Sierra-at-Tahoe’s Straight A Pass Program partners with Vail Resorts to support education |

Sierra-at-Tahoe’s Straight A Pass Program partners with Vail Resorts to support education

Submitted to the Tribune

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – Sierra-at-Tahoe is announcing a new partnership with Vail Resorts to continue to honor academic achievement by offering South Shore school students the opportunity to ski or ride at Heavenly, Kirkwood, and Northstar with a Tahoe Local Pass through the EpicPromise program. Vail Resorts began EpicPromise with a mission to protect the environment, support their communities and employees, and inspire the next generation of skiers and snowboarders.

Since 1999, Sierra-at-Tahoe has rewarded local school children with a complimentary unlimited season pass to the resort if they complete an entire school year with straight As through their Straight A Pass Program. With reopening for the 2021/22 winter season still uncertain as the Sierra team restores the mountain from damages caused by the Caldor Fire, Sierra had to find new ways to continue supporting its local youth.

“The Straight A Pass program has motivated many of our local students to try harder, study longer and dream bigger. We are grateful to our friends at Vail Resorts for offering these students an opportunity to take a study break and ski some incredible terrain,” said Katie Hunter, Director of Sales and Marketing at Sierra in a press release.

With an average of 350 passes given out annually, the Straight A Pass Program has grown from a handful of elementary schools participating, to all middle and high schools, along with private and home- schooled students, in South Lake Tahoe and Stateline.

“Education is key to a community’s health and this program has been successful beyond our dreams. What started as a handful of students dedicating the necessary time to their studies to receive the pass has grown to hundreds every year and I have a stack of thank you cards and letters to prove it,” said John Rice, General Manager at Sierra. “With our delayed start to the season, we wanted to ensure those students that their commitment to excellence and their education does not take a hiatus.”

“As a company committed to increasing access to the sport through youth organization partnerships, we are so pleased to be supporting Sierra-at-Tahoe’s Straight A Pass Program this season,” said Tom Fortune, Vice President & General Manager at Heavenly. “We are proud to support the achievements of local students, rewarding them with an Experience of a Lifetime at our resorts across the Tahoe region. We stand with our friends at Sierra, and remain united as one mountain community as they work towards rebuildling following the damage from the Caldor Fire.”

Evaluations continue as Sierra works to repair and restore the mountain, with the goal of a limited reopening in the Spring of 2022. Hunter added, “These students have shown perseverance and tenacity over the past two years to not give up on their goals despite challenges, so it truly makes it an honor to reward them.”

When the resort can welcome students back, current recipients will receive the benefit of skiing for the remainder of the 2021/22 season and the 2022/23 ski season with their Straight A Pass at Sierra.


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