December 1, 2021

4th and 5th Graders ski all season with Cold is Cool App!

Fourth and Fifth Graders Ski all winter with the Cold is Cool Passport App.

November 2021 – Clarkston, MI – Ski areas and resorts across Michigan have teamed up to provide skiing to 4th and 5th grade students with the “Cold is Cool” Ski & Ride Passport App. All fourth- and fifth-grade kids with a passport can ski for free, up to three times, at each of the 29 participating ski areas. The cost for access to the app is $25, which covers operational expenses.  All lift tickets are donated by the ski areas.

Steve Kershner, chairman of the Michigan Snowsports Industries Association (MSIA) and director of snow sports at Shanty Creek Resorts, says that when a child is in the fourth or fifth grade, they are at the perfect age to learn to ski or snowboard. “They have the coordination and enthusiasm to pick up the sport quickly.”

MSIA has provided the Cold is Cool program for fourth and fifth graders for many years.  It started as a coupon booklet but last winter the association decided to turn it into an app.  “No more pulling tiny coupons out of a little booklet,” says Mickey MacWilliams, MSIA president.  “The new app makes the whole transaction contactless.”

Application instructions for the Passport are available on MSIA’s website,, and at  Parents/guardians upload a photo of the child (to use as their identification at the lift ticket window) and proof of grade, such as a report card or progress report.  MSIA then must make sure all documentation is correct before approving the application, which may take a few days.  However, parents can get immediate access to the app by visiting one of the participating Michigan ski retailers and bringing along proof of grade. “This is a great benefit if the family is heading to the slopes within a day or so of applying,” MacWilliams added.

For fourth and fifth graders to use the free lift or trail passes, a paying adult must accompany them. “We feel that fourth and fifth graders should be supervised by an adult while on the slopes and trails. Our intention is to make this a fun, affordable and safe activity for the entire family,” says Kerchner. Up to two kids with Passport access can ski free with each paying adult.  The Passport is valid through the end of the 2021/22 ski season.

In addition to the lift tickets donated by the participating ski areas, the Cold is Cool Passport App also includes coupons for 20% off a helmet purchase and $20 off the purchase of $100 at participating ski shops.  Some ski areas have also included coupons for equipment rental and discounted lessons.

Participating ski areas: Upper Peninsula: Big Powderhorn, Bessemer; Big Snow Resort (Blackjack and Indianhead), Bessemer/Wakefield; Marquette Mountain, Marquette; Mont Ripley, Hancock; Pine Mountain, Iron Mountain; Porcupine Mountain, Ontonagon.  Northwestern Lower Peninsula:  Boyne Highlands, Harbor Springs; Boyne Mountain, Boyne Falls; Caberfae Peaks, Cadillac; Cross Country Ski Headquarters, Roscommon; Crystal Mountain, Thompsonville; Hickory Hills, Traverse City; Bay Mountain at The Homestead, Glen Arbor; Mt. Holiday, Traverse City; Nubs Nob, Harbor Springs; Shanty Creek Resorts, Bellaire.  North Central Lower Peninsula: Hanson Hills, Grayling; Otsego Club & Resort, Gaylord; Snow Snake Ski & Golf, Harrison; Treetops Resort, Gaylord.  West Central Lower Peninsula: Cannonsburg Ski Area, Belmont; Muskegon Winter Sports Complex, North Muskegon.  Southwestern Lower Peninsula: Bittersweet Ski Area, Otsego; Swiss Valley Ski Area, Jones; Timber Ridge Ski Area, Gobles. Southeastern Lower Peninsula:  Alpine Valley Ski Area, White Lake; Mt. Brighton, Brighton; Mt. Holly, Holly.

The “Cold is Cool” Fourth & Fifth Grade Ski & Ride Passport s App is one of the elements of MSIA’s “Cold is Cool” program, which is dedicated to improving the health of the children in Michigan by offering winter outdoor activities for all kids and their families.



Michigan Snowsports Industries Association (MSIA) was formed in 1991 as the trade association for the ski and snowboard industry in our state. Our main purpose is to increase awareness of snowsports such as skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing, snowshoeing in Michigan and to introduce new individuals to the sport.