Kids ski free at Keystone all season long

By Real Aspen
October 3, 2012

Keystone is going big in Colorado's ski marketing wars this season by going small.

The ski resort is offering children 12 and under free skiing and snowboarding all season long, with no blackout dates. Here is the press release its operator, Vail Resorts, issued today:

Keystone Resort has long been a place where kids rule; from specialty family-friendly après ski offerings to mountaintop snow forts, the resort is a winter wonderland that allows kids and parents alike to truly enjoy their well-earned vacation time together. Today, the resort announced it is taking kid-friendly programming to new heights; throughout the entire 2012-2013 winter season, children 12 and under will ski/snowboard for free at Keystone.

Kids ski free at Keystone this winter.


As simple as childhood itself, Keystone’s Kids Ski Free program removes the red tape and fine print, allowing all children 12 years of age and under to ski and snowboard free every day, all season. The program has no blackout dates and is available on all weekends and holidays, a rarity in the ski industry. To qualify, families must stay two or more nights in one of Keystone’s numerous owned and operated accommodation options, which span from luxury hotel rooms to cozy ski-in/ski-out condominiums. Families big and small are able to take advantage of the offer, as there are no restrictions on the number of children per adult. Reservations must be booked through or toll-free at (877) 204-7889.

“Keystone offers a family ski experience unmatched in the industry,” said John Buhler, Vice President and general manager of Keystone Resort. “With the introduction of a Kids Ski Free offer that’s really restriction-free, we’re letting families travel as their schedule allows, granting them convenient and affordable access to our world-class resort and taking Keystone’s commitment to families to the next level.”

One of the most visited family-focused ski resorts in the country, free skiing is just the start of what the Keystone experience offers families. On the mountain, three peaks provide over 3,000 acres of skiable terrain that varies from long, groomed cruisers, perfect for beginners, to tight glades and five bowls for experts to explore. In the base area, families can choose from a range of accommodation options. Whether a hassle-free hotel room or a condominium that truly provides all of the comforts of home (many Keystone accommodations include full kitchens and laundry facilities in-unit), Keystone’s lodging is serviced by convenient in-resort transportation making getting to ski school, dinner or the lift easier than ever. Even small touches keep families in mind, from a treasure chest for kids to choose from at check-in locations to wagons that ease gear transportation from parking lots to throughout the Village areas.

This season, an enhanced resort experience includes the unique Kidtopia program that will expand to daily animation and entertainment all winter long. Featuring activities and events including the third installment of the World’s Largest Snowfort, street performers in the resort’s Village centers, kids’ apres gatherings, a weekly Kidtopia parade, on-ice dance parties at the resort’s two ice skating rinks, and the new Snowed-In Festival, Kidtopia will delight and ignite the imaginations of kids of all ages and give Mom and Dad a break with a variety of free entertainment options.

Even Keystone’s numerous dining outlets offer unique family options including Der Fondue Chessel, a Bavarian-themed restaurant at 11,444 feet, accessed by an enchanting two-gondola ride. The mountaintop dining experience is a delicious three-course meal served fondue and raclette-style and complete with fun kid-friendly extras like a nightly rendition of the “Chicken Dance” by the house polka band. For those families looking to experience the old-West flavor of Colorado, Keystone’s horse-drawn sleigh ride dinners offer a glimpse of what the first settlers in Summit County experienced, but not without a luxurious meal of comfort food favorites and live music.

“Kids Ski Free is the next step in our evolution of family-friendly programs that add value and enhance the ski experience on and off the snow,” said Tim Estes, VP of Hospitality at Keystone. “By making this program so accessible, we open the door to more families, allowing them to spend time together in the mountains and enjoying the great outdoors. We truly believe this sets us apart and makes Keystone the best-in-class family ski destination.”

The family commitment continues on the mountain with a renewed focus on progression. Because many families include skiers and snowboarders of different abilities, Keystone offers a variety of terrain and programs to take skills to the next level. New for winter 2012-2013, a Burton Riglet Park and board rentals will be offered in the resort’s Mountain House area. Designed for the youngest snowboarders, ages three to six, Burton’s revolutionary board and park design operate under the mantra of “if they can walk, they can ride” and introduce the basics of snowboarding in a fun and interactive environment. Keystone’s famed A-51 Terrain Park, this year ranked the #2 Park in North America, is also a adding a new level of progressionary features. Designed to better connect Keystone’s beginner parks to more advanced intermediate offerings, the new features will provide first-time and beginner park enthusiasts a clear path of progression and perhaps a chance to one day be amongst the numerous professional skiers and riders who trail in A-51.

On the lesson front, Camp Keystone offers a revolutionary take on the traditional Ski School program that includes a guarantee of the same instructor for any child booking three or more days of lessons. Camp Keystone, housed at the Mountain House base area, which offers a designated lift and teaching area, also includes special theme days and instructional techniques that incorporate games to keep children engaged on-snow longer. Learning can also be a family affair with Keystone’s Mom, Dad and Me Lesson, a private lesson for the family that includes instruction for Mom and Dad to aid in continued progression of their children’s skills. For families looking for a bit more adventure on the slopes, Keystone Adventure Tours (KAT) provide an in-bounds cat skiing experience accessible to high-intermediate skiers and riders. Guests enjoy a full-day program that transports them to the backcounty and is complete with powder ski rentals, a catered lunch and guides who will help enhance technique and find that next perfect powder line.

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