SkiVT Press Room/

Vermont Ski Areas Focused on Giving Back to their Communities

Instructor Aiden Shoemaker helps a young student ride the J bar during a lesson at Suicide Six Ski Area. Photo courtesy Evan Kay/Suicide Six Ski Area

Vermont ski areas aren’t just marquee recreational destinations for tourists and state residents alike; they are also vital cogs in their communities. Through donations, charity work, special programs and other endeavors, Vermont ski areas work hard to give back to their communities and help make a difference:

Suicide Six Ski Area
The Suicide Six Ski & Ride School is committed to providing affordable and comprehensive lesson programming to our area youth. Suicide Six offers six and seven week-long, weekly lesson programs for a number of surrounding elementary and middle schools and have recently expanded our program to preschoolers. With the goal of making snow sports accessible to all Vermont children, programs include professional instruction, lift access, and rentals at deeply discounted rates. Suicide Six continues to expand its school group programs and expects to welcome more than 300 local skiers and riders in the 2019/2020 season. This, in combination with its Woodstock Ski Runners program brings in over 600 children a week to enjoy outdoor recreation.

To encourage more of these students to hit the trails all season, Suicide Six has added a $99 Book-it School Pass for all students enrolled in any Vermont or New Hampshire school, or those involved with its Woodstock Ski Runners program. For more value, students can add the Indy Pass onto their Book-it Pass, and parents may purchase a discounted Parent Pass so the whole family will enjoy skiing and riding all winter long. Suicide Six also extends discounted season passes to active military personnel and their spouses.

Suicide Six is thrilled to be hosting the Upper Valley Hawks Special Olympics again this season and looks forward to continuing its partnership with Vermont Adaptive and Zack’s Place. These organizations allow everyone to experience the best of outdoor recreation together, and Suicide Six strongly believes that when everyone gets to play, everyone wins.

Sugarbush Resort

Sugarbush Resort and Win’s Family Foundation contributes in excess of $750K per year to municipalities and other organizations with charitable, education, scientific, community service, emergency and relief service, conservation, and recreational purposes. That total includes not only cash but comps and donations as well.

Some of the organizations include:

The Nature Conservancy Vermont

1% For the Planet

The Mad River Valley Community Fund

Mad River Ambulance

Warren & Waitsfield Fire Departments

Valley Arts Foundation

The Vermont Women’s Fund

Protect Our Winters

High Fives Foundation

Flyin’ Ryan Foundation

Kelly Brush Foundation

Vermont Adaptive

Mad River Riders

Mad River Path

Friends of the Mad River

In addition a number of charitable events, fundraisers, and silent auctions around the Northeast.

Smugglers’ Notch Resort
This season marks the 30th year of a close partnership between Smugglers’ Notch Resort and the Make a Wish Foundation. In this time, Smugglers’ has hosted scores of children wishing to visit Vermont’s Green Mountains. While some visit in summer, taking advantage of the water parks and camp programs, most choose to visit in wintertime, as the Burlington, Vermont chapter of Make A Wish is nationally known for linking kids up with wishes to see snow for the first time, right here at Smugglers’. Wish Families deserve a break from the stresses they deal with in their daily lives, and Smugglers’ provides just that.

Linking children up with ski and snowboard lessons, horse drawn sleigh rides, snow tubing, snowshoeing, Ben & Jerry’s and Vermont Teddy Bear factory tours, and so much more, Smugglers’ and Make a Wish provide these children with much-deserved smiles, igniting joy during a most-challenging time in their lives. Smugglers’ is proud to work closely with Make a Wish Vermont to grant these wishes, seeing the opportunity to bring perspective to the elements in our lives we take for granted most, and hopes to continue the relationship for decades to come.

Stowe Mountain Resort and Okemo Mountain Resort
Stowe and Okemo give back to our communities through Epic Promise. Each year, Vail Resorts gives over $9.4 million in cash and in-kind support to more than 250 nonprofit partners in our mountain communities. Our employees also donate more than 20,000 hours of company sponsored volunteer time annually. Through these partnerships, Vail Resorts helps ensure its communities thrive.

