Ski Industry News

Learn Your Lesson, Set a Record

by Dan Giesin | January 3, 2017

If you or anyone you know has ever had a hankering to be part of a Guinness World Record attempt, Friday, Jan. 6, will be a golden opportunity.
On that day, various segments of the U.S. ski industry will attempt to hold the largest ski lessons and the largest snowboard lessons ever taught. Eighty U.S. ski and snowboard areas have signed on as host sites, and lessons will take place simultaneously across the nation at 10 a.m. Pacific Standard Time, 11 a.m. Mountain time, noon Central and 1 p.m. Eastern.
Among the resorts participating in the event are Heavenly, Alpine Meadows, Squaw Valley, Boreal, Mt. Shasta and Mountain High in California; Vail, Copper Mountain, Snowmass, Powderhorn, Winter Park and Steamboat in Colorado; Boyne Highlands, Mt. LaCrosse, Treetops, Boyne Mountain and Timber Ridge in the Great Lakes area; Whiteface, Camelback, Greek Peak, Gore Mountain, Holiday Valley, Canaan ValleySnowshoe and Roundtop in the East; Catamount, Smuggler’s Notch, Killington, OkemoCranmore, Wachusett Mountain, Lost Valley, Pats Peak and Pico in New England; Mt. Hood Skibowl, Bogus BasinGrand Targhee, Mt. Hood Meadows and Crystal Mountain in the Pacific Northwest, and Brian Head in Utah.

Targeting beginners

The record attempt, conducted under the auspices of the National Ski Areas Association and the Professional Ski Instructors/American Association of Snowboard Instructors, is specifically targeting beginner or never-ever riders and skiers and is part of the the annual nationwide Learn to Ski & Snowboard Month promotion, which attempts to introduce people to wintertime activity with special rates, generally no more than $49, on lesson, lift ticket and gear packages during January (MLK Weekend excepted).
The mark for most lessons at a single time was set a few years back in Europe, when 594 folks gathered at a Swiss resort for a 30-minute ski clinic, which is minimum length of time required by the Guinness folks to establish a record, and 500 for a snowboard lesson
“We’re pretty confident we can get to 600 and break the record,” said a spokesperson for the promotion who added that last year’s record-breaking attempt fell short of the mark due to a technicality. Although 6,000 people showed up for lessons, “we did not have the required documentation for an official Guinness record,” the spokesperson said. “We have made some changes to make that easier (this year).”

A northern approach

Canadian resorts, under the auspices of the Canadian Ski Council and in partnership with their southern cousins, also will get in on the record attempt. Nearly two dozen resorts across the country, including Whistler Blackcomb, Whitewater, Fernie, Kicking Horse and Sun Peaks in British Columbia, Lake Louise, Mt. Norquay and Marmot Basin in Alberta and Poley Mountain and Crabbe Mountain in New Brunswick, will participate, offering lift-lesson-gear packages for $25 as part of the Ski Council’s season-long Never Ever Days promotion.

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