LSSM Reports Nearly 100,000 Participants in January

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SAM Magazine-Washington, D.C., Mar. 7, 2012-Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month (LSSM) 2012 taught nearly 100,000 beginner lessons during January, program organizers estimate, up from 75,000 the previous year, despite a widespread lack of snow.

To counter the uncooperative weather, many resorts focused attention on their snowmaking expertise to help create awareness that snow was plentiful on learning terrain. Traffic on was up 38 percent over last year from mid-October to mid-February.

The participation estimate is based on a survey sent to participating resorts in early February. About 60 percent of those who responded said that participation in their LSSM programs was either about the same or higher than last year.

Programs varied in different parts of the country. Most, though, involved discounted lift, lesson, and equipment rental packages.

"The success of LSSM is due to the collaborative efforts of the entire snow sports industry," said Raelene Davis, LSSM chair and marketing director for Ski Utah. Her organization teamed with SKI magazine to host the Bring a Friend contest, which offered the winner a trip to Utah for a newcomer and a current participant who helped the newcomer enroll in lessons from a professional instructor. LSSM promotes taking lessons from professionals and not friends or family members.

More than 75 percent of those participants who responded to a LSSM survey this winter said that they got involved with snow sports because of a friend or family member.

Support for the program also came First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move initiative, which aims to reduce childhood obesity by encouraging kids to be active, recognized two LSSM programs for their outreach. Cataloochee Resort, N.C., teamed with the Snow Seekers, an Atlanta-based ski and snowboard club, to bring 150 youths and their chaperones to the resort for lessons the last weekend in January. Colorado Ski Country USA was cited for its Fifth Grade First Class programs to get youngsters active in snow sports. Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month is a strong advocate of the Let's Move goals.


Makes sense

Makes lots of sense that learn to ski would be up at a time with limited snowfall and "milder" weather as snowy, cold, poor visibility weather is a detractor to beginners.