McLEAN, Va. -- Ski resorts across the country are focusing on women
with a weeklong Take Your Daughter to the Snow program, sponsored
by the Snow Sports Association for Women, a nonprofit association
based here. The program is scheduled to run from Jan. 31 through
Calling women-specific winter sports travel a "soft market," Jan
Berg, co-director of the program and spokeswoman for the SSAW, said
the plan is a way to draw that elusive group into an area that has
long been focused on men.
"SSAW is dedicated to getting everyone who alpine or
cross-country skis, snowboards or snowshoes to bring a daughter,
sister, mother or female friend to the snow that week," Berg
"We want to reach out to young girls as well as to women who
either are new to the sport or who have had take time off, maybe
because of family obligations," she said.
Berg cited research showing that women are receptive to snow
sports once they are introduced to the concept -- especially
alpine, cross country and snowboarding -- because they are
potentially family activities. "Even if the kids snowboard and the
parents ski, they can do it together," Berg said.
The program, which is in its third year, has been expanded this
year from one day to a week, Berg said, in order to give
participants an opportunity to try some of the less-practiced snow
Cross-country skiing, in particular, is getting an increasingly
strong response each year from this program, Berg said.
Regarding costs, promotions like two-for-one lift tickets,
half-price equipment rentals and lessons are designed to draw
participants who may have shied away because of sticker shock.
Adapted from the Take Your Daughter to Work concept, the program
will be available at "most ski resorts" this season, Berg said.
Some 300 resorts and cross-country and snowshoe centers
participated in the event last year, with 115 already signed up for
the 1999-2000 season, she said.
Each resort is tailoring the program to match its needs, she
said, with some offering midweek, weekend or evening versions while
others are offering the full weeklong program.
SSAW tapped Olympic gold medal skier Picabo Street to be the
spokeswoman for the event, and brochures featuring Street are in
the works, to be distributed later in the season. Sponsors this
year include Southwest Airlines Vacations, Kodak and Sports
Illustrated for Women.
Ninety retail outlets also are on board this season, Berg said,
and will offer participants activities such as fashion shows,
in-store equipment clinics and point-of-sale programs with display
boxes at which people can register for prizes.
"This will help us build a strong database of participants and
find out who they are and what sports they were drawn to," she
Addressing the issue of women-specific equipment, Berg said:
"It's taken so long just to get boots and skis adapted to our
"These programs can let participants try different boots and
skis with someone there to offer a critique without making them
Berg also pointed out that the new equipment, such as shaped
skis and revamped snowshoes, have created sports that are easier to
learn "in a more friendly environment" than in previous years.
Snowshoeing, especially, has become dramatically more popular in
recent years and can even by done by women who want to hike with a
baby in a backpack.
Berg stressed, however, that Take Your Daughter to the Snow week
is not for women only. "Last year we had a large number of men
bringing their daughters, and it was an opportunity for them to
spend quality time together."
Phone: (303) 545-6882