iloveny-stack.jpgNEW YORK, December 8, 2008 – I LOVE NEW YORK (, New York State’s tourism promotion agency, is offering two value-added opportunities for winter snow sport enthusiasts seeking powder-packed excitement: “4th Graders Ski Free” and “Ski and Stay” packages. According to Thomas Ranese, chief marketing officer of Empire State Development, there has never been a better time or location to take advantage of great value opportunities. “With nearly 100 downhill and cross-country ski areas throughout our 11 vacation regions, New York is home to more ski areas than any other in the country and the snow sport industry has a $1 billion impact on New York State’s economy,” said Ranese. “At a time when consumers are looking for destinations close enough to drive to with incentives that make the trek worth their while, New York State is offering the hard-hitting deals that savvy travelers are demanding.” According to Scott Brandi, president of the Ski Areas of New York, “We’re providing the perfect excuse to put down the TV remote or video game controller, get out of the house and have some healthy fun. We offer something for every age and skill level with family-friendly, learn-to-ski mountains like Thunder Ridge in Patterson, NY and Willard Mountain in Easton, NY, to world-class Olympic facilities in Lake Placid.” 4th Graders Ski For Free Fourth graders from anywhere in the country can ski or ride for free at more than 25 participating New York State ski areas this winter when accompanied by a paying adult. Interested participants are asked to fill out an application form available on and send it in with a $19 processing fee to the address provided, along with a report card, progress report or letter from their school verifying the child is in the 4th grade. Applicants will receive a seasonal 4th Grade Passport booklet of coupons for redemption of free all-day lift tickets, with the purchase of an adult lift ticket, at participating ski areas. Note: Redemption rules on season passes and other special passes vary by ski area, applicants should contact the ski area ahead of time for more information. Limited to three visits per participating area. Blackout dates apply. According to Brandi, “At a time when childhood obesity is rampant in the U.S., this program provides tremendous opportunities for children to get an introduction to a lifetime activity that is healthy, wholesome and family-oriented. Skiing and snowboarding boost self-esteem and allow children and adults to have fun, get outdoors and exercise all at the same time.” Ski and Stay For the weekends of January 10-11, February 7-8 and March 7-8, guests can book a weekend “ski and stay” package and get the third night’s lodging and a third day of snow sporting for free at one of several participating properties. For a complete listing of participating properties and to book this package, go to About New York State New York State features 11 beautiful vacation regions. New York’s attractions span from landmarks such as Niagara Falls, to the wine trails of Hudson Valley and treasures like the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Whether it’s wide-ranging outdoor activities for the whole family like fishing, hiking and boating, culinary wonders and farm-to-table fresh foods, or the rich history and culture of one of the 13 original colonies, New York State offers diverse activities for all travelers. For more information, visit Media can find press releases and more at
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Eric Scheffel

Empire State Development

(518) 292-5274

Lisa Willner Empire State Development Corporation (212) 803-3740