###Contact: Michelle Horn/Terence Gallagher Lou Hammond & Associates (212) 308-8880; Fax: (212) 891-0200 email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org Lisa Willner Empire State Development Corporation (212) 803-3740 email@example.com
New York, N.Y. - New York State has issued a proclamation declaring January as "Learn a Snow-Sport Month." In honor of the month-long celebration, I LOVE NEW YORK (http://www.iloveny.com), New York State's tourism promotion agency, is inviting winter sports enthusiasts to take advantage of the many winter value packages throughout the state and learn to ski or ride this season. Specials include the January-only (except MLK weekend 1/16-1/18) I LOVE NEW YORK "Learn A Snow-Sport" package, featuring 20 percent off regular rates for a beginner's lesson at participating ski schools. The lesson includes a lift ticket and ski or snowboard rental (http://www.learnasnowsport.net). According to Thomas Ranese, chief marketing officer of Empire State Development, "The New Year brings new goals and learning a new physical activity like skiing or snowboarding is a step toward self-improvement. There is a ski resort within an hour of every metropolitan area statewide, so there has never been a better time to learn a snow sport, or introduce children to the slopes." In addition to the "Learn a Snow-Sport" package, fourth graders from across 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 at (http://www.44free.com) 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 including free all-day lift tickets, with the purchase of an adult lift ticket. 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. "Learn a Snow-Sport Month provides tremendous opportunities for children and adults to receive an introduction to a lifetime activity that is healthy, wholesome and family-oriented," said Scott Brandi, president of the Ski Areas of New York. "Skiing and snowboarding boosts self-esteem and allows children and adults to have fun, get outdoors and exercise all at the same time." New York State, ranked #4 in the nation in skier visits with 4 million, has loads of value-packed offerings across its 1000 ski trails and 48 ski resorts. Plus, with more than 100 downhill and cross-country ski areas throughout its 11 vacation regions, the Empire State is home to the most ski areas of any state in the country. Ski and traffic conditions, over 150 accommodation packages, local event listings and more are available at (http://www.iloveny.com). 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 www.iloveny.com. Media can find press releases and more at thebeat.iloveny.com.