January is Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month. Throughout the Midwest ski areas are offering discounted lesson programs. Michigan offers one of the best programs for cost and simplicity, and it’s available at ski areas throughout the Wolverine State.
Michigan Snowsports Industries Association (MSIA) and McDonald’s Restaurants team up to offer an affordable lesson package for both first-time adults and children. It covers downhill skiing for those seven and up and snowboarding for 10 or older. Cross country skiing lessons are for seven and up. If you live in northern Indiana, Ohio or Wisconsin it would be easy to take advantage of the program at a ski area along the border.
The Discover Michigan Ski program includes a beginner lesson, ski or snowboard rental, and a beginner area lift pass or cross country trail pass at 36 of the state’s top ski areas. The program is available throughout the month of January. The cost for the program, which is open to everyone from 7 on up, is $20 for a cross country skiing lesson and $35 for a downhill skiing or snowboarding lesson.
Signing up is easy. The Discover Michigan Ski vouchers are available at participating MSIA retail ski stores and online. The voucher lists participating ski areas. You must pre-register with the area.
“It’s been very popular program in past years,” Mickey McWilliams, longtime MSIA executive director, told SnoCountry.com. “It offers an affordable way to give snow sports a try, and many keep up with it after that initial lesson. We’ve been offering this program in January for several years, and in that time a few thousand people, both young and old, have come out to give winter sports a try.”
A sampling of participating areas includes some of the larger resorts in the state; Boyne Mountain, Boyne Highlands, Nubs Nob, Shanty Creek, Treetops, Mt. Brighton, Mt. Holly and Timber Ridge in the Lower Peninsula, and Big Powderhorn, Ski Brule and Big Snow in the UP are just a few of the participating ski areas.