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Olympic Regional Development Authority

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“If people feel immediate success, they’re going to enjoy what they are doing,” expressed Ed. “Over the years, the program has taught thousands of people to do what once was unthinkable: parallel ski in a single day.”

The Adirondacks is the playground for winter enthusiasts, and Lake Placid is the ideal place to embrace winter to its fullest potential. After all, it has been home to the 1934 and 1980 winter Olympics, featuring the “Miracle on Ice” U.S. hockey team, which has inspired millions the world over.

The Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) reviewed the National Ski Area Association’s Conversion Cookbook and committed to creating new skiers and riders at its ski resorts this winter. At Belleayre Ski Resort in Highmount, New York, Gore Mountain in North Creek, New York, and Whiteface in Wilmington, New York, there is revived energy for all snow sports programming. Simply put, they have made their Learn to Ski and Learn to Snowboard programs fun, easy and affordable.

Jon Lundin, ORDA director of communications, wants to get people excited about winter and the activities the season has to offer. “How many of us have waked up one morning and said, ‘Hey, I want to learn how to ski or snowboard today?’ While I’m not too sure how many, some may just be thinking, ‘How can I enjoy winter more?’ ” he noted. “To that I say, embrace the season and all of the activities it brings.”

ORDA is leading the way for bringing new winter enthusiasts to the ski slopes with their trademarked Parallel from the Start learn to ski program. This all-inclusive program guarantees that you’ll be at the top of the mountain within three days. It’s your best bet for learning how to ski. Parallel from the Start is all about confidence and quick advancement.

Ed Kreil, a native of Germany who has been teaching people how to ski for 50 years, skied for the German national team before moving to the U.S. He has called Whiteface his home for 25 years and is a staple to the mountains’ very effective program. He attributes the program’s success to the way it makes people feel–comfortable. “The combination of instruction and shorter skis allow beginners to feel comfortable from their very first minute on snow and immediately builds confidence, which creates a fun experience,” Ed revealed.

Traditionally, beginners learned on skis about 140 centimeters long and were instructed to “snowplow” back and forth across the hill. Often, because the skier is uncomfortable with long skis strapped to their feet, the ski tips cross, causing the skier to fall. Also, getting back up on longer skis is sometimes difficult even for more advanced skiers. This combination of obstacles makes the skier more frustrated, more fatigued and colder and wetter from being in the snow. On the shorter skis used by the program, the beginning skier is in a more natural position, and it is easier for her to learn the proper techniques, such as turning. “If people feel immediate success, they’re going to enjoy what they are doing,” expressed Ed. “Over the years, the program has taught thousands of people to do what once was unthinkable–parallel ski in a single day.”

When it comes to winter leisure activities, skiing and snowboarding offer the best in scenery and time with family and friends, and you don’t have to be a world-class athlete to enjoy it. Spending time in the mountains arcing out turns on snow-covered trails is an activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and can be quickly learned.

“I also understand that learning how to ski can be intimidating. Strapping on two pieces of board, for the first time, that can be as long as you are, and looking down to the base of the mountain below can be pretty scary,” Jon reiterated. “This program helps to ease those concerns. The shorter skis give participants a greater sense of balance and control, leading to more confidence and a better all-around experience. And hopefully this will bring them back again and again.”

Jon understands the cost of skiing can also be a little difficult to swallow, so this is extremely affordable. “If you ever thought about learning to ski or snowboard, this is the year to do it,” he discussed. “The ski industry as a whole is making huge strides in reaching out to new customers, removing barriers that prevent people from entering the sport, and sharing the passion that turns a first-timer into a life-timer.”

Parallel from the Start is for skiers and Learn to Snowboard is for snowboarders. Both programs are specifically geared toward anyone age 13 and older who is looking to get into the sport. The three-day all-inclusive programs include beginner lift tickets, lessons and rentals for only $169, a deal that can’t be beat, considering that the purchaser can use these three days any time, consecutively or not, throughout the season. In addition, skiers and riders in the program receive a free Frequent Skier Card at the end of their third day that gives them discounts on lift tickets for the rest of the season.

“We invite you to learn to love winter with us,” Jon smiled.

Visit for more information or call 518-523-1655, ext. 5313.