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SAM Magazine—Washington, D.C., July 30, 2012—The fifth annual January Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month (LSSM) initiative kicks off officially at the Midwest Ski Areas Association conference at Boyne Highlands, Mich., Aug. 5 to 8. Details of the new Bring a Friend (BAF) program and the national Bring a Friend Challenge will be unveiled as well.

Resorts are already touting their plans. Ski Vermont will again offer a $29 beginner package at member resorts that will include a lift ticket, lesson, and rentals. The package will be marketed through Liftopia, another LSSM partner. Ski Idaho will offer a similar package through Liftopia at about the same price point.

For the fourth year, Ski New Hampshire is organizing a week, tentatively the week of January 12, during which members will provide a free beginner package.

LSSM is encouraging partners to incorporate Bring a Friend messages and new graphics into their LSSM offers; the BAF concept is available for partners' use all winter long.

The national Bring a Friend Challenge is designed to appeal to current skiers and snowboarders who are in a position to introduce newcomers and help them sign up for lessons from professional instructors. The Challenge will run from Dec. 17 through Mar. 17.

Two Grand Prizes will be awarded, each to include the newcomer and the person who introduced him/her. Ski Utah is providing a five-night, four-day package to Park City, Deer Valley and The Canyons. Sun Valley and Ski Idaho are collaborating to provide a five-night, four-day package.

Nearly all 2012 LSSM partners have returned, and additional partners recently joined the effort. These include the Ski Areas Rental and Accessories Buying Program, Midwestern Reps Association and the National Ski and Snowboard Retailers Association. Also, nearly 30 consumer product suppliers (SnowSports Industries America members) have signed on as partners. Head Wintersports continues as a leading supplier partner.