ronkwBy Ron Kubicki, Director Holiday Valley Snowsports School

Welcome back, to all of our returning skiers and riders!

Fall Fest, historically, has been deemed as the unofficial start to our “winter snowsports season.” Welcome, also to those of you who have chosen to join this culture of cold weather outdoor enthusiasts. In Western New York and especially in the Southern Tier, winter is a time to enjoy and engage with the outdoors and all the extremes that make winter activities exciting.

Once season starts, I will be writing weekly tips to hopefully allow you to have more fun on the slopes this season. If you are like me, the better you get at something the more fun it is!

But to take you up to the start of the season, I’d like to tell you about a few things the school has planned to make you and your family’s season more fun!

As you know, if you have read my column over the past few seasons, I promote the value of our professional organization here in the East — Professional Snowsports Instructors of America/ American Association of Snowboard Instructors – Eastern Division (PSIA-E/AASI). We are a member of a national association comprised of eight other regional divisions in the U.S.

All these divisions teach and train using the American Teaching System, so when I promote the value of lessons and training sessions with our certified pros, they are the same skills and tactics you will receive everywhere else in the country. So, I ask you to consider taking some advanced training with our nationally certified pros.

PSIA-E/AASI has also taken into consideration that part of their role is to advance the recognition of PSIA-E/AASI members’ skills and values to our guests and resorts. Changing technology in equipment and methodology requires a constant evolution in technique and application, and our staff is constantly training and being educated in the most current trends. Even though many of the school’s staff have years of knowledge and experience, they constantly update and enhance their knowledge and coaching skills.

To that end, you will see banners prominently displayed at snowsports school locations at Holiday Valley and all Eastern schools that state “More Fun Starts Here” — meaning the better you get, the more fun you will have! The pro you ski or ride with is a committed, current trainer and enjoys spending time with you. Give it a try! We offer beginner to advanced training sessions every day.

Here are some plans we have in place to make this a “more fun place” for you, your family and your friends:

January is Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month. This is a national program that Holiday Valley is offering Jan. 2–Jan. 31, 2014. Receive 20 percent off a learn-to-ski or learn-to-snowboard package including a beginner lesson, beginner area lift ticket and rental equipment. Bring a friend who buys a Learn to Ski/Ride package and you will get a free group lesson. If your friend buys the 1-2-3 GO SKIING package (3 lessons, lift tickets and rentals) you will get a free private lesson!

Highly Accredited Children’s Program. With the addition Gary “Griz” Caudle to our training staff, Holiday Valley now has one of the highest percentages of staff trained as Children’s Specialists in the area. Griz is a member of the PSIA-E/AASI ACE Team (Advanced Children Educators). Children’s Specialist 1 and 2 is a national accreditation specific to high-end, children-oriented teaching and knowledge.

Rangers. A season-long program for 5 -11year old skiers and riders, Rangers is a skills and social growth program that runs out of the Children’s Mountain Adventures in the Creekside Lodge.

Lisa Densmore Woman’s Clinic. An intermediate to high-end clinic, Densmore introduces woman-specific equipment and learning styles.

The Outpost. This is the keystone feature of Holiday Valley Snowsports’ terrain-based learning environment. Add to this the innovative Burton Riglet Park’s learning equipment and your mini-skier or rider will spend their first day on snow enjoying the excitement of X-game style features for learning at the introductory level.

Every day/every level training sessions are available with our highly qualified staff.

Please realize when you see the tag line “More Fun Starts Here,” it is as much fun for our staff as we hope it is for you. We enjoy skiing and riding with skilled athletes, and we can add finesse and polish to the most high-end performance.

Remember, all the best  athletes, past and present — Michael Jordan, Drew Brees, Lindsey Vonn — all have coaches. They all know they can get better with valid knowledgeable coaching!

Remember — More Fun Starts Here!

The Holiday Valley SnowSports School, Member PSIA-E/AASI