Getting young skiers and snowboarders onto the slopes is a key to the future health of U.S. winter resorts – and why you see so many Kids Ski Free deals.
In Colorado – the industry’s largest market -- the effort to get youngsters hooked on the sport is broad and diverse. At some resorts, the purchase of an adult ticket is enough to get a free ticket for kids 12 and under. At other mountains, you have to book a room or take a lesson. Blackout dates often apply, too.
Here’s some of the best deals, provided to SnoCountry.com by Colorado Ski Country USA:
Arapahoe Basin. From December 1 through 20, 2013, kids up to age 14 ski free. No purchase required, no strings attached. We want your child to Experience the Legend, and see why we have so much fun sliding around on snow.
Steamboat. Since 1982, parents or grandparents who buy a five-day or more lift ticket don’t pay anything for their child or grandchild between 6-12 years old.
Keystone. A two-night minimum stay at a Keystone-managed property yields free tickets for all kids 12 and under in the party.
Copper. The purchase of an Adult Secret Pass, which gives access to a faster lift line and early-bird ride up American Express, means a youngster 12 and under ski or rides for free.
Loveland. All kids 14 and under who complete a three-day lesson package get a season pass for the rest of the year.
Sunlight. Children 12 and under get a free season pass if the family books a ski-swim-stay at elected hotels in Glenwood Springs and the Glenwood Hot Springs.
Durango. A four-night stay at a resort property and adult tickets for two adults produces four days of free skiing or riding for up to two offspring under 12.
Powderhorn. Newbies eight years or older who complete three full-price lessons on the slopes get free passes for the rest of the season.
Photo: Snowboarding youngster at Loveland (Loveland)