To kick off the snow season here in Maine, Tom & I sat down with Bo Bigelow, the Events & Program Director at Ski Maine to put together some snowboard events. Bo has been with Ski Maine since 2005, the organization helps to promote skiing & boarding at Maine's mountains and also puts together some local events like the one we're hosting with him tomorrow (2/12). When we originally made up the schedule we had 3 co-events scheduled at Payson Hill Terrain Park in Portland. The first was cancelled because of no snow, the second because it was the middle of a storm and it looks like 3rd time is the charm! LBS & Ski ME will be at the Payson Terrain Park in Portland from 2 to 5 Wednesday afternoon, Feb 12th. We'll have some giveaways and our team snowboarder, Kevin Jellerson, will be there to demo and hang out. Hope you can come & join us. Here's a little more about Bo & about Ski Maine...
[LBS] What does Ski Maine do? And when are you going to switch it to Ride Maine?
[Bo] Ski Maine is the trade group for the alpine and Nordic ski centers in the state. We do have a marketing brand of Ride Maine, but in general we use ski to refer to both sports.
[LBS] You don't just help to promote Maine mountains, you help to get kids skiing and riding right here in Portland, right?
[Bo] Ski Maine works with the City of Portland to promote the use of Payson Park. We run a multi week program to get kids and adults out to the terrain park midweek to enjoy some time sliding and being outside.
[LBS] We're excited to be helping to put on the Payson Park events with Ski Maine this year, what can people expect when they come out?
[Bo] We will have ticket give-a-ways, vendors, hot coco – each week we are out there will be a little different, but will always be a great time!
[LBS] We're psyched to have some Vans Snow gear to give away on the 12th too! Can you talk about how great the city of Portland has been about making spots for people to get out and enjoy the snow, like how much work they've put into the terrain park at Payson?
[Bo] The City of Portland has put a lot of resources into building the terrain park in Payson Park. The Rec Dept has budgeted dollars to cover the costs of making snow and set up, removal and repairs of for the elements.
[LBS] Ski Maine doesn't just help promote Maine riding and skiing, and put on events - tell folks about your passes & discounts that help people get out enjoying the slopes.
[Bo] We offer two products each year, the Ski Maine Mountain Pass which has 2 tickets to all the all the Ski Maine members (425 each). Great for tying out multiple ski areas. And we have the Maine Winter Activities Pass which has discounts for alpine lift tickets, Nordic trail passes, discounts to the Shipyard family of restaurants and retail shop discounts. (24.95 each)
[LBS] I was surprised (and psyched) to hear about some of the ways the mountains are encouraging new boarders and skiers to get out onto the slopes - you have some good tips, like which sections of the mountains are free for beginners.
[Bo] Almost every ski area in Maine offers Learn To programs, most come with a lift ticket, rental in lesson. These are great ways to try the sport. Most areas list out the Learn To offers under the Ski/Ride School sections of their websites. Or you can visit SkiMaine.com and see a list of all the programs in Maine.
[LBS] One of the coolest programs here in Maine, and throughout the US is the Bring A Friend program. How do people participate?
[Bo] There are several Bring A Friend programs in Maine, each ski area offers their own program and are listed out on their websites. But the basic idea of the programs is to reward skiers and snowboarders for being a new person into the sport.
[LBS] What if I don't have any friends, or don't like them enough to spend time driving to the hills with them. What other kind of learn to Ski/Board deals are out there?
[Bo] Every ski area offers Learn To programs, you can encourage a friend to head to the mountain and sign up for a Learn To package. It is a fun way to spend the day.
Come check it out at Payson tomorrow - lift tickets, hot drinks and some Vans Snow gear from LBS!!