| Home | Skischool/Rental | 2021-09-10

Vail resorts expands youth access program

Across 11 North American cities to inpire next generation of skiers and snowboarders

Nonprofit partners receiving $560,000 in grants from Katz Amsterdam Charitable Trust in advance of 2021/22 winter season

Vail Resorts and the company’s CEO, Rob Katz, via his family foundation, announced 11 organizations receiving approximately $560,000 in grants as part of an ongoing commitment to increase youth access to outdoor recreation. Each of the nonprofit partners work to support youth of color in major metropolitan areas surrounding Vail Resorts’ locations, including Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, and New York, among others.

For the first time, Vail Resorts and the Katz Amsterdam Charitable Trust will also partner with the National Brotherhood of Skiers (NBS) to inspire the next generation of skiers and snowboarders and support NBS’ mission of developing and supporting athletes of color who will win international competitions.

“This grant gives the NBS the opportunity to develop a true partnership with Katz Amsterdam and Vail Resorts,” said Lee Valentine, executive vice president of NBS. “Our clubs in Boston, Detroit, New York, and Columbus, OH are positioned to leverage their well-established network of volunteers and long track record of conducting youth outreach trips to promote skiing and snowboarding within underrepresented communities. When combined with the resources and industry reach of Vail Resorts, we are encouraged about the outcomes this partnership will forge.”

Today's donation is part of a five-year commitment, announced in 2019, to expand youth access programs to all 34 of Vail Resorts’ North American resorts. Through donated products and services totaling close to $1.1 million this year, Vail Resorts will provide free lift tickets, ski and ride school, meals, and equipment rentals, while funds from the Katz Amsterdam Charitable Trust will help develop and expand programs, support needed staffing and soft goods, and fund transportation. Vail Resorts currently hosts nearly 4,500 kids across its resorts each year, including Vail, Beaver Creek, Keystone, Breckenridge, Crested Butte, Park City, Heavenly, Kirkwood, Northstar, Stevens Pass, Afton Alps, Wilmot, Mt. Brighton, and Stowe. Through this five-year program expansion the company hopes to more than double that number.

“Vail Resorts is committed to making the sport more accessible through Epic for Everyone, including growing our youth access program,” said Katz. “We’re proud to be able to support and accelerate efforts to get kids on mountain across the country. By partnering with the National Brotherhood of Skiers and regional nonprofits closely tied to the communities surrounding our resort locations, we’re looking forward to introducing kids to skiing and snowboarding who otherwise may not have access—broadening lifelong engagement by removing some of the sports’ barriers to entry.”

Each skier or snowboarder will receive five on-snow sessions through the participating partner organization, as well as two additional sessions for both them and a guardian to continue practicing. Nonprofits will combine these services with youth mentorship for enriching, on-mountain programs including—in partnership with resort team members—an introduction to career opportunities in snow sports like snowmaking, operations, and ski and snowboard instruction.

The nonprofits receiving this year’s grants include:  
National Brotherhood of Skiers—Detroit, Columbus, NYC, and Boston (access to Mt. Brighton, Alpine Valley, Hunter, Crotched, and Mount Sunapee): $97,775
.Sub-grants will go to four NBS clubs across the country. In addition to promoting winter sports for new participants, NBS prioritizes training and hiring ski and snowboard instructors of color. Through this partnership, the organizations intend for instructors of color to conduct on-snow programs so participants can better see themselves represented on-mountain.
Boys and Girls Club of the Twin Cities—Minneapolis and St. Paul (access to Afton Alps): $55,000
Boys and Girls Club of Northeast Ohio—Cleveland (access to Alpine Valley): $25,000
Boys and Girls Club of Boston (access to Crotched): $56,700
Good Shepherd Services—NYC (access to Hunter): $100,000
City Kids Wilderness Project—Baltimore and Washington, DC (access to Liberty and Whitetail): $45,162
Boys and Girls Club of Metro Baltimore (access to Liberty and Whitetail): $20,356
Indigenous Life Sport Academy—Whistler, British Columbia (access to Whistler Blackcomb): $42,220 USD
Chicago Youth Centers (access to Wilmot): $24,282
Girls, Inc. Chicago (access to Wilmot): $16,421
SOS Outreach—Chicago and Detroit (access to Wilmot and Mt. Brighton): $76,940
To kick off the youth program last year, $1.5 million in grants was given to 14 organizations across North America. Due to the challenges presented by COVID-19, instead of increasing access to outdoor recreation, funds benefited the top priorities determined by the organization for the youth they serve.

Nonprofits interesting in partnering for future seasons are encouraged to contact

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