Sky Tavern Junior Ski Program Kicks of 64th Season

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The 2012 Sky Tavern junior ski program is up and running - just up the hill from where it normally is.

"We just started this weekend because of lack of snow and luckily our friends at Mt. Rose have really taken care of us," Sky Tavern board of directors member Christopher Cuff said. "We started with the event yesterday and had about 1,200 kids show up, we're busy today and it's really gone very smooth thanks to their help."

"Conditions here at Mt. Rose have been great," said Kayla Anderson of Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe. "We have the majority of the mountain open and we saw a huge turnout yesterday, it's been nice to help Sky Tavern out and host these kids."

Many of them had never been on a ski slope before.

"I'm learning to snowboard today, it's really fun," Daniel Walsh of Reno said. "The instructors are really nice and they always help you."

It was Alyssa Daniels' first day as well.

"We've been practicing going down the hill, turning, going on and off the lift, I think it's pretty fun," Daniels said.

"It's a good day, good weather, we're just having fun," Kylie Daniels of Santa Rosa said. "I really like the program and the instructors are pretty awesome."

It's the volunteers that make this program such a success.

"We've been running for 64 years and we're the largest volunteer ski and snowboard program in the world," Cuff said. "It's all member-based, all of these parents don't get paid to do this, it's all volunteer."

In September, the Ski Program signed a lease with the city of Reno to run the area year round.

"We'll we doing probably a bike park, concerts this summer, we'll be part of Artown again, that was very successful last year," Cuff said. "We're also going to do some kids programs this summer to get kids off of the valley floor and out of the malls, just all around work with the children."