“We all know the biggest problem with our sport is not just getting new skiers and snowboarders to come out and try it, it’s getting them to come back,” says Shawn Mimee of Elan Sports Canada. “As an industry, we’re fighting against game consoles and cheap vacations down south.” Skier retention remains a big issue for resorts, and statistics put the retention rate around a dismal six per cent. (Out of 100 people who rent skis and try our sport for the first time, only six will return for a second time.)
To help tackle the issue, Elan (which celebrated its 70th birthday in September) and Killington Resort in Vermont came up with the “learn-to” initiative in the 2013-14 season, “to give the beginner a reason to return and complete his or her lessons.” And thus, the Elan Discovery program was created.
“In Canada this season we have a collaboration with Grouse Mountain Resort in North Vancouver to offer a unique incentive for the first 250 students who sign up and complete a four-day training program,” says Mimee. And the best part? “At the end of the course, you get to keep the skis!” More on the Elan Discovery Package at grousemountain.com.