Let it Snow: Fourth Graders Ski Free in New York

BY CAROLYN JOHNSON

Ski and snowboarding season is here, minus the natural snow, but that hasn’t stopped New Yorkers from hitting the manmade snow-filled slopes, especially over the last holiday week. As skiers eagerly wait for the first real snow of the season, (Do we count the October storm?) here is some useful information about free and highly discounted lift tickets and lessons in the New York area. Last winter in New York was phenomenal for skiing, and even the most particular skiers didn’t need to travel beyond our beautiful state to find great conditions.
Mount Peter, in conjunction with Ski Barn, offers a ski swap and sale every October, so you can trade in your outgrown skis for used or new ones. S.A.N.Y. (Ski Areas of New York) makes a traditionally-expensive sport more affordable. S.A.N.Y. Administrator Patrick Dunn offers valuable information on the organization’s website and listserv, www.skiandrideny.com, including details about the following programs:
Fourth Graders ski and ride free in New York.  This year includes a “learn to ski and ride free” component as well, which also includes a discount for adult parents/guardians.  The program is easy to apply to and the coupon book is usually sent out within a week of application. Over thirty ski areas are involved.  This is a great opportunity to get your fourth grader out of the house and involved in the life long sport of skiing and riding!
Learn a Snow Sport Month: From 1/5/09 to 1/31/09 you can learn to ski and ride at over twenty-five New York State resorts with a 20% discount per package.  The package includes lifts, lessons and rentals.
Ski New York Gold Pass is a ski pass that allows you to ski and ride at over 30 New York State resorts, has no blackouts and is transferable. The Gold Pass usually sells out and is available only from Ski and Ride New York (S.A.N.Y).
Ski and Stay:  Check out the Ski and Stay deals for skiing and riding. Some include a third day of skiing, riding and lodging free.
Discounted Lift Tickets:  Throughout the season discounted lift tickets are released to S.A.N.Y. member resorts.