Colorado is known for the snow, and to live here and not ski or snowboard must be a sin. But we exist. Outsiders, living on the fringe of Colorado society, who frown at the first snow and don’t know the difference between powder and corn. A day spent tumbling downhill in soggy clothes just doesn’t seem worth the high price of gear rentals, niche clothing, lift tickets and traffic jams.
That’s one of the reasons why the folks at Loveland Ski Area came up with the 3-Class Pass. The program provides a free season pass for first-time skiers and snowboarders who complete three-lesson packages within one season.
For adults, the 3-Class package is $285, and includes three lessons, all day lift tickets and equipment rental. Other resorts charge well over $100 for one lesson and a restricted same-day lift ticket, and that doesn’t include gear.
The 3-Class-Pass isn’t just for adults; parents can scoop up the deal for their children, regardless of the child’s level. The kids’ package is $297 for ages 6-14, and $327 for ages 4-5. It includes a full-day lesson at any level, lift ticket, gear rental and lunch. Same as the adults, kids receive a free season pass with three packages.
Often, ski areas focus schools around kids, adults with some experience and specialties like telemarking and terrain parks. Loveland’s 3-Class Pass makes skiing and snowboarding approachable for everyone, including adults with no experience.
In the process of falling in love with winter, you’ll get good instruction and a season pass. Even if you decide that snow isn’t your thing, you’re only out the price of the first lesson.
In 1956, Loveland started one of Colorado’s first ski schools. Today it’s often recognized as a locals’ favorite.
“Loveland is the place that everybody knows to go to learn to ski. And a place to take kids,” said Tracy Allred, director of Loveland’s ski school. “We’ve got a small-town feel, and it’s one of the last independent ski areas around.”
At full staff, Loveland employs about 200 instructors, many of whom are known for their longevity, even Allred. She’s served Loveland for 21 years, and most instructors have been there five years or more.
“Our instructors are passionate about the sport,” said Allred. “We have a lot of professionals who are doing this on the side — doctors, lawyers, students, geologists, landscapers — all different kinds of people.”
Most live right on the Front Range, and all participate in an extensive training program. Klutzes need not fear; you’re in good hands with Loveland instructors.
For adults wanting to clean up their basic ski and snowboard skills, Loveland also offers an intermediate 3-Class Pass. For a pre-ordered price of $420, which includes 3 lessons/lift/rental packages, plus skiers and riders can pick up an unrestricted season pass for only $150.
While most ski areas in the nation win over roughly 15% of “never-evers,” Loveland far exceeds that number by converting 49% of kids and 40% of adults, Allred said. Lessons provide all the basic skills and the season pass gives newcomers a reason to return.
Even me, a Louisiana native who didn’t really see the white stuff until age 18. If Loveland instructors can convince Southerners that snow is fun, they’ll be able to win over just about anyone.
If You Go
Loveland Ski Area
Exit 216 on Interstate 70
Georgetown, CO 80444
Rachel Barbara is especially keen about covering the adventurous side of Colorado.
From the Editors: We spent a heap of time making sure this story was accurate when it was published, but of course, things can change. Please confirm the details before setting out in our great Centennial State.