Originally Posted by veteran
I'm puzzled by the animosity towards an idea that might help management realize instructors are very valuable contributors to the total experience and the bottom line. As for needing an mba, I didn't see anything in the curriculum vitae for two new VPs, snaffled from Vail Resorts' ski school and marketing divisions, who were instructors. Maybe there are pathways to living the dream on a decent pay packet.
Wow....good luck with all of this. I'm going to take a wild guess and say you are not employed by a ski area full time.
Ski area management absolutely realizes instructors are highly valuable contributors to the areas bottom line. They also realize it's a "dream position" for many and with a few free beers, free skiing, a locker room and a snazzy uniform they can hire many who are taking a break from real life for awhile and make a ton of money (the area that is, not the instructor.) In tough economic times like now in the states Ski School management actively TRIES to lop off the top half of the staff to increase profits. I've seen it happen and been a victim of it. And...........don't forget it's usually in the SSD's best interest to do so because almost always he/she gets a percentage of what the school does. Most always Ski School it the areas bigest money maker.
The best thing you can do Veteran is take some time off from life and head to an area and try yourself to make it to what ever level of ski area management you can attain. Then you could speak from real (ski area) world experience. The reality is that a scant few, maybe 2% make it to a position that's enviable by those that work at the area and they are soon shown the door when the area changes hands.
The one good thing in your program is this "real world" experience will show on your student's resume. I worked for an area manager once who was very proud of being a liftie, instructor bartender, car parker etc etc before becoming the top of the pile at a large eastern resort and now top of the pile at a large western resort after the main portion of the conglomerate failed where he originally was. Anybody here really believe he started as a liftie and became area manager ? I don't.
As far as an answer to your comments about Vail Resorts, these ares some of the best bean counters in the business. Here's a news flash for some. My wife actually applied for a job that she was well qualified for in the fall at Vail resorts. The benefits were marginal and the pay was about 1/5th of what she used to make at a VERY well known company you see referred to on the evening news frequently. It didn't fly.
Now I can give you an few easy answers to your comments/questions about Vail resorts above in post # 13.
A.) It's carefully worded (adjusted a whole season for Northstar?)
B) it was a big snow season here ....case in point. I put double the days on my pass as last season. I'll bet I only spent maybe 5% more this season than last, plus the difference in the cost of my pass. Vail didn't do too well on me this year vs last but a great marketing campaign noting my skier visit count.
C) any idea how many ski shops Vail own and more importantly where they are ? Do some research on that and you will be blown away. It's very possible some of those rental skis were at areas other than Vail Resorts, though the numbers would indicate the resort did great. Keep in mind Americans are more likely to buy gear in bad economic times due to the discounts. Yep, we were up !
D) there is a good possibility the Vail Instructors made more than last year. It was a big season, but along with that what about the visa (not the credit card) situation? With high living expenses and less workers available the on the line instructor perhaps did make more. Hope it was enough to get through the fringe seasons this year.
Feel free to use this lesson plan Veteran.