Adult women constitute a prime demographic for growth the ski and snowboard industry so, in the past few seasons, Vail has fine-tuned its ski school offerings to coincide with the schedules and desires of the females on the mountain.
Surveys of ski school participants at the Colorado resort showed that the majority of those who started but dropped out were mothers. Vail managers found that traditional starting and ending times didn’t coincide with parents’ schedules for school or care drop-off and pickup – so they adapted.
The Women’s Ultimate 4 program began last year at Vail Resort’s Colorado mountains with lessons running from 12:45 to 3:15 p.m. The success of the program has fostered more of the same.
"Piloting the Women’s Ultimate 4 lessons last season helped us learn more about barriers that keep women from skiing and riding more and we applied those insights to enhance and expand the program for this season,” Vail’s Kirsten Lynch told SnoCountry.com.
Along with a later time slot, the women-only lessons top out at four per lesson and are set up for lower levels of ability, from newbies to advanced beginners. Specific dates have been set: Dec. 26-Jan. 3; Feb. 12-21; and March 4-April 4 at all Colorado resorts, plus Park City Mountain, Heavenly Valley, Northstar and Kirkwood.
Also hot for women at Vail Resort mountains are:
· Vail Mountain’s new Women & Wine Friday Afternoon Club on Fridays in January featuring demos, clinics and experiences exclusively for women.
· Beaver Creek’s Women’s Social Tour, a complimentary program for skiers and riders to explore the mountain together in a casual, social atmosphere with one of the resort’s female Ski School Ambassadors.
· Breckenridge’s Women’s Ski Week, Feb. 14-20 with five women-specific ski school classes, wine pairings, gear demos, First Tracks, a ski day and more.
· Keystone’s Betty Fest, a two-day program for women who with on-hill instruction, video analysis and lunch on the mountain.
· Park City’s Women’s Camp running Feb. 26-28, with small class sizes taught by female instructors.