In December 2010, Alta Ski Area introduced free skiing after 3 p.m on its beginner/novice slopes as an incentive to get newcomers to the sport on the hill without having to buy a full-day ticket.

The popularity of the ski-free program – perhaps for those not so new to the sport -- has forced resort management to makesome changes. Beginning Feb. 15, the program will be renamed Ski After 3, and there will be a charge of $5-10 for reloading tickets and $25 for season passes at the skiing-only resort.

The program will run through the end of the year on the Sunnyside lift, a detachable chair that eliminates much of the beginner's fear and uncertainty that comes with getting on a lift at full speed. The lift serves a host of gentle, green-rated runs, including Home Run, Crooked Mile, and Patsey Marley.

Beginners and their companions can still ski free all day on Alta's three rope tows that serve the base area between the Collins lift and Albion Basin. Rentals for the after-three skiers can be purchased at a reduced rate from Alta Ski Shop -- $19.50 for adults, and $13.50 for kids -- and the half-day rate Alta Sports, both available after 12:30 p.m.

Instructors at Alta's famous Alf Engen Ski School stand ready to steepen the learning curve once beginners get their legs under them during ski-free time.

For information, click here