We tend to think that big programs and big mountains necessarily mean a big price tag or a puppy-mill like experience. Not so everywhere. In addition to the skiing benefits that go along with the mountains themselves, bigger programs can offer things like discounts and trade-outs to resort employees, not to mention extensive public and private resources. Each club has its secret sauce that sets it apart, and most big clubs, like small ones, are intentional about keeping cost low, the quality high and the vibe fun. As CB Bechtel of Team Summit puts it: “A full time ski patroller should be able to have their kids in the competition program at the place they work. Whatever we can do to keep those people engaged is important for the sport. If you drive out your entire middle class, you’re limiting the fan base.” Amen!
Alyeska Ski Club: Partners and volunteers
For nearly as long as Alaska has been a state, Alyeska Ski Club has been teaching locals to ski. Of the 600 members, 350 enjoy low-cost introductory racing and all mountain skiing programs. Once hooked, they can move on to the junior racing, freeskiing and Alpine X programs.
“We tend to attract lots of families because of that cost,” says Executive Director Lara Hildreth. “We have a longstanding philosophy of doing more with less.”