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Time To Apply For Midwest Grade School Kids Ski Passes

WinterShanty Kids riding up the lift with parents at Shanty Creek (MSIA picture)

The Michigan Snowsports Industries Association (MSIA) and Minnesota Ski Areas Association (MNSAA) offer passport programs allowing elementary age kids the chance to try skiing and snowboarding for free. In Michigan it covers both fourth and fifth graders, and Minnesota’s program covers fourth graders. Now is the time to apply with the Heartland ski season fast approaching.

Michigan’s Cold is Cool Ski & Ride Passport program offers students’ two free lift tickets at 29 participating ski areas scattered throughout the state and additional discounts at participating ski shops. Families obtain a Passport App for their students that gives them up to two free lift tickets or trail passes at participating ski areas. MSIA charges $30 for the passport; $25 covers operating expenses and $5 goes to a new charitable organization Misnow that helps get underprivileged kids out on our slopes during the winter. A paying adult has to accompany the students for them to use the pass. The Passport is an app to download on your phone, making it contactless at the lift ticket window.

There are six ski areas participating in the Wolverine State's Upper Peninsula and 23 in the Lower Peninsula.

All 19 of Minnesota's ski areas are participating this season. The cost of the MNSAA Passport is $34.95, which includes tax, payment processing fee and administrative costs of program. Your fourth grader receives an e-pass which includes a minimum of two free lift tickets for the passport holder at each Minnesota ski area. Some offer more than the minimum of two passes. Additional information on program offerings by area and a link to more details at each member area is provided on the website.

I've always wondered why Wisconsin, which has 18 downhill ski areas, doesn't offer a similar program for the students in their state. It makes sense to promote the sport to future generations of skiers, and what better way than getting them started as grade school youngsters.


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