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At what resorts is Independent Instruction allowed in the USA?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I run a UK based ski club that takes members to various resorts in Europe and this year Japan and we would like to arrange a trip to the States at some point.  www.insideoutskiclub.org


Are there resorts that welcome groups who bring their own instructors? we would only stay for a week and would most likely have two or three instructors and around 20 club members. My understanding is that most resorts integrate the lift company and sk schools and dont allow independents. we would not be race training just coaching recreational level skiers.


Our coaches are trained and have ISIA stamps (i think roughly equivalent to PSIA III) and IVSI licenses 


any help would be warmly welcomed.

post #2 of 10

I believe most US resorts would love to have your group's business!  As far as bringing your own coaches/guides, you may need to provide proof of insurance to cover any liability.  We have UK groups come to Tahoe and ski a variety of resorts every year!  We love the business and your funny accents!



post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thats good to know, thanks Bud, we have public liability cover and the instructors all carry professional liability cover as well.. i may have to check validity in the land of lawsuits though wink.gif

post #4 of 10

Hey, good morning skimottaret.  If you had thoughts of coming to Vail Resorts (Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone), think again.  A few of the coaches here put together a free race camp this season for EpicSki members, and conducted it at Breck.  We contacted them out of courtesy, to tell them we were doing it, and even though we (the coaches) were receiving no financial compensation, they still frowned upon it and required us to hire a couple of their coaches each day of the camp.  That they also operate on public forest land adds extra complications too.  


Arapahoe basin is more open to entertaining outside groups who have their own teachers, but yes, you do have to show proof of insurance, and I don't care for the teaching terrain there for intermediate type students.  


I've also contacted Copper Mountain about this subject, and they seemed more open to the idea.  They're also in Summit County, but not owned by Vail Resorts.

post #5 of 10



Your best bet is to coordinate with group sales at the resort you'd like to go to. They will most likely tell you "no problem", but get it in writing. If your instructors are being compensated (including expenses) and the resort is on USFS land, then technically this arrangement is not legal unless the USFS get's it percentage of the lesson revenue. However, if you have permission in writing from the resort, then it is their problem. If they tell you "problem", then choose a different resort. Other than the USFS issue (most Western resorts are on USFS property, most Eastern resorts are not), this is strictly a policy issue for the resort and it's usually ignored for groups.


My resort has an unofficial rule barring 3rd party instruction. However, we routinely book groups from a local ski club that brings their own instructors. We'd love to have you come visit us, but frankly if you're coming all the way from the UK we'd understand if you chose a slightly larger mountain.

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys, good info re the US forest thing and the vail group.. To be honest we would probably want to check out a couple of the more better known resorts during a trip so this will need careful thinking... 


I have heard Telluride may be a good option any thoughts?

post #7 of 10

Telluride is a fantastic skiing experience. I don't know about their private coaching practices. They are on USFS land.

post #8 of 10

Big Sky, Snowbird, and Aspen are three world-class resorts that welcome indie camps that go through the proper channels. Start with the group sales department.

post #9 of 10

I think you will find that almost all ski resorts in the US allow groups to bring their own instructors to conduct various kinds of programs, as long as you approach them in the correct way.  The correct way is through the group sales office, not through the ski school.



post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

thanks guys all good info smile.gif

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