Epic SchoolKids program returns with 16 free days of skiing | SummitDaily.com

Epic SchoolKids program returns with 16 free days of skiing

Breck Guides instructor Patrick Guilbert (left) and Breckenridge communications specialist Ashley Smith (right) plow through the powder on Psycopath, a black run off of 6 Chair at Peak 8, after a March 24 snowstorm. Vail Resorts is bringing back the Epic SchoolKids program, which gives free lift tickets to elementary school students in Colorado.

Here's something you won't find on the average back-to-school shopping list: free lift tickets.

Vail Resorts is bringing back the Epic SchoolKids Colorado Pack, providing 16 free days of skiing and snowboarding at Colorado properties. The pass gets kids from kindergarten through fifth grade four free days each at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone, as well as one free first-timer ski or snowboard lesson with free equipment rental in December and January.

Vail Resorts first offered the program last season to attract a new generation to the slopes. Registration for this season is open today through Oct. 9. Registration is available in-person only at Colorado Ski and Golf, Colorado Ski and Sport as well as Boulder Ski Deals locations throughout the Front Range. To register, you must bring all eligible children and their proof of residency (report card, transcript, school ID or birth certificate). You'll also have to take a road trip: There are no local registration sites.

Families can also save money on ski and snowboard gear with the Junior Trade-In Program at Colorado Ski and Golf and Boulder Ski Deals locations. Families can purchase new or used equipment for kids, and then turn the gear in when the kids outgrow it to receive 50-percent off the purchase price towards the following year's equipment.

"Epic SchoolKids is Vail Resorts' way of giving back to the community and introducing kids across our state to the sport with free skiing and riding at our resorts," said Kirsten Lynch, chief marketing officer of Vail Resorts. "Absolutely no purchases are necessary to take advantage of Epic SchoolKids, but registration will only be available for a limited time."