After eluding to the announcement for months, Keystone Resort officials released news Wednesday that kids 12 and under can ski and snowboard free this season.
To qualify though, families must stay two or more nights in one of Keystone's owned-and-operated accommodation options, ranging from ski-in/ski-out condominiums to luxury hotel rooms.
The upside to the offer is families of all sizes can take advantage of free lift tickets all season long with no blackouts dates, available on all weekends and holidays.
"Keystone offers a family ski experience unmatched in the industry," said John Buhler, vice president and general manager of the 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."
The new kids ski free offer bolsters the ski area's numerous efforts targeting families. Keystone has developed several programs and facilities this year that cater to young skiers and riders.
This season, Keystone has expanded its Kidtopia program to include daily animation and entertainment all winter long.
The program features 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.
"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, vice president of hospitality. "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."
On the lesson front, Camp Keystone offers a unique 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.
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," said Tucker Vest Burton, spokeswoman for the resort.
Also new this season, a Burton Riglet Park and board rentals will be offered in the resort's Mountain House area.
Designed for the youngest snowboarders, ages 3-6, Burton's revolutionary board and park design operate under the mantra of "if they can walk, they can ride" and introduces the basics of snowboarding in a fun and interactive environment.