It’s All Downhill at CMSG
By Kim Dunbar
The winter months can be cold, but don’t let them get lonely. Make the most of this snowy season by embracing the winter wonderland and the sports that come along with it. While the physical and social benefits of sports like skating, skiing, or snowboarding are ultimately rewarding, they can also burn a hole in the pocket of your snow pants unless you are able to land a deal.
For skiers and snowboarders, beginner or expert, the Central Mass Ski and Snowboard Group (CMSG) offers all of the joys of winter sports for its members at a discounted rate. CMSG brings snow lovers of all ages and skills together for informal group weekend and day trips across New England throughout the winter.
“In a down economy people are looking for a deal,” said Fitchburg resident Bruce Teittinen, who is the CMSG co-founder and and trip coordinator. Teittinen and Charlie Phaneuf founded CMSG in 1986 after putting together a few ski trips the Worcester-based Norton Company ski club.
Teittinen said that the group has seen an increase in participation over the last couple of years, something he attributes to the downturn in the economy and the club’s prices. “Our pricing is very reasonable,” he said. It costs just $20 per household (a bargain for families or roommates sharing the same address) for a membership which entitles members to group deals, discount tickets, and access to the ski appreciation day discounts. “With the membership fee and one discount ticket, you are already ahead of the game,” Teittinen said.
While CMSG is a group centered on a physical activity, it is also a social vehicle. CMSG membership also includes the option to attend the organization’s monthly meetings at the Leominster Elks. The meetings take place the first Wednesday of every month (October through April) and usually draw around 200 of the club’s 1,500 members. “It’s a good way to get to know each other and meet a ton of people,” said Teittinen, adding that the meetings include a social hour, presentations from local vendors, and raffles.
Teittinen describes the membership pool as an eclectic mix of singles, couples, and ages; the average age is about 36, with a significant number of members in their mid-20s. While the members are concentrated in the Central MA area, because of the internet, CMSG now has members across New England, including Vermont, Maine and even a few from New York.
“Skiing is a lot like life ~ it has a little bit of everything, social and physical,” said Teirrinen, adding that the social aspect is optional. “This club is what you want to make of it. We would be glad to have you along.”
The Sunday ski day trips kick off this month, snow permitting (but New England weather always seems to oblige), and run through the second Sunday of April. There are about 10 to 12 weekend trips beginning in December as well. For more information or to join CMSG, visit www.skicmsg.com.