Michigan residents who have wanted to give winter sports a try may not find a better offer. Michigan Snowsports Industries Association (MSIA) has a couple of affordable programs to encourage adults and children to give snow sports a try this winter.
The Cold is Cool Ski & Ride Passport program offers fourth grade students three free lift tickets or trail passes at 20 participating ski areas scattered throughout the state. Several offer discounted season passes to participants completing the program. There is a $15 printing and shipping fee for each passport ordered, which is nominal compared to the cost of three lift tickets.
Cold is Cool packets with application forms for the fourth grade Passport are mailed to all Michigan schools in the fall. You can go online for an application or pick one up at participating MSIA ski shops. A list of participating ski areas is also available at the website.
The Discover Michigan Ski program includes a beginner lesson, ski or snowboard rental, and a beginner area lift pass or cross country trail pass. Twenty-three of the state’s top ski areas and resorts are participating in the program, which runs from Jan. 2-31. The cost for the program, which is open to everyone seven and up, is $20 for cross country skiing, $30 for skiing, and $40 for snowboarding.
Signing up is easy. The Discover Michigan Ski vouchers are available at participating McDonald Restaurants and selected ski shops while quantities last. A printable version is also available. The voucher lists participating ski areas. You must pre-register with the area.
“Both programs have been very popular in past years,” said Mickey McWilliams, director of MSIA. “They offer an affordable way to give snow sports a try, and many keep with it after that initial lesson. It’s a good introduction to the sport. Participants will know if they want to continue after the lessons.”
A sampling of participating areas includes some of the larger resorts in the state; Boyne Mountain and Highlands, Caberfae Peaks, Crystal Mountain, Nubs Nob, Shanty Creek, The Homestead, Treetops Resort, Big Powderhorn Mountain, Blackjack, and Marquette Mountain are just a few of the participating ski resorts.
Photo: Boyne Sports Academy