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As of 7 a.m. this morning, there were 4 inches of new snow at Las Vegas Ski & Snowboard Resort, raising the base to 22 inches. All three lifts are open and nearly half of the 30 runs. A quick check of the live webcam reveals a small crowd of lucky school- and work-ditchers shredding the fresh powder under a low-hanging cloud that promises to replenish the slopes for tomorrow. 

In other words, it’s a good time to head up to Lee Canyon in Mount Charleston — especially for newbs. The snow sports industry has dubbed January “Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month” (undoubtedly due to the likelihood of good conditions), and in honor of the occasion, LVSSR is offering first-timers age 13-plus the Get Started Package with equipment rental, four coaching sessions and four days of lift tickets for $199.  Those who complete all four sessions can also get an unrestricted 2014-15 season pass, normally worth $299 for teens and $599 for adults. 

If you’re the type who craves individual attention but fears commitment, there’s another option: complimentary coaching. Described by the resort as a sample of its ski school lessons, it works like the free chocolates that Godiva workers hand to passers-by at the mall, hoping to lure them in for a bulk purchase. Beginning and intermediate skiers and snowboarders struggling on the slopes can flag down a coach and get on-the-spot tips without having to schedule a lesson. The idea, conceived by ski school director Chris Lange, is to show how great the instructors are at their job, thus enticing students to enroll in group classes. And, Lange says, the program is working like a charm, having quadrupled ski school sales since it began in 2013.

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One more thing to enjoy in what’s left of January: the Lil’ Air Comp this Saturday, the 31st, at 1:30. This competition for kids age 14 and under shows off the skills obtained in the resort’s Mountaineers and Freeride programs for skiers and snowboarders ages 3-6 and 7-plus, respectively. Spectators are encouraged, and what could be more adorable than a bunch of preschoolers going all Shaun White on the booter? That I’d pay to see.

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