Las Vegas Ski and Snowboard Resort
Like most places in the west, the snow pack this winter has been below average, limiting the number of runs that were open. But with three chair lifts, a couple of groomed runs, and a terrain park, the Las Vegas Ski and Snowboard Resort seemed plenty big for my first day. In heavier snow years, skiers and snowboarders have more options including some expert level runs and backcountry lines that can only be reached by hiking.
After getting set up with my lift ticket, I headed to the rental shop to get my gear. One of the things I was most concerned about was getting a good pair of ski boots. In the past, I’ve only had bad experiences with boots, and I knew that a properly fitted boot could be the difference between a good and bad day. After explaining my concerns to the folks in the rental shop, they decided to set me up with a pair of Rossignol Temptation Skis and Salomon X-Pro 70 Boots from their Performance Shop. The boots and skis looked brand new, and it was the first time in my life that I can honestly say that my ski boots were comfortable. Yes, they were still ski boots, but throughout the day I didn’t have any of the aches and pains that I remember from my previous times skiing.
Once I got outfitted, I was led to the bunny hill where I met with the head of the ski school, Chris Lange. One of the things that drew me to the Las Vegas Ski and Snowboard Resort was the complimentary coaching program that they offer. For all new skiers and snowboarders, several instructors are available at the top of the bunny hill at all times. They are there to answer the most basic questions, like how to stop and how to turn, to more intermediate questions about how to improve your form. I saw people of all ages taking advantage of this free service, which made me feel more comfortable as an adult beginner.Chris and I took a couple of runs together on the bunny hill. He taught me things like how to shift my weight as I turned and when to plant my poles. Before I knew it, I was feeling pretty comfortable and was ready to take it up a notch.
Chris offered to take me up the Bluebird Quad up to one of the mountain’s main runs called “The Line.” On the lift, Chris gave me some more pointers and told me all about the mountain’s teaching philosophy. One of the resort’s major goals is to be a welcoming environment for beginners. With skiing and snowboarding being expensive hobbies, the Resort wants to give people a chance to get stoked on the sport before asking them to invest a ton of money. So one very cost-effective program they offer to beginners is the “Get Started” Program. For $199, first time skiers and boarders get 4 days of lift tickets, coaching, and rentals. Then at the completion of the program, participants get a season pass for the remainder of the season, plus 1/2 off a pass for the following season. It sounds like a pretty sweet deal if you ask me.