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"Locals Only" Discount Ski Tickets Fund Avalanche Center | UNITED STATES, UTAH | 04/09/2009, by Goooompz
Many of us check avalanche advisory sites before heading out to the backcountry, but we often take the work of those who made it possible for granted. Avalanche centers located around our mountain ranges employ numerous avalanche experts and maintain costly equipment to keep us out of harm's way. These centers also host avalanche awareness courses and run programs to educate the public. But now, these benefits are beginning to outweigh the support avalanche centers are receiving from the community.
The Utah Avalanche Center is a non-profit organization, thus has no way of funding its avalanche programs and advisories without the help of sponsors and donations. They do a tremendous job of providing accurate avalanche forecasts with relevant, detailed information. In times as rough as these, however, budget shortfall became a tangible barrier the UAC was sure to face. Yet refusing to sacrifice essential avalanche awareness programs, the UAC turned to Ski Utah, Backcountry.com, and the various Utah ski resorts for help. Each resort donated the tickets, while backcountry.com provided the logistics and staffing. The end result of this coalition has been extremely successful and innovative.
The solution: locals only one-day ski passes were sold with 100% of the proceeds transferred straight to the bank account of the Utah Avalanche Center. These tickets could be purchased on backcountry.com for any of the Ski Utah resorts, and ranged in price from $20-$73(half-day and full-day passes). Now at the end of its first year of implementation, "the lift ticket initiative has exceeded all of the organizers expectations generating approximately $38,000 in revenues.
These funds will enable the UAC to continue its avalanche forecasting through the end of April, educational programs, local outreach and the Salt Lake based 'Are You Beeping' interpretive sign program." The program is expected to continue running as it seems to be a more substantial way for skiers to donate to the UAC while gaining a free day of skiing in return. Purchasing these tickets is a great way to get fresh tracks when backcountry danger is high, while helping to support all the outstanding resources the Utah Avalanche Center provides.
Remember to never quit on something you care about; the backcountry community has shown its vehement passion for the sport and refused to let the UAC fade away. With support and fresh ideas at your disposal, anything is possible and no challenge is unconquerable.