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Ski Instructing in Vermont this Winter....

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

Hey guys,

Hope everyone has had a good summer and is ready for some snow.  I know I am.  But basically I'm looking to instruct in Vermont this winter, particularly near Burlington, and was wondering where I should be looking (there's five or six resorts within an 1.5 hours).  A little about me, I instructed for 2 years at a hill in Ohio called Boston Mills, I am currently a freshman at University of Vermont, and I just got my Level 2 PSIA Certification this past winter.  Due to transportation, it looks like Stowe, Sugarbush, Smuggs, Jay, Bolton, Burke, and MRG are gonna be my best bets (I think I am just going to take the ski club busses).  So, with that being said, does anyone have any experience with the ski schools at any of these areas, or even better, does anyone currently work at any of these areas?  So far I have been in contact with Stowe and Sugarbush, and am very impressed with both right now.  

 

Thanks for reading,

Tyler 

post #2 of 22

My opinion - in decreasing order of worth....

Stowe has the best training staff. Smuggs has the best childrens programs. Jay has the best snow. MRG has the best single chair (and Terry Barbour). The Bush is a classic VT experience, updated. Burke has the best racing program. Bolton is a so so musician.

 

If I were you, I'd choose Stowe. If you do, ask Dave Merriam who the funniest named ski instructor is.

 

Congrats on L2!

post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thanks Rusty.  Stowe is definitely the frontrunner right now, but I will keep my options open.

post #4 of 22

Tyler, I agree with Rusty about Stowe. I'm a Stowe instructor, and the staff there is phenomenal. I came to Stowe with some experience, and they did a great job of putting me where I wanted to be. With an L2, you can probably get into the private lesson mix right away, which is some good money. Even if you're teaching groups, the pay is pretty darn good (I make more per day as a group lesson part time instructor at Stowe than I did as a supervisor at Okemo). Besides, any part time instructor is working as much for the pass as the pay. And there's no better place to have a pass than Stowe. We have Mansfield, nowhere else does. You know that sweet mountain you see when you look east from the Davis Center? Yeah, that's us. Oh, and Mansfield got snow today. Just sayin'.

 

I would definitely get your application in now. The new hire day is in a couple weeks, and the day after is the fall refresher. I believe its Oct 22 and 23. As a level 2, you'll have zero problem getting hired, so don't worry about that. I'd also email Donna Barton, she takes care of the new hires and the administrative end of the Ski School. Her email is dbarton@stowe.com. Tell her Mike Shaughnessy sent you :).

 

As far as transportation goes, you're going to want something more reliable than buses. I live in Essex Junction. My best friend is a part time snowboard instructor at Stowe, and she's a senior at UVM. She lives down off of Spear St, and we carpool all the time. I'd have no problem adding a third to the carpool, I'm sure she wouldn't either.

 

Good luck, and hope to see you in a couple weeks!
 

post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 

Wow Mike!  That all sounds great.  I've already been in contact with Donna and am waiting for her to send me some sort of an information packet.  And I have the weekend of the 20th marked off already.  As far as the pay goes, I've seen the pay numbers for last year and let's just say that I was very impressed.  If I do end up working at Stowe, I would love to carpool (I agree that buses are not the ideal solution).   

post #6 of 22

Biased  :-)   J-peak full time instructor 10/11   and for the 12/13 season to come.

 

If you want to pursue your PSIA track then J is not the best location for you.

If you want to make money, J is not the best location for you (mainly due to the fact that many Canadians do not tip, or do not tip well, (Im not bashing them, its a cultural thing)

If you want the Best and most snow in the east, most freedom to ski where ever, and however you want, then come join me at J this year!

 

Congrats on your level 2! 

 

No matter where you pic, they are all great mountains, and I wish you the best of luck!

 

 

PM me if you want more info, or the inside scoop.

post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiknight View Post

If you want the Best and most snow in the east, most freedom to ski where ever, and however you want, then come join me at J this year!


 

 

Freedom to ski where and however you want? Don't have a problem with that at Stowe. We're open boundary to boundary, and at the boundaries there are just signs that say "If you get hurt, its your problem". I often time give the patrollers a little wave as I cross the boundary to hike the Chin.

post #8 of 22

Actually I thought of one more important thing you should be asking yourself, if it is snowing out, where is the easiest place you can get to?  lets face it, a 10 min drive in good weather, can take 20 min in a storm...... do you want to be skiing or driving?

 

Not the only deciding factor, but one that should be on your mind.
 

post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 

Very good point.  That is partially why I am leaning towards Stowe, as I have heard that it is very easy to get to.  Bolton is closer but I don't think that I want to work at Bolton for a variety of different reasons.

post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiknight View Post

many Canadians do not tip, or do not tip well, (Im not bashing them, its a cultural thing)

 

...which doesn't make sense, since we have a culture of tipping for restaurants, haircuts, taxis, porters... but not sports instructors? What gives? I often take lessons and give a tip in front of other participants to show people that it's important. When I was teaching at Whistler, I far preferred teaching the American clients. They tipped!

post #11 of 22

No idea.
 

All I have to go by is personal experience and the experience of my fellow instructors.

 

If any of us get a Canadian client, we assume we are not getting tipped, or not tipped well. 

 

Personally I treat all my clients the same, regardless of race, gender, nationality, tipping or not tipping.

 

Oh, and let me specify the Canadian part, perhaps I am unfairly casting to broad a net.  Let me narrow it down by saying Quebec residents.

post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post

 

...which doesn't make sense, since we have a culture of tipping for restaurants, haircuts, taxis, porters... but not sports instructors? What gives? I often take lessons and give a tip in front of other participants to show people that it's important. When I was teaching at Whistler, I far preferred teaching the American clients. They tipped!

 

Maybe it's a Montreal thing.

post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 

Hey guys, though Stowe was by far my favorite option, it looks like I will be teaching at Sugarbush this winter.  At Stowe I was being asked to work during Christmas week, which would be very difficult as I am headed home over break.  I would have to come back to VT just for that week and would have no lodging or transportation during that time.  Also, I would like to be with my family over that week.  Sugarbush was willing to work with this and Stowe was not, so I will be at Sugarbush this winter. Anybody teach at Sugarbush?  Any opinions on the ski school (I haven't heard much about it really)?

post #14 of 22

Sugarbush is a great mountain, and as a + MRG (Mad