2.11.22 – Local School Kids Programs

2.11.22 – Local School Kids Programs

I grew up skiing on Howelsen Hill in Steamboat. Parents in the community often referred to it as the “Other Mother” because they could drop us off all day or after school, leaving us to our devices (mainly, training but really just getting in trouble with the small ski patrol department) for hours on end. It was an awesome way to spend time away from your parents and ski fast with your friends.

Recess was also special. I attended Strawberry Park and we’d checkout Nordic skis from the storage locker in the main cafeteria, hitting the groomed track behind the schools and fooling around with friends. Or at least I did. Some took it all quite seriously and eventually went on to become a few of the many Olympians to represent Steamboat, including a childhood friend Taylor Fletcher.

We want to create that same environment and those opportunities here at Granby Ranch. Though surrounded by awesome resorts, many of the children across East and West Grand don’t get a chance to ski — some for socioeconomic reasons. That’s why we’ve expanded our school programs this year, making a commitment to getting every kid in Grand County that wants to learn to ski on the hill.

Granby Ranch in the past has had a “Freeski Friday” program that gave children tickets and small group lessons. We’ve aggressively expanded it this year via:

  • The Grand School Pass Program, a heavily discounted season pass to all students, teachers, and admin personnel across East and West Grand school districts.
  • Freeski Friday +, now featuring free tickets, lessons with certified instructors and rentals.
  • A comprehensive Physical Education program for East and West Grand school districts in which groups of students get free tickets, lessons from certified instructors and rentals throughout the season as part of a regular phys ed curriculum.
A group from Fraser Valley Elementary 4th Grade phys ed class — dubbed “Team Ricky Bobby” — stopped by this past Thursday and skied with our PSIA Level 2 certified instructor Zeke. As classic mountain town kids, many unsurprisingly reported PE was their favorite subject in school.

Already, the program has been a huge success. Not only are the kids having a rip-roaring good time, but it also creates a strong sense of pride amongst our staff, particularly those with kids in schools. The energy and excitement on the hill is palpable. For me, it’s so reminiscent of what it felt like in Steamboat years ago.



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