2002-12-07 / Community

Free Ski & Ride Program Launched

Free Ski & Ride Program Launched

Free Ski & Ride Program Launched

The launch of the fourth season of the Fourth Graders Ski & Ride Passport Program, which introduces fourth-grade students to winter mountain recreation in New York State, was announced by Charles A. Gargano, Chairman of Empire State Development (ESD), which administers the I Love New York campaign.

"With this innovative program, everyone wins," said Gargano. "It encourages outdoor recreation during the winter months, removes cost as a significant barrier to trying skiing and snowboarding, and encourages family recreation in New York State through incentives designed to get children and parents mountain sliding together."

Under the Fourth Graders Ski & Ride Passport Program, the New York State mountain resort industry is offering unmatched and unprecedented skiing and snowboarding values to any fourth-grade student, whether or not they are from New York State, for the 2002-03 winter season. Eligible students will receive a "Passport" book containing three coupons for free skiing and/or snowboarding at each of the participating ski areas in New York State. The cost is a $10 processing fee.

The Fourth Grade Ski & Ride Passport Program is open to all New York State students currently in the fourth grade. Applications are being distributed to the state’s fourth graders through each school district’s Parent Teachers Association. They are also available online at www.44free.com.

To participate, students fill out the application and submit it along with a copy of a report card or similar school grading report for the 2002-03 school year, which is needed to confirm eligibility. Eligible students will receive in the mail a Fourth Graders Ski & Ride Passport book and an official 2002-03 I LOVE NEW YORK Winter Guide. The Passport book contains coupons that entitle the students to three lift passes.

Upon receipt of the Passport book, students "activate" it by affixing their photograph to its inside cover. Additionally, a parent or guardian must accompany students and acquire a valid lift pass on the day in which Passport book coupons are redeemed. Up to two Passport book coupons can be redeemed for every adult lift pass that is purchased.

Passport coupons can be exchanged for an all day or night ticket any day during the 2002-03 ski season, including Saturdays and Sundays. Some areas have holiday period blackouts. Holiday periods are designated as December 23, 2002 to January 1, 2003; January 18 – 20, 2003; and February 15 – 23, 2003. Coupons are non-transferable and can only be used by the fourth grader whose picture appears in the Passport book. Coupons must also be used in the school year issued (i.e. 2002-03) season) and cannot be carried forward into future years.

The Fourth Graders Ski & Ride Passport Program is being administered in cooperation with Ski Areas of New York, Inc. (SANY), a statewide trade association that represents the collective interests of the state’s mountain resort industry.

"By bringing this program to all fourth graders, the State’s ski areas are making a solid commitment to extend the wonders of skiing and snowboarding to everyone," says SANY President Dick Gouwens. "Winter is truly a spectacular time of year in New York and getting out and enjoying the brisk, cool mountain air and fabulous scenery is something every child should have the opportunity to savor."

The following New York State ski areas participating in the Fourth Graders Ski & Ride Passport Program for 2002-03 season: Belleayre Mountains, Brantling, Bristol Mountain, Catmount, Cockaigne, Dry Hill, Four Seasons, Gore Mountain, Greek Peak, Holiday Mountain, Holiday Valley, Hunter Mountain, Kissing Bridge, Labrador, McCauley Mountains, Mt. Peter, Northampton Park, Oak Mountain, Peek ‘n Peak, Powder Mills Park, Royal Mountain, Ski Plattekill, Ski Windham, Snow Ridge, Song Mountain, Sterling Forest, Swain, Thunder Ridge, Titus Mountain, Toggenburg, Whiteface Mountain, Willard Mountain, and Woods Valley.

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