Baker County in Oregon chopped their school week down to four days this year. Fridays off from school means that kids will get an extra day to ski at nearby Anthony Lakes, and the small ski area with two lifts, a learning hill carpet, a Nordic center and cat-skiing is making a big push to get kids to the resort.
Anthony Lakes will be launching a Friday program this winter for kids called Ski For The Health Of It. The eight-week program in January and February will get kids to the ski slopes, outfit them with rental gear and provide them with lessons and lift tickets.
"We're working with the school district to provide busses and working to get grants to help pay for fuel," General Manager Peter Johnson said. "Everyone's behind it."
Details on how the program will operate are still being hammered out, but Johnson is aiming to keep the price low. Right now, it's looking like the resort will charge $30 per child for transportation, lessons, rentals and lift tickets on Fridays. But another possible grant could drop that price down to $10 for Baker County kids.
Johnson came on board in early summer as the new general manager, after the ski area was gifted to Baker County last year. It now operates as a nonprofit, which seems to be a solution benefitting the community.
"The support from the community was phenomenal," Johnson said. "People who don't even ski bought passes."
Johnson is also bringing about changes in other programs at the resort.
"We have a beautiful little Nordic area, and we're going to add more loops and a few more kilometers," Johnson said. He also hired a new Nordic director from the local Baker City area with the intent of expanding programs.
One thing, however, is not changing this winter. "We're not changing prices," Johnson said. "We're still as cheap as you'll find anywhere."
An adult season pass costs $380, and an adult all-day ticket costs $35. The season pass sale deadline is Oct. 31.
You can experience runs at Anthony Lakes by watching this video: