MONTPELIER, Vermont — For the first time, Governor Jim Douglas proclaimed January as Learn a Snow Sport Month, endorsing Vermont ski resorts as learning destinations for Vermonters and all winter visitors to the Green Mountain State.
Vermont ski areas are offering learning programs during January 2010 to make it easy for children and adults to learn alpine skiing, cross country skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing. Learn a Snow Sport Month is a community outreach initiative organized by Winter Feels Good including 32 participating states, regional and local associations in the snow sports industry.
The Governor’s proclamation details that Vermont is known as the country’s original ski state, boasting the nation’s first rope tow in 1934 and that Vermont remains the third-largest ski and snowboard state in the nation, hosting over four million skier visits each year.
The proclamation extends on the fact that winters in Vermont offer healthy recreational activities for residents and visitors alike who celebrate the outdoors with skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating and other winter recreation sports.
“Snow sports offer a fun, healthy way to get outside with family and friends in the winter,” said Parker Riehle, President of Vermont Ski Areas Association.
The proclamation acknowledges that Vermont has a storied history of winter sports athletes who have prevailed in Olympic and World Cup events; and that skiing and snowboarding are a significant part of Vermont’s economy, providing critical revenues to the state while maintaining an important hedge against winter unemployment.
The closing remarks of the proclamation read:
“WHEREAS, We thank and appreciate the dedicated individuals who work to uphold Vermont’s iconic winter recreation heritage at our ski areas, snow sport manufacturers, winter recreation retailers and all of the establishments who support our winter brand; and
WHEREAS, During the month of January, 2010, Vermont residents and visitors are encouraged to learn a new snow sport and take advantage of Vermont’s winter recreation opportunities.”
Supporting the Learn To initiative, Ski Vermont is offering 2250 free lessons at member resorts in early January. There are additional free resorts programs and others charge a reasonable fee. Further offers vary depending on the resort. Visit the Learn To Zone at www.skivermont.com for more information.
Entering its 15th year, Winter Trails is an event that offers children and adults the chance to try snowshoeing and cross country skiing for free on January 9, 2010. Vermont hosts more Winter Trails events than any other state in the nation. Visit www.wintertrails.org to learn more.
Ongoing Programs: The Ski Vermont Fifth Grade Passport enables all fifth graders to spend a season alpine skiing, riding and cross-country skiing for free. Also, the Governor’s Council on Sports and Fitness hosts the Stretch Your Limits Challenge and corresponding website to provide education and incentives to promote health and general well-being amongst Vermont’s youth.