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Get Schooled

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(Photo by Casey Day)

It’s January. It’s resolution time. It’s reinvent yourself time. And what a coincidence, it’s also Learn to Ski and Snowboard time! It kind of feels like we’re preaching to the choir on this one, but this is the month to bring a newbie into the mountain-you know, share the love and all. Our resorts have made it easy with great discounts and deals on lessons. Plus, with some programs, upon completion, the student gets a free season pass to the resort. Then at the end of the season they can frame it and hand it on the wall next to their diploma.

Why January you ask? Well, because January is an ideal time in Colorado to learn to ski or snowboard. The snow is plentiful, and the holiday crowds have gone home. Fewer people and greater snowfalls on the beginner slopes translate into lots of wide-open space for learners to practice their turns.

Photo by Casey Day

Photo by Casey Day

To further encourage learning to ski or snowboard during this month, CSCUSA is offering a new program called First Class. First Class provides one complimentary beginner ski or snowboard lesson, including rental equipment, for registered CSCUSA 5th Grade Passport holders who are new to both the sports of skiing and snowboarding. First Class lessons will be provided during the month of January as part of Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month.

The 5th Grade Passport program provides three free lift tickets at each participating CSCUSA member resort, and the 6th Grade Passport program provides four lift tickets at the same resorts for $99. More information on 2010-11 5th and 6th Grade Passports and First Class is available at www.ColoradoSki.com/Passes, or by calling 303-866-9707.

Gretchen Bleiler courtsey of Aspen/Snowmass

Gretchen Bleiler courtsey of Aspen/Snowmass

How do you think Bode Miller or Shaun White got where they are today? What about Billy Kidd or Chris Davenport or Gretchen Bleiler? All the best skiers and snowboarders recognize the lasting value of lessons including the benefits of learning the technical and safety skills from a professional. Colorado resorts consistently attract some of the top instructors in the world. Resorts partnerships with industry-specific companies, such as Burton Snowboards, also translate into more learning options for the consumer. Were hopeful that this winning combination of world-class snow pros and special lesson deals will encourage people to pursue the opportunity to safely learn to ski or snowboard in January.

See all the deals below. Pick your resort, grab your snow-sliding-challenged comrade and get out there while the deals last.

Photo by Casey Day

Photo by Casey Day

Arapahoe Basin
This season, A-Basin is offering Super Sundays. For first-time skiers and snowboarders, the resort will offer a $65 package which includes a half-day lesson, access to the beginner lift, and rental equipment for the day. The lesson is available each Sunday in January, including New Years Day (2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd, and 30th). Details can be found at www.ArapahoeBasin.com.

Photo by Casey Day

Photo by Casey Day

Aspen/Snowmass
Two of Aspen Skiing Companys resorts offer the Adult Beginners Magic lessons, where Aspens famed pro instructors get beginners out on the easy runs that challenge them just enough. Beginners learn the basics of skiing or snowboarding from pros that practice a teaching method that promotes peak performance and confidence, while educating them about the right equipment and mountain awareness. The package includes a lesson, beginner lower lift ticket, and rental equipment. It is available at both Snowmass and Buttermilk, with single day prices of $189, or $179 if purchased seven days in advance. Get three full days for the price of two for $378, or $358 if purchased seven days in advance. For more information, visit http://www.aspensnowmass.com/schools/adult/default.cfm.

Copper Mountain
This season Copper Mountain is offering beginners a Ready/Set/Go program. Beginners can buy two half-day private lessons at Copper and get a third private lesson for free. This Ready/Set/Go Private Lesson deal is $698 and designed for 1st time skiers and snowboarders. The private lessons can include up to six people. More information can be found at www.CopperColorado.com.

Photo by Casey Day

Photo by Casey Day

Crested Butte
Adult first-timers get special attention at Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR) with Beginner Adventure Lessons. These special lesson-and-lift packages taught by award-winning instructors are geared toward aspiring skiers and snowboarders, age 18 and over, and are designed to provide an excellent foundation from which to build. The Beginner Adventure Lesson is $145 per person, per day ($160 during the holidays). As a follow up, Crested Butte offers a Day-Two Bonus where instructors provide Beginner Adventure first-day grads with a coupon for a $55 half-price, half-day Beginner Adventure lesson the following day, from the same instructor. If booked online at least seven days in advance, beginners can save an additional five percent. Visit www.skicb.com or call 800-544-8448 for more information and reservations.
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Echo Mountain
New for the 2010/11 season, and just in time for Learn to Ski/Ride month, Echo Mountain is offering the Lil Rippers Snowboard Experience. Geared toward Echos littlest shredders age 5-7, this new program is designed to create a positive introduction to snowboarding. Classes are limited to three students, so the instructor can provide each student the attention and hands on time needed to get them balancing and moving on his or her board. Little ones can progress their skills even further through Echos multi-week Mini-Mountaineers program. Designed for skiers 4-5 and snowboarders age 5, these fun classes are catered to childrens comfort level, physical development and attention span. Three-week sessions are only $105, and equipment rental can be added for $60. January sessions begin Monday, January 3rd, and reservations are strongly recommended. Visit www.echomt.com for more information.
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Eldora
Eldora offers both children and adult packages for beginners. For those 13 and over, the First-Timers Ski/Snowboard Package is only $109, and includes a four hour group lesson, rental equipment, and a Little Hawk Mountain lift ticket. For children ages 4-12, the resort has its Mountain Explorer Ski/Snowboard Package, also for $109. This is for children of all ability levels, and is a full day that includes a four hour group lesson, rental equipment, lift ticket, supervised lunch and snacks. Details can be found at www.Eldora.com.

