By Ann Schissler
(November 2015) Last year Vail Resorts conducted surveys and held focus groups with female guests and asked them what they wanted and needed in a ski vacation. Women remain the primary vacation planners and chief decision makers regarding ski trips. They learned many women did not feel they participated as much as they would have liked in the main purpose of the trip, the actual on mountain experience of skiing and snowboarding.
Kristen Lynch, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Vail Resorts says “Women’s participation in skiing and snowboarding is critical to the future growth of the sport. We continue to listen to what our female guests want and are investing in ways to enhance the enjoyment of their experience.”
As a result of the research, Vail piloted the “Women’s Ultimate 4” lesson. It was developed exclusively for women and taught by female instructors with only 4 students per class. The four hour lessons were held after the kids were dropped off at ski school and ended before they needed to be picked up.
What they learned was the women really enjoyed being taught by other women in a less intimidating environment and probably would not have taken a lesson without this program being offered.
As a result, Vail Resorts is expanding the Women’s Ultimate 4 program this season to its four Colorado Resorts (Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Vail) as well as Park City, Utah, and Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in Lake Tahoe. Ability levels from first timers to advanced beginners will learn foundation building essentials skiing beginner trails. Classes are available at all resorts Dec. 26 – Jan 3, Feb. 12-21, and Mar.4 – Apr. 4 between 12:45 and 3:15 p.m. Registration is required. These women inspired movements have brought about quite a few new events and classes for the upcoming season including:
● Vail Mountain’s Women & Wine Friday Afternoon Club features equipment demos and clinics.
● Beaver Creek’s Women’s Social Tour encourages women to ski together with one of the resort’s female Ski School Ambassadors.
● Breckenridge’s Women’s Ski Week, Feb. 14-20 is featuring five new women specific ski school classes, wine pairings, equipment demos and more.
“In terms of getting more women on the mountain, Vail Resorts is just getting started,” said Lynch. “The ultimate goal is to make sure women are having just as much fun as everyone else in the family on their winter ski or snowboard vacation at our resorts.”
For more info visit www.snow.com or call 970-SKI-VAIL (754-8245)