Earlier this month was Vail Resorts Epic Promise Week, both Stowe and Okemo participated. Stowe Mountain Resort had 108 volunteers working on projects such as rebuilding a bridge, creating a picnic area, improving trails, pruning trees, repairing a playground, harvesting vegetables and building an insect habitat. The organizations Stowe volunteered for included: Lamoille Family Services, Lamoille Nature Center, Laraway Youth and Family Services and the Vermont Youth Conservation Corp (VYCC).

In addition, Stowe is currently in its ‘giving season.’ Meaning that the resort team is currently reviewing applications for its FY ’20 community grants. In 2019, Stowe Mountain Resort gave $35,000 in cash to 10 nonprofit community partners.

Mount Snow Resort

Mount Snow partners with the local community to offer season passes to students who participate in the Choose sNOw program. Now in its 7th year, the program allows local students in grades 6-11 to earn a 2019/2020 Mount Snow Season Pass, while learning about substance abuse prevention and engaging in community Green-up Days. Students earn a season pass to Mount Snow by attending two substance abuse prevention educational events, sponsored by the Deerfield Valley Community Partnership in collaboration with Mount Snow, and participating in a community Green-Up Day.

At Mount Snow, our active and retired military personnel receive incredibly discounted season passes with no restrictions under the Epic Pass, at just $159. Veterans also receive unrestricted season passes at a discounted rate for just $559.

Magic Mountain
Magic Mountain has partnered with Neighborhood Connections in Londonderry on its annual fundraising dinner for three straight years, giving both space and donations. Magic assists local Londonderry volunteer fire department annually with fundraising events at the mountain around New Year’s Eve. Magic puts on a yearly golf biathlon tournament, co-hosted by Fiddlehead with portion of proceeds benefiting the UVM Children’s Hospital. Magic supports The Collaborative in Southern Vermont in their Refuse to Use program to keep school kids away from alcohol and drugs by offering free ski passes to kids with are a part of the program.

Jay Peak Resort
Last year, Jay Peak Resort created the Flake Foundation, a community-oriented initiative focused on supporting local causes and events throughout the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. To date, the Foundation has awarded thousands of dollars to NEK causes through cash, in-kind and event support. The Foundation’s flagship event, Schlamm Jam (Schlamm is the German word for mud) is held at the end of April each year and features raffles, live music and invited local food vendors, but a key attraction is the offer of four free lifts tickets per household for residents of local communities. A portion of the proceeds of everything sold at Jay Peak on the day goes to supporting the Foundation and its causes.

Stratton Mountain Resort

Stratton participates in a program that traces its roots to the 1960s. The Junior Instructional Ski Program offers children in grades K-6 an opportunity to learn to ski or snowboard as part of their school day in seven local districts, including the home schooled. All Vermont students in grades K-6 are eligible for a $199 Stratton Season Pass.  For local students in grades 7-12, Stratton Mountain Resort and The Collaborative team up to support community schools with individual substance use prevention programs; students earn a Stratton Mountain Season Pass by participating in educational programs and pledging to remain free from drugs, alcohol, and tobacco.

Throughout the year, Stratton provides lift tickets, golf, lodging, etc. to 40 non-profits in the community including the Green Mountain Club to Town of Londonderry Parks, VT After School, Mountain Valley Health Center and the Weston Playhouse.

Bolton Valley Resort
Bolton Valley offers the largest after-school ski and ride program in the state to Vermont’s kids.  Taking advantage of the mountain’s extensive night-skiing with non-stop skiing until 10 pm, thousands of kids are bussed up to the mountain each season to ski for a few hours after school.  Kids and parents alike get screaming deals on lift tickets, equipment rentals, and lessons through area schools.  The same deals are also available to kids that are home-schooled.  More info here:

This year, the Bolton Backcountry Program will again host a special 2-day complimentary guided backcountry ski and snowboard instructional tour for combat veterans, complete with a/t or splitboard demos, and an overnight in one of their rustic backcountry cabins.  The trip is led by Bolton Backcountry Guide and former military helicopter pilot, Alek Jadkowski.  Info on last year’s trip is here:

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