Prospective students just got more incentive to attend Fort Lewis College in 2019--free skiing at Purgatory Resort.
First-time, first-year FLC students, including freshmen and transfer students, will be given access to unlimited skiing at Purgatory Resort and Hesperus Ski Area.
The partnership between Purgatory and FLC is the brainchild of James Coleman, CEO of Mountain Capital Partners, the parent company of Purgatory Resort, Stacey Glaser, Spokeswoman for Mountain Capital Partners, said.
“He really wants to help Fort Lewis,” Glaser said. “He wants to be a part of Fort Lewis and their success.”
Coleman approached the college last year, and details of the arrangement were finalized in December, Lauren Savage, FLC spokeswoman said.
Purgatory is providing the passes with no charge to FLC, Glaser said.
For FLC, the deal could incentivise students to attend the college. In recent years, the college has struggled with both admission and student retention. Enrollment as of Fall 2018 was 3,317 students.
The deal could also expose more people to the sports of skiing and snowboarding. Purgatory hopes they can introduce students to the culture of mountain sports and the community of Durango so they choose to live here post graduation, Glaser said.
This is the first time Mountain Capital Partners, which owns multiple ski areas throughout the Southwest, has offered free ski passes to college students.
Byrd said he has not heard of other ski resorts offering deals as generous as a free season pass. FLC offers classes in ski area management through the School of Business Administration.
Many ski resorts have partnerships with colleges and universities, Dave Byrd of the National Ski Areas Association said. These often come in the form of academic programs such as ski area management and hospitality degrees.
The ski pass deal fits in with FLC’s culture of taking advantage of its location for recreational activities. Over the summer, FLC announced it would be purchasing a rafting company with commercial rights to raft down multiple rivers in the area.
Details on the rafting company are still being ironed out, Mark Jastorff, vice president for advancement with the Fort Lewis College Foundation, said.