non-peak weekday price breaks starting the week of Jan. 6: On Mondays, flash a season pass or frequent skier card from any other resort to get 20 percent off the window rate. On Thursdays, Killington will feature 2-for-$99 pricing (online advance purchase required) . . . Bromley has online e-coupons good for $49 skiing Jan. 5 and a combo $79 weekend ticket Jan. 11-12 (must be purchased 48 hours in advance) . . . Magic Mountain will have “throwback Thursday” $15 lift tickets Jan. 2, 9, 23, and 30.
Okemo will offer customers the opportunity to participate in the end-of-day sweep of the mountain with its ski patrol on select Saturdays. Space is limited to the first eight guests (free advance online signup) and skiers/boarders must be comfortable on black-level terrain or higher . . . Jay Peak and Burke are combining for a $169 Great Big Kingdom card that gives you three days of skiing at either mountain with no blackout dates . . . Ragged will have a demo day Jan. 5 . . . Hannah Kearney, the 2010 Olympic gold medalist in moguls, will ski and sign autographs at Waterville Valley on Thursday.
Night owls and students
Shawnee Peak has non-peak weekday night pricing of $13 on Mondays and $25 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays . . . Non-peak Tuesdays at Gunstock are 2 for $32 . . . Crotched kicks off its popular Midnight Madness concert/skiing/riding series (5 p.m.-3 a.m.) on Friday with $39 tickets for college students . . . Mount Snow has “youth pay their age day” for kids 18 and younger on Jan. 5, and $29 tickets for college students Jan. 9 . . . Sunday River has $39 lift tickets for college students Jan. 6-10 . . . At Sugarloaf, $42 college pricing is in effect Jan. 5-10.
The $25 Thursday “Breakfast Club” promotion is back at Black Mountain for skiers age 55 and up (coffee and breakfast) . . . If you’re 65 and older, Thursdays at Bretton Woods are $50 and include a 90-minute lesson . . . Wildcat (Tuesdays) and Attitash (Thursdays) offer a $55 ticket, lesson, and lunch combo for skiers age 50 and up . . . At Bolton Valley, 50/50 Mondays get you 50 percent off lift tickets, rentals, lessons, and food if you’re 50 or over . . . Mad River Glen gives card-carrying AARP members $10 off lift tickets on Sundays . . . Fridays at Killington are $50 for skiers age 50 and up starting Jan. 10.