The amount of college students taking ski and snowboarding trips has jumped 40 percent in the last ten years, according to Steve Smolinski, the founder of Lifestylez.
Lifestylez describes itself as a company that “represents youth, music, culture and physical stimulation” and hosts ski and snowboard travel trips with an action sports twist. Smolinski has been running trips for 22 years to locations all over the world—from Colorado and Montana to Canada and even Switzerland.
This is a pivotal time for the action sports industry as kids are bucking more traditional winter break trips in favor of excursions to destinations where they can test their physical limits in the snow, skiing and snowboarding in less traditional locations like Telluride, Taos, Crested Butte and Copper mountain. They’re opting to explore mountains more known for their unique feel versus going to more popular destinations such as Breckenridge, demonstrating that the student sense of exploration and adventure is growing more and more prevalent. The number of students taking these trips has increased significantly, and this year Smolinski expects it to be bigger than ever before.
The movement—which is continuing to grow—can partially be attributed to the increase in awareness that has gradually been brought to action sports through media outlets and sponsorships. Snowboarding is no longer an elite, exclusive sport; students have seen in on TV, on the Internet, and determined that this is what they want to do. Meanwhile brands like Kellogg, Pepsi and more are spending advertising money on action sports and athletes, meaning more exposure and an ever-increasing interest.
If 2012 weather patterns continue, it should be an even greater year than usual. El Nino makes for huge winters in ski towns, which leads to excitement for core skiers—an energy that trickles down and leads to more traveling college students heading to these snow cities. When it comes to action sports travel, one can be certain that interest is going to continue to grow and the number of college students heading for an adrenaline rush in a cold climate is going to increase.
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