SAM Magazine—Ludlow, Vt., Jan. 23, 2019—Roughly 6,200 beginner ski and snowboard lessons were taught on Jan. 11, 2019, the first national Learn to Ski and Snowboard Day (LSSD), with many resorts offering discounts and deals to encourage participation. The day was a new initiative as part of Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month (LSSM).
The participation numbers this year were the highest they’ve been yet for any LSSM initiative. An attempt to earn a Guinness World Record in 2016 generated 6,000 lessons, but no official record.
Mary Jo Tarallo, director of Learn to Ski and Snowboard, noted that Guinness’s requirements aren’t well suited to an organization that operates in multiple time zones. So the group scrapped further Guinness attempts in favor of Learn to Ski and Snowboard Day. “We wanted to create a special day that would shine a spotlight on taking beginner lessons from professional instructors and to set an industry record for the most beginner lessons provided in a single day at U.S. locations,” said Tarallo.
To tally the number of lessons taught nationwide, resorts reported statistics for the day to www.learntoskiandsnowboard.org. Participation was strong in the East Coast. Blue Mountain, Pa., reported the most lessons related to the promotion, with 302. Wachusett Mountain, Mass., ran 250 lessons, Ski Butternut, Mass., tallied 237, and Mountain Creek, N.J., reported 224. In the Midwest and West, Chestnut Mountain, Ill., and Mt. Hood Meadows, Ore., also saw high levels of participation, with 275 and 235 lessons, respectively.
Utah saw 322 school children taking lessons at five Utah resorts (Snowbird, Brighton, Solitude, Deer Valley, and Park City). “The idea here is to mobilize industry partners around a common theme and to provide a fun day when newcomers to our sport can learn something new,” said Raelene Davis, VP of marketing for Ski Utah and the organizer for the state’s youth approach.