TRAVERSE CITY — It won’t be long now. Mt. Holiday officially opens Saturday, and the 2014 Ski/Skateboard School begins next month for area school kid who want affordable lessons.
Registration already is underway.
Reduced-rate lessons for grades K-9 kids who want to learn how to ski and skateboard are co-sponsored by the Kiwanis and Record-Eagle in collaboration with Mt. Holiday Ski and Recreation Area. The lessons are part of a tradition that dates to the 1950s when the first Record-Eagle Ski School was created as skiing became a national rage.
A group of businessmen founded Mt. Holiday in 1949 with the help of volunteers, prison labor and donations after obtaining permission to construct a ski run on state-owned land.
Since then, the program has taught “tens of thousands” of area children how to ski and more recently skateboard, said Mike Wolf, who has participated in the program as an instructor and now director since 1980.
Wolf expects about 200 students to sign up. He also anticipates a good skiing winter. The Dec. 21 opening is early in a run of mild winters in recent years.
“We haven’t had this kind of winter in long time,” Wolf said of early snowfall this season. “We’re making snow constantly. The weather is perfect and we’re supposed to have a continuous winter.
Here is lesson information:
n Grades 2-8: Jan. 7-9, Jan. 14-16, and Jan. 21-23.
n Grades K-1 only: Jan. 28-30 for beginners and Feb. 4-6 for young skiers who can already ride the chairlift.
n Grades 3-9: – Jan. 7-9, Jan 14-16, Jan. 21-23, and Jan. 28-30.
Registration forms are available online at: www.record-eagle.com or www.mt-holiday.com. Please call 231-938-2500 ext. 11 and leave a message if you have questions, Wolf said.
All lessons are 6:15 – 8: 15 p.m. Check in first night 30 minutes ahead of time.
Ski lessons for the three-day class cost $40 with $15 extra for rental equipment, while the fee for the snowboard class and rental is $55 per person.
Pre-registration is required and registration deadlines are one week before the requested session. Registration is first-come and waiting lists will be established.