The folks at the Vermont Ski Area's Association are getting ready for a big four day ski and snow board industry trade show in Boston Thursday.
Along with promotional materials, they are also bringing a fund raising plan for victims of Superstorm Sandy. "We are going to go down to the ski show. We have about 30 thousand skiers and riders that are excited for the season and we are going to use that platform to try to raise some money for these people that are in need," said the Association's Sarah Neith.
It's called Operation Mountains of Love. People at the ski show will be encouraged to give a $10 donation to the Red Cross. "You can do that via SMS text -- you are going to text 'redcross' -- no spaces -- to 909999," Neith said.
Prizes include lift ticket vouchers or one of five ski and stay vacation packages. Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe is donating a two-day, two night stay. Sam von Trapp said it is a way to give back after so much of the Northeast helped Vermont following Irene. "And this is a great opportunity to reach out to that area that was just so heavily impacted. The Vermont Ski Areas Association is very aware of how many folks we get as well, coming from up from the Connecticut and New York, New Jersey area, so it's great to be able to help out even if it is a small amount, he said.
In fact, according to the marketing director at the lodge, 60 percent of their business comes from the New England corridor. Von Trapp said some recent visitors have come up to wait out the power outages following Sandy. "So we have actually had quite a few guests over the course of the last week -- people coming up to us from New York, Connecticut, New Jersey -- people getting away from a lack of power, so it makes it a little bit closer to home when you talk to those people on a regular basis," he said.
You don't have to go the ski show in Boston to participate. There is also an on-line component to Operation Mountains of Love. "You can do that on line through redcross.org and you just send your confirmation email to firstname.lastname@example.org and you will also be entered to win one of the five ski and stay packages that we are offering," Neith said.
Sugarbush Resort is also going to be matching donations -- up to $25,000 And Mount Snow will open one lift on Friday, November 9, with all proceeds going toward Sandy recovery.
The Vermont ski industry is hoping to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to help people effected by the latest natural disaster to hit the Northeast.