Expanded Access and Equity Programs for Kids Launched at Taos Ski Valley for 2021-2022 Winter Season

TAOS, N.M., Jan. 31, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — With a focus on helping to eliminate barriers so all youth can experience the respite of nature, Taos Ski Valley is working with a number of local and national organizations to significantly expand youth accessibility and equity programs at the resort this winter.

“Diversity, equity, and inclusion are critical for the ski industry to address. Here in Taos Ski Valley, our B Corporation ethos helps advance these goals locally,” said David Norden, CEO of Taos Ski Valley. “But our work in this area has only just begun. Our social responsibility work means we pay a living wage and ensure we have pay equity across all jobs regardless of age, race, or gender. It also means we must provide more and better access to the outdoors for children. We’re thrilled to have rolled out a broad youth equity program this season.”

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Thanks to collaboration with several regional schools and local and national nonprofits and specialty organizations, children and teenagers have numerous ways to access mountain recreation and lessons at Taos Ski Valley this winter at rates that work for their families. Special opportunities are available for children of color, economically disadvantaged families, special needs youth, and more. The program will include:

  • Charles N. Romero Snowsports Program for Pueblo Youth: through a variety of grant programs in collaboration with Working on Wellness, the Share Winter Foundation,and New Mexico Outdoor Recreation, youth in grades 4th-12th from the Taos Pueblo community will have the opportunity to ski for five days, including lift tickets, clothing and equipment rentals, lunch and half-day lessons. This offering is named in memoriam of Charles N. Romero, a member of the Taos Pueblo community and longtime Taos Ski Valley employee.
  • School Groups Access: Regional students from 1st-12th grade have the opportunity to ski once a week for five weeks this winter. The program kicked off January 4 and includes half-day lessons all five days, lift tickets, rental equipment, and special on-mountain education.

    Cost: $165 total for Taos County residents, $185 total for students outside of Taos County. Scholarships are also available to students who qualify.

    Residents interested in the program should speak with their school.
  • Special Needs Access: Taos Ski Valley will continue working with the Taos Winter Sports Team to identify and reach out to special needs youth and support them getting on the mountain with scholarships as needed. Taos Ski Valley offers adaptive ski programs to suit a wide range of abilities and needs.

    Cost: varied.

    Scholarships available to students who qualify.

    Residents interested in the program should contact Peter Donahue at [email protected]
  • Female Youth Access: On January 30 Taos Ski Valley will host the SheJumps Wild Skills Junior Ski Patrol, a day camp for girls to learn mountain safety and first aid while working with the strong women of the ski patrol community. SheJumps is a nonprofit that increases the participation of women and girls in outdoor activities to foster confidence, leadership, and connection to nature and community through free and low-cost outdoor education.

    Cost: $45

    Girls interested in the program can visit the event website
  • Give a Kid a LIFT: A new fund held at Taos Community Foundation has been established with an initial contribution of $50,000 from Taos Ski Valley, Inc. The intention of this fund is to give Taos and Colfax County children who may have financial barriers the ability to experience outdoor recreation through skiing and snowboarding, hiking, snowshoeing, and more.  It is anticipated that granting from the fund will begin in the near future. 

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  • Taos Ski Valley Employee Access: Ski valley employees receive a 75% discount off any children’s programs, lessons, rentals, or lift tickets for their dependents.

Grantmaking and scholarship selections for the above programs are made by regional schools, the Taos Community Foundation, the Share Winter Foundation and Taos Winter Sports Team.

“Being outdoors is critical for developing minds, and maintaining mental and physical health, yet some kids in our community don’t have the ability to enjoy our local mountains and rivers to develop a love for nature and outdoor recreation,” said Lisa O’Brien Director, Taos Community Foundation. “Our new Give a Kid a LIFT fund, as well as the other generous contributions from Taos Ski Valley and other local and national nonprofits, are helping eliminate some barriers in the outdoor industry here in New Mexico this winter.”

Taos Ski Valley has also continued its popular and steeply discounted youth program Shredders, which provides any child aged 6-13 with 5 consecutive weeks of full-day lessons, on either Saturdays or Sundays. Shredders began on January 8, and lift tickets, rentals, and lunch are also included for a total cost of $550. There will be an additional Afternoon Shredders program offered in February and March for $400.

Regional youth or families interested in identifying affordable access opportunities to winter recreation can contact [email protected].

About Taos Ski Valley

Nestled among the pristine peaks of northern New Mexico, Taos Ski Valley is undergoing a $300 million renaissance making it one of North America’s premier vacation and adventure destinations. With over more than 300 inches of average annual snowfall, 300 days of sunshine and more than 1,200 skiable acres, Taos Ski Valley is the world’s first B Corp Certified ski resort, which means it operates with the highest standards of environmental sustainability, and social and economic justice. An independently owned and operated resort, Taos maintains an authentic charm while delivering a world-class experience both on-mountain and off for skiers and riders of all abilities. Taos Ski Valley is proud to participate in the Mountain Collective and Ikon Pass. To learn more about Taos Ski Valley and its B Corp commitment, please visit www.skitaos.com.

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SOURCE Taos Ski Valley

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