Smugglers' Notch Vermont - Press Releases
New on-snow learning playground at Smugglers' Notch Resort optimizes skill development for young skiers and snowboarders
Smugglers' Notch Resort in Vermont debuts a new learning area for young skiers and riders this winter. Smugglers', a longtime leader in family vacationing programming, has earned Ski Magazine readers' recognition as #1 Kid Friendly Resort in the Eastern U.S. and Canada the past two years.
Located in the heart of the resort village, the new two acre area offers a convenient location for families enrolling their children in the resort's Dynamos (ages 3 & 4) and Trailblazers (Ages 5 & 6) ski and snowboard full day programs. The area will feature sculpted snow features that guide young skiers and snowboarders into proper stance and movement while controlling their speed. Features include a 100-foot mini pipe, rollers, banked turns and learning tools such as a snowball wall, Smugglers' mascot figures, hoops, and obstacle courses that accelerate skill development. After building confidence in this location, children will hop on the resort's Vermont-themed wagon ride to access Sir Henry's Learning Hill, a gentle slope served by conveyor lifts, for the next stage of their skill development.
The new learning area will incorporate Smugglers' Burton Riglet Park, formerly sited on Sir Henry's Hill. Smugglers' was an early proponent of snowboarding instruction for young children, launching a successful specially designed camp for 4 and 5 year olds in 2002. In 2010, Smugglers' was one of the first resorts to partner with Vermont's Burton Snowboards to develop a resort-based Burton Riglet Park, an on-snow play area with fun terrain features for novice snowboarders as young as 3 years old.
At Smugglers', the Riglet Park's focal point is the "treehouse," an elevated platform with ramps that children can ride down, a balance area inside the treehouse and a lift chair that swings to help kids practice getting on and off the lift. The park is named for Burton's Riglet reel, a retractable strap attached to the child-sized snowboard that enables an instructor to guide the child over features with ease, building muscle memory and confidence.
The formula for success at the new learning area is all about fun, emphasizes Snow Sport University director Harley Johnson. "Our experience has proven that children learn through play, and we are excited to expand on how we teach kids to ski and snowboard by adding more play features to our learning environment. The kids will be having so much fun that they will want to come back to our new learning area again and again. Having that great first experience is key to encouraging their continued interest in snowsports and their development as confident skiers and riders."