Copper Mountain ski school is a wonderful way to introduce your kids to the most amazing sport. Here's what I know after seven years as a ski mom. A bad ski school can ruin a ski holiday.
We got to interview Kim Casey, the head of the Ski & Snowboard school. Here are highlights from our trip:
Options 1: Private Lessons 1:1 and the chance to get personalized instruction. Good for first timers or for those who are experts. While I love the idea of kids making friends on the hill, sometimes individual attention is best. PRO: You'll get a personal guide of the mountain and tips that are catered just to YOU! CON: The price and for kids it can be a lot of adult attention. Rates start at $369.
Option 2: Group Lessons Copper offers three different seasonal programs for ages 3 to 15. Each program focuses on different areas of skiing or riding. Taught by professional ski and snowboard instructors your child will progress in an environment suitable for his or her age group. Maximum group size is 5. PRO: the kids love the snow play and exploring the lessons in a pack. CON: A group is only as strong as the weakest skier. If you feel like your child is in a group that is too easy, you might want to get him or her moved. Rates start at $194. Get more details here.Option 3: Childcare There's no skiing involved, but they are still near you on the mountain. For kids ages 6 months to 6 years. Located close to the base, this facility is the spot to keep kids occupies for a couple hours, an evening, or even a whole day to yourselves. From the Belly Button Bakery to Kids' Night Out, this is the place to figure it all out. Get more details here.
SPECIAL:FREE evening childcare with $30 shopping or dining purchase per child December 18th through April 11th; from 5:30pm - 10:00pm (3 hr limit) every Wednesday through Saturday. Ages: Potty trained to 12 years old.
Option 4: Mini Stars Program Available from November 21st - April 10th. This is a mix of babysitting and ski instruction. Your child will get 1 hr of 1:1 time. $79 when your child is participating in child care, or $99 when your child is not in childcare. Have your child experience the wonders of skiing or snowboarding as early as 24 months.
What else makes Copper Mountain a special place to learn or perfect your snow skills? Another special part of the Copper Mountain experience, the terrain. I took a sherpa sled over to this area to check out the slopes. The good news: It's a quiet, yet awesome place to learn. Green Acres is like nothing I've ever seen. It gets beginning skiers and boarder off the busy arteries of the mountain and in an area where they can quickly gain confidence. Equipped with a mini bowl (very gentle) and its own lifts, this area is the place for trial and error without fear of being mowed down.
At the end of the lesson, expect a report both written and verbal from your child's coach. We got a checklist showing what our skier mastered and what she's working on. In addition, our coach, JP, gave us (the parents) a few tips on how to guide her skiing. In my opinion, this is a MUST at all ski schools. If you don't get feedback you should know you are in a low-quality school. REMINDER: if you've gotten a great lesson, be sure to tip the instructor usually $20 is fine for a group lesson and 15% for a private.
Bonus: We loved the Flaik tracking system. Our daughter went out with her group with this on her ankle. Not only is it a safety measure, but you can track all the skiing and snowboarding your child does. Flaik allows ski resorts to track the real-time location of every student and instructor in there ski school, so that if someone takes a wrong turn down a run they can be reconnected with their classes within minutes.
All the thought and care that goes into the ski experience can turn your trip into a memory. Our little skier loved her class. That was most important. She came out smiling and that meant success!
For more on Copper Mountain visit our past review here
Information may change from season to season. Be sure to visit www.coppercolorado.com for the latest news.
For more of our favorite ski destinations check out our Family Ski Guide.
This is not a sponsored post. Travel accommodations were made for our family to stay at the resort and investigate the facilities.