CLARKSTON, Mich. — Ski areas and resorts across Michigan have teamed up with Michigan McDonald’s restaurants to provide free skiing to 4th and 5th grade students with the “Cold is Cool” Ski & Ride Passport. All fourth- and fifth-grade kids with a passport can ski for free, up to three times, at each of the 30 participating ski areas.
Steve Kershner, chairman of the Michigan Snowsports Industries Association (MSIA) and director of snow sports at Shanty Creek Resorts, says that when a child is in the fourth or fifth grade, they are at the perfect age to learn to ski or snowboard. “They have the coordination and enthusiasm to pick up the sport quickly.”
In order for fourth and fifth graders to use the free lift or trail pass coupons, a paying adult must accompany them. “We feel that fourth and fifth graders should be supervised by an adult while on the slopes and trails. Our intention is to make this a fun, affordable and safe activity for the entire family,” says Mickey MacWilliams, MSIA president. Up to two kids with Passports can ski free with each paying adult. The Passport is valid through the end of the 2019/20 ski season.
Applications for the Cold is Cool Passport are available at ski shops across the state and online at goskimichigan.org. MSIA charges a $20 printing and shipping fee for each passport ordered.
In addition to the lift tickets donated by the participating ski areas, the Cold is Cool Passport also includes coupons for 20% off a helmet purchase and $20 off the purchase of $100 at participating ski shops. Some ski areas have also included coupons for equipment rental and discounted lessons.
Participating ski areas: Upper Peninsula: Big Powderhorn, Bessemer; Big Snow Resort (Blackjack and Indianhead), Bessemer/Wakefield; Mont Ripley, Hancock; Pine Mountain, Iron Mountain; Porcupine Mountain, Ontonagon. Northwestern Lower Peninsula: Boyne Highlands, Harbor Springs; Boyne Mountain, Boyne Falls; Caberfae Peaks, Cadillac; Cross Country Ski Headquarters, Roscommon; Crystal Mountain, Thompsonville; Hickory Hills, Traverse City; Bay Mountain at The Homestead, Glen Arbor; Mt. Holiday, Traverse City; Nubs Nob, Harbor Springs; Shanty Creek Resorts, Bellaire. North Central Lower Peninsula: Garland Resort, Lewiston; Hanson Hills, Grayling; Otsego Club & Resort, Gaylord; Snow Snake Ski & Golf, Harrison; Treetops Resort, Gaylord. West Central Lower Peninsula: Cannonsburg Ski Area, Belmont; Muskegon Winter Sports Complex, North Muskegon. Southwestern Lower Peninsula: Bittersweet Ski Area, Otsego; Swiss Valley Ski Area, Jones; Timber Ridge Ski Area, Gobles. Southeastern Lower Peninsula: Alpine Valley Ski Area, White Lake; Mt. Brighton, Brighton; Mt. Holly, Holly; Pine Knob, Clarkston.
The “Cold is Cool” Fourth & Fifth Grade Ski & Ride Passport is one of the elements of MSIA’s “Cold is Cool” program, which is dedicated to improving the health of the children in Michigan by offering winter outdoor activities for all kids and their families. The Cold is Cool activities are endorsed by the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness, Health and Sports.
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