With Adaptive Skiing, Disabled People No Longer Left Out In The Cold
March means spring break is just around the corner, and for New Mexico it means mild temperatures and fresh snow — perfect conditions for visiting area ski resorts.
A growing number of resorts are now offering programs that cater to vacationers with disabilities, and resort owners say it has proved to be a boost for business.
At a Taos Ski Valley chairlift, Barbara and Philip Logan prepare their son, Tilghman, for his first day of ski lessons.
The Logans traveled from New York City to Taos, N.M., for a winter vacation, and Tilghman can't wait to begin his ski lesson.
Tilghman has a severe form of cerebral palsy that limits much of his physical movement and some of his eyesight. But that's not stopping him and his father from experiencing the snow. With some careful planning and specialized equipment, the duo hopes to be tearing up the slopes together in no time.
A recent market study shows that the disabled community now spends more than $13 billion each year on travel. As the general population continues to age, Lipp says, that number is only expected to grow. "The likelihood of having a disability the older that you get increases greatly, and it doesn't stop people from going out and wanting to go on vacation," he says. When it comes to adventure tourism, this demographic should be considered a viable and competitive market, he adds. Back at Taos Ski Valley, Philip and Tilghman head over to the lodge to discuss their first day on the slopes.
"I think after today it's just a question of maybe getting the right equipment, running it and getting nice conditions. And if Tilghman's up for it, you want to do some skiing next year?" Philip asks his son.
Tilghman responds with a "yeah."
And with a trip to the resort, some training and appropriate ski equipment, two new ski enthusiasts have been made.
Copyright 2020 KUNM. To see more, visit KUNM.