Colorado is one of the states in the US known for its outdoor lifestyle and mountain adventures. I-70 Things is a community based around the motto that I-70 is the ‘Gateway to your next mountain adventure.’
Since we’re wrapping up the winter sports season we wanted to share a recap of a program we helped put together this past season called Slide Thru Saturdays.
Let’s dive in!
Winter sports like skiing and snowboarding have traditionally been associated with affluent white communities. However, over the last few years, there has been a growing recognition on the need to make these sports more accessible and inclusive for everyone. In line with this goal, I-70 Things has partnered with Ski Noir 5280, The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT)/ Ride Bustang and Red Bull to provide minority first time skier and snowboarders with an unforgettable time with people that look like them.
The partnership aims to promote diversity and inclusivity in winter sports by providing resources and opportunities for people from different backgrounds to experience skiing and snowboarding. If you ski or snowboard you’ve felt the thrill of bombing down a groomer, carving down moguls and flying through trees. The excitement, fun, and freedom these sports bring are what we hope to achieve in the years to come.
Let’s dig into the partners involved!
Ski Noir 5280 (@Skinoir5280) is a Black-founded and operated ski and snowboard club by Quincy Shannon (@QtheQue) that provides minority Coloradans with an opportunity to ski and snowboard with people that look like them. CDOT (@Coloraodot and @Ridebustang) have been a staple to this program by providing support via transportation to and from the mountains, making it easier for people to access the slopes in the Rocky Mountains via their Bustang services. Red Bull (@redbullusa) has supported our programing by using their contacts at resorts to help these on mountain events come to life as well as hosting après events. Here at I-70 Things, we have supported the program by bringing our expertise in winter sports to help with operations, logistics and marketing.
According to I-70 Things Founder, Alejandro, (@holajandro) “Skiing and snowboarding should be for everyone, but we still have many barriers to entry. By partnering with Ski Noir 5280, Ride Bustang, and Red Bull we hope to create a more inclusive and diverse community in the Rocky Mountain region and provide individuals with the opportunity to experience the thrill of outdoor winter sports.”
We are very thankful for these partnership because it takes a village. From the host mountain's support, to our community, to help with gear and transportation, all this success would not have been possible with out them. These partnerships are a step towards creating a more inclusive outdoor community where people from all backgrounds can participate in winter sports.
Slide Thru Saturdays Educational Series
The STS educational series, which included an introduction to ski and snowboard equipment at Burton (@burtonsnowboards) as well as Meier Skis (@meierskis) helped STS participants learn about the gear before sliding on snow. "Our goal isn't to simply put people on skis, but teach them about the equipment first so they are set up for success before hitting the snow." - Alejandro
Having an industry leading snowboard partner like Burton has allowed us to do this here locally in Denver. But of course, everyone doesn't ride so having a local ski company and manufacturer like Meier Skis allowed us to do the same for skiing. We love this program because it allows people to grasp the different pieces of equipment and get them stoked to get on the hill.
It is important to acknowledge that there are still many barriers to entry for minorities in winter sports, from lack of representation to transportation and affordability. However, initiatives like these partnership are a positive step in the right direction. As Ski Noir 5280 Founder Q said, “This program is not a moment, it's a movement.”
During the 2022 - 2023 winter season Slide Thru Saturdays has brought more than 500 people to the mountains! And we hope to get even more people involved this coming year. STS visited Loveland, Eldora, Winter Park and Copper.
As the winter sports industry continues to grow and evolve, we believe brands and athletes will see programs like Slide Thru Saturdays as essential to support diversity and inclusivity. By doing so, we can ensure that everyone has the opportunity to experience the beauty, and nature of skiing and snowboarding.
Do you want to get involved or are a part of company that wants to support our Slide Thru Saturdays initiative? Let us know and we’d be happy to chat.
Check out this article Slide Thru Saturdays, Ski Noir 5280, and I-70 Things were mentioned in early this month!
Want to follow Slide Thru Saturdays and it’s partners! Check out the links below.
Slide Thru Saturdays-
Ski Noir 5280-