Vail Resorts has announced the launch of its Epic SchoolKids program in Utah and Colorado to get young groms onto the slopes.
Kids in kindergarten through fifth grade are eligible for the get-out-and-ski initiatives. The Utah Pack includes five free days of skiing at Park City (formerly Canyons and Park City Mountain Resort). Colorado kids land four days each at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, and Keystone. Plus, in both programs, VR is throwing in one free full-day beginner lesson with rentals during Learn to Ski and Ride Month in January.
“Fostering kids’ love for skiing and snowboarding is a top priority for Vail Resorts,” Bill Rock, chief operating officer of Park City, says in a press release. “It is incredibly important we continue to find ways to connect kids and families with the mountains and make snowsports accessible."
Vail Resorts ran the Colorado program last spring, and because it was successful it's reopening registration and expanding the program into Utah.
In the always competitive ski industry, Vail's new (and age-broader) initiatives parallel the longstanding kids-ski-free efforts in ski states, including Colorado and Utah.
Colorado Ski Country USA, a trade group Vail Resorts pulled out of in 2008, offers three days of free skiing to 5th graders at each of 20 Colorado resorts, and a $99 pass to 6th graders for four days at each resort. Utah's version, from trade group Ski Utah, servers up a $35 pass, which covers 3 free days at 15 state resorts for 5th graders or one day at each resort for 6th graders.
Pick and choose, or roll with all of them. The winners? Kids and skiing families.