NewsYellowstone Ski Festival Clarifies Policy

Avatar West YellowstoneSeptember 29, 2014

Hundreds of skiers took to the Rendezvous Ski Trails on Tuesday in West Yellowstone, Mont.

YELLOWSTONE SKI FESTIVAL

November 25-29, 2014

It has come to our attention that there are many rumors circulating about a “coaching fee” that will be required for the 2014 and future Yellowstone Ski Festivals.

First and foremost, there is THERE IS NO CHANGE FOR THE JUNIOR AND SENIOR TRAINING TEAMS.  Organizations and individuals are required to have a special use authorization if they are providing a commercial service on National Forest Lands. Essentially any service for a fee requires a special use permit through an outfitter/guide type authorization or a recreation/special event permit. In the case of Yellowstone Ski Festival/Fall Camp, there is and has been an existing recreation event special use permit with the West Yellowstone Chamber of Commerce dba Yellowstone Ski Festival. YSF has an operating plan, indemnification insurance for the US Government, and a safety plan in place that is approved by the US Forest Service, and pays all fees associated with the festival to the US Government. This is a long standing permit and one that has worked well for years.

Through this Special Use Permit, the Rendezvous Ski Trails are treated as a private ski area for the month of November.

Our permit with the Forest Service doesn’t allow non-licensed concessionaires to offer paid services on the trails. YSF offers its own Masters clinics and is the only licensed concessionaire; therefore unauthorized groups offering paid clinics and/or training are in violation of the permit with the Forest Service. Traditionally, YSF has allowed Junior and Senior teams to train on the trails because their coaching does not conflict with the purpose of the festival.  THERE IS NO CHANGE FOR THE JUNIOR AND SENIOR TRAINING TEAMS.

There is an infrastructure already in place for group Master level clinics.  YSF Fall Camp directors are open to the concept of including other Masters ski clubs who have plans to visit during November and provide instruction to ski club members. Having groups under the YSF umbrella is best for all involved, keeps clubs legal, and facilitates the best experience for skiers as well. If any Club is interested in providing an organized Masters group instruction during the month of November, please contact the YSF Clinic Director Drew Barney at 406-640-1367.

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