Former Hidden Valley Resort Becomes Private Nonprofit Ski Facility to Help Youth Become Active in Winter Months
Vernon, NJ., – The National Winter Sports Education Foundation (NWSEF) announced today the grand opening of the National Winter Activity Center (NWAC) as the nation’s first private 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated winter sport facility for kids. The NWAC (otherwise known as “The Center”) exclusively serves youth 6 – 17 years old, from all economic backgrounds through partnerships with youth organizations. The Center’s mission is to improve the overall health and fitness of our nation’s youth by providing access to winter sport activities, skill development, healthy meals and mentoring.
Children will learn to ski and snowboard during the seven-session program in a 1-to-8 instructor ratio with PSIA and United States Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) trained “coaches”. The children are fully equipped with gear and each participant will be active either in morning or afternoon sessions between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm, during which they meet with their coaches to receive on-snow training, with a snack and meal. In addition, the day will include a healthy meal as part of the program’s core focus to improve the health and overall wellness of youth. In total, participating children will experience about 40 hours of outdoor activity during a time of year when they typically opt to stay indoors and become sedentary.
“National Winter Activity Center provides a one of a kind opportunity for youth who would typically not have the chance to experience winter activities such as skiing and snowboarding,” said Schone Malliet, Founder and CEO of the National Winter Sports Education Foundation (NWSEF). “Part of our goal is to help reverse the low retention rate in winter sports, while combatting childhood obesity and inspiring a lifelong habit of regular exercise during the winter months.”
The NWAC will hope to impact several thousands of lives and inspire a new generation of skiers this winter from children of all economic backgrounds. The organization has set benchmarks of introducing 4,200 children to snow sports over the next three years, retaining 50 percent as adaptors and encouraging 10 percent to eventually enter the world of competitive winter sports. Additionally, NWAC will also have competitions as part of the renovations including a complete development of the Competition Trail. U.S. Ski Team athletes will visit and ski with the kids, providing motivation and instruction.
Upon acquiring the Hidden Valley property, the NWAC invested more than $12 million toward overall improvements including new lifts, snow-making machinery, and renovations to the lodge. Inside the lodge, offices in the basement have been transformed into a brand new locker room, a bar was removed for additional dining space, and all bathrooms as well as the kitchen were completely renovated and brand new appliances were installed. On the exterior, the lodge has been freshly painted and old decking removed. An old race building on the property was demolished and a new building constructed to house competition, ski patrol and operations activities. Important partners of the National Winter Activity Center include Ted Ligety, U.S. Ski Team, Olympian and World Champion, USSA, the International Ski Federation (FIS), the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA), SnowSports Industries America (SIA), Powdr Corp, Royal Trailworks, and HKD Snowmakers among others. For more information about the National Winter Activity Center, please visit winter4kids.org.
About National Winter Activity Center
The National Winter Activity Center (NWAC) is a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit facility recently formed by the National Winter Sports Education Foundation, whose mission is to improve the lives, health, and fitness of youth through participation in winter activities. NWAC introduces children ages 6-17, from cities such as Newark, NJ, Yonkers and the Bronx and parts of Manhattan, to a sport they would not typically be exposed to or consider trying, while making it economically feasible to participate. The Center is located on the property of the old Hidden Valley ski area in Vernon, NJ and is the closest ski facility to NYC. It is the only facility of its kind in the country. Opening on January 2, 2016, the Center will host hundreds of children from local Boys & Girls Clubs, YMCAs and other youth organizations to offer training with PSIA and USSA certified coaches over 7 weeks of sessions.
About National Winter Sports Education Foundation
The National Winter Sports Education Foundation (NWSEF) was founded in 2011 with a mission of assisting organizations in playing an effective role in improving the lives, health, and fitness of children through participation in winter sports. Its ultimate goal is to help more than 100,000 youth gain access to winter activities including skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and more, each and every winter. Donations support the group and its partners who include PSIA, USSA, SIA, NSAA, FIS, NBS, Powdr Corp, and many other industry and non-industry groups. Since its inception four years ago, NWSEF has funded almost 10,000 kids for introductory cross-country programs through organizations such as the Girl Scouts, YouthFest events in New Hampshire via funding to YES (Youth Enrichment Services), and Nordic Rocks, a cross-country program in the Midwest. One of the bigger programs NWSEF sponsors is the YMCA’s Ted Ligety Learn to Ski program, also sponsored by Ligety and the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association and geared to kids who live in Utah but have never skied before. These sessions helped to inspire the creation of the NWAC program.