Taking the kids - and hitting the slopes with teens

Posted by Eileen on October 13, 2009

Girl skiing (080317_campbell_0101_lowres)“I’m not going and you can’t make me!” Melanie said. 

The 13-year-old had drawn the proverbial line in the snow and no amount of pleading would change her tune.    

I wanted her to spend the day at a just-for-teens ski program at a ski resort.  After one morning, she proclaimed the program “boring,” and worse, the other kids “annoying.”

She didn’t want to ski with me either (I’m too slow and I refuse to jump off rocks and rails.) But without her dad, older siblings or a friend along, I didn’t want Mel cruising a big, unfamiliar mountain on her own.

Park City Mountain Resort’s  special website www.pcride.com has proved a huge hit with young parks and pipes lovers as are the classes for kids up to 14  that guarantee no more than five kids to a class.  

“Resorts know this  is a huge market,” and the future of the industry,  said Michael Berry, president of the National Ski Areas Association and himself the dad of a snow-loving  teen.  Last season, 30 per cent of the visits to snow resorts were by those under 18—more than 18 million, according to NSAA.

“We want them to fall in love with snowsports  at 13 or 15 so that they’ll stay in it for the next 50 years,” Berry says.  

Be forewarned  that snow sports, whether for toddlers or teens, aren’t cheap. Lift-lesson packages can be  well over $100 a day. That said, what’s hot this season: Anything extreme.

Girl at the bottom of run (080317_campbell_0705_lowres)The key is getting the teens who think they’re too cool for ski school to buy in to the idea. A tip for  parents: Tell the kids that the instructors know all of the sweetest spots on the mountain—places they could never find on their own.“

One tip: If you’ve got several teens in your gang, you may be able to book a private lesson for the group at less per child than ski school would cost.

Once you arrive, expect your teens to spend much of their time in the terrain parks, whether they’re on skis or boards. These areas have become the unofficial teen hang out at Park City Mountain Resort.  

Invite a friend along. You’ll feel more comfortable letting them explore the mountain then.  

Melanie would be all for that idea. She didn’t go back to ski school nor did she head out on her own. She spent the morning sleeping.   


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The views expressed on Snowmamas are those of the individual authors, who are independent contractors of Park City Mountain Resort, Copper Mountain Resort and Killiington Resort and may not be factually accurate. These views are not intended to reflect the opinions of Park City Mountain Resort, Copper Mountain Resort, Killington Resort, its owners, its management or its employees. Snowmamas' will receive compensation for their participation as an author.