Boreal: Free season pass with three lessons

Learning to ski at Boreal in Lake Tahoe, California.

With snow finally coming down in Lake Tahoe, Boreal’s “Take 3, Ride Free” program might be an interesting option for families looking to expose kids to skiing before this season ends.

The program provides a free 2013-14 season pass to anyone who takes three lessons.  Surprisingly, they don’t make you pay for all three lessons up front, you can try one lesson, then come back and take the next two whenever you want.  Even better,  the second two lessons are offered at more than a 50% discount on normal rates, so the overall cost is very reasonable.

They are offering two flavors of the program. For new skiers the “1-2-3 program” includes a 3 hour lesson, plus rentals and a limited lift ticket (only good on the beginner runs).  The first lesson costs $79 and subsequent lessons are only $35.

For intermediate and advanced skiers, the “4-5-6 program” includes a 90 minute lesson, rentals and full resort lift ticket.  For this program the first lesson is $89 and subsequent lessons are $45.

At $149 for beginners and $179 for intermediate and advanced skiers, the price is pretty reasonable for three lessons, three days of rentals and a season pass. By comparison a single-day lift ticket at Squaw Valley is $114 for adults and $66 for children 5-12.

Boreal has great access for families in Northern California, as it is just off Interstate 80 before you get to Truckee.  It doesn’t have much in the way of luxury (the lodge is dated, and the food is what you’d expect at a high school football game),  but it has very good terrain parks, good snow making, six chair lifts (1 high-speed quad) and night skiing until 9:00 most nights, if you’re not much of a morning person.

When the kids are getting worn out from the lessons and early growing pains, there is also a pretty fun tubing hill on site.

More info on the program is available on Boreal’s website.


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