January 6, 2023

Cold is Cool Passport App allows 4th and 5th graders to ski free all winter!

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

December 2022 – 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, which totals over 90 lift tickets/trail passes per child. The cost for access to the app is $30, which includes a $5 donation to MIsnow, a new nonprofit dedicated to introducing Michigan children to the slopes and trails, promoting diversity and inclusion and providing education on sustainability practices.  All Cold is Cool 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 Resort, 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.”

Application instructions for the Passport are available on MSIA’s website, goskimichigan.com, and at coldiscool.org.  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,” says Mickey MacWilliams, MSIA executive director.

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 2022/23 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; Marquette Mountain, Marquette; Mont Ripley, Hancock; Pine Mountain, Iron Mountain; Porcupine Mountain, Ontonagon; Snowriver Mountain Resort, Bessemer/Wakefield.  Northwestern Lower Peninsula:  Boyne Mountain, Boyne Falls; Caberfae Peaks, Cadillac; Crystal Mountain, Thompsonville; Hickory Hills, Traverse City; Mt. Holiday, Traverse City; Nubs Nob, Harbor Springs; Shanty Creek Resort, Bellaire; The Highlands at Harbor Springs, Harbor Springs; The Homestead, Glen Arbor.  North Central Lower Peninsula: Cross Country Ski Headquarters, Roscommon; Forbush Corner Nordic, Frederic; 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 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, and snowshoeing in Michigan and to introduce new individuals to the sport.