Loveland
With Lovelands 3-Class Pass, you can learn to ski or snowboard and then receive a Loveland season pass to work on your turns all season long. All children (6-14) that completethree ski or snowboard lesson packages, which include lesson, lunch, all-day lift ticket and equipment rental, receive a season pass when the third lesson is complete. You may also pre-purchase the three packages for $297 and use the pass all season long.Beginner adults who complete one Adult Newcomer full-day lesson package ($105) and two half-day Master the Mountain packages ($90 x2) also earn a season pass. And the deals arent just for beginners at Loveland, as adults who are intermediates can also take advantage of this deal. Adults who complete three 1/2-day intermediate Master the Mountain lesson packages may purchase an unrestricted season pass at the discounted rate of $150.For more information, visit http://www.skiloveland.com/skischool/3_class_pass.aspx.

Photo by Jack Dempsey

Photo by Jack Dempsey

Monarch
For first time skiers and snowboarders over the age of seven, Monarch offers three different deals. Ages 7-12 can take advantage of the All Day Alpine Ski or Snowboard Introductory Package, which includes an all day lift ticket, equipment and helmet rental, snack, supervised lunch, and five and a half hours of group instruction, all for $160 with a CSCUSA coupon. The 13 and over Alpine Ski or Snowboard Introductory Package is only $114 for a CSCUSA coupon holder, and includes an all day lift ticket, equipment rental and three and a half hours of group instruction. For anyone over the age of three, Monarch offers a two-hour private lesson for $180 for CSCUSA coupon holders. This includes two hours of private alpine, snowboard or telemark instruction for one or two people (ages seven and over for two person lessons). With Monarch Ski and Ride Schools professional, patient and friendly instructors, skiers and boarders will be turning, stopping and even riding the beginner chairlift after the first three and a half hour group clinic. If skiers and riders arent making it to the chairlift after three and a half hours, the next lesson is on Monarch. Details can be found at www.skimonarch.com

Photo by Eli Reichman

Photo by Eli Reichman

Powderhorn
The Learn to Ride Program at Powderhorn is for first time skiers and snowboarders. For $350, fun and professional instructors take skiers and riders for three full-day lessons, which include the lessons, rentals and lift tickets. After completion of all three sessions, a free season pass is awarded. Find out more information at www.Powderhorn.com.

Photo by Casey Day

Photo by Casey Day

SolVista Basin
SolVista Basin at Granby Ranch has personalized programs to introduce beginners to the exciting sports of skiing and snowboarding with its professional instructors. SolVista Basin Ski School, revolutionized by Harald Harb, enables beginners to improve their skiing faster with a direct-to-parallel approach that incorporates specific body movements in conjunction with shaped skis. SolVista Basin Ride School incorporates a gentle beginner hill with four Progression Terrain Parks as the perfect landscape for connecting turns and learning jumps. Beginners who complete two ski or snowboarding lesson packages graduate with a complementary Get On The Snow season pass to SolVista Basin for the remainder of the season, as well as a 20 percent discount coupon valid for a retail merchandise purchase. For more information, visit http://www.granbyranch.com/ski-snowboard-lessons.html.
SolVista Basin at Granby Ranch
Steamboat
Beginners can find great ski and snowboard packages at Steamboat. Both its Learn to Ski Package and its Burton Learn to Ride Package include three days of instruction, gear, rental and lift tickets. After completion, beginners are guaranteed to be comfortable on green runs, or lessons are free until they are. Both packages are $321, but available at the discount rate of $299 if booked in advance. For more information, visit http://www.steamboat.com/plan-vacation/ski-school/results/index.aspx?id=1.

Photo by Larry Pierce

Photo by Larry Pierce

Telluride
Telluride offers its Beginner Skiing Adventure and Learn to Ride Beginner Snowboarding packages, which include three days of lift tickets, lesson and rental, for the two-day price of $340. This deal is for first-time skiers and snowboarders, and gives access to miles of beginner terrain with world-class instructors who teach skills that will have beginners successfully skiing on their first day. For beginner boarders, Telluride has partnered with Burton to bring them specifically designed beginner snowboards, boots, and bindings to quicken the learning curve. For more information, visit http://tellurideskiresort.com/TellSki/info/adult-group-lessons.aspx.

Photo by Casey Day

Photo by Casey Day

Winter Park
Specifically available from January 1 31, Winter Park encourages new skiers and riders to hit the slopes with its buy one adult lesson and get a second lesson half-off deal. This deal is good on all adult Learn to Ride and Learn to Ski full day products when two individuals purchase the lesson at the same transaction. It is valid on lesson and lesson-lift ticket packages only, rentals are not included. For more details, call 970-726-1564. Go to www.WinterParkResort.com for more details.
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Wolf Creek
Wolf Creek offers two packages for beginners: 1st Day Beginner Package and 2nd Day Beginner Package. The 1st Day Beginner Package includes four hours of group lessons and a lift ticket to the resorts beginner lift, the Nova Lift. Skiing is $52, and snowboarding is $62. The 2nd Day Beginner Package includes two hours of group lessons and a lift ticket valid for the Nova Lift and the Raven Lift, the detachable quad that services all of the beginner terrain and most of the intermediate terrain. After the two hours of instruction, students have the rest of the day to practice the lessons they have learned. Skiing is $63 and snowboarding is $73. More information can be found at www.WolfCreekSki.com.
Wolf Creek