On Friday Jan. 8, the entire U.S. ski industry came together in an attempt to set a new record for a coordinated participation in a Learn to Ski or Snowboard lesson. Organizers for the “World’s Largest Lesson” have determined that an estimated 6,000 lessons were taught across the country from the East coast to Alaska.
“One of our goals was to motivate first timers to learn how to ski or snowboard by taking a lesson and engaging with fellow participants,” said Mary Jo Tarallo, spokesperson for the National Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month. “January is National Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month and we thought a fun event like this would serve as an ideal kick off and a way for us to get everyone talking about ways to stay active during the winter months.”
While weather decreased participation at some ski areas throughout the Midwestern and Eastern parts of the country, nearly 150 of the original 164 locations were able to offer 10 a.m. lessons in their local time zones. Resorts were able to participate in this event with some getting very creative in their promotion and participation. Ski Utah partnered with the U.S. Forest Service to bring nearly 500 school children out to local resorts for a free first-time lesson, while Sunlight Mountain Ski Resort (Glenwood Springs, Colo.) organized another youth-oriented program that also involved the Forest Service. Burton Snowboards brought the mountain to the people by giving nearly 100 elementary school children their first snowboard lessons at Kings Beach Elementary School in South Lake Tahoe, Cali.
“So far we’ve seen individual resort participation numbers ranging from just a few people to over 250 people,” said Hugh Reynolds of SNOW Operating and one of the organizers of the event. “We are thrilled with the overall response and positive feedback we’ve received from the resorts, as well as the abundance of media coverage from around the nation. This is the first year of the initiative, and to walk away with a new world record makes this all the more successful.”
Participating resorts have the remainder of the week to submit their final numbers for inclusion in the Guinness World Record submission for official recognition. The official Guinness World Record participation numbers are expected to be announced at the National Ski Area’s Association National Tradeshow and Convention taking place May 18-21 in Nashville, TN.
Those who missed out on Friday’s event can still take advantage of the hundreds of great deals that ski areas are offering throughout January for Learn to Ski and Snowboard month.
Since its launch in 2009, Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month has introduced more than 600,000 children and adults to the joys of skiing and snowboarding.
Find local deals and learn more at www.learntoskiandsnowboardmonth.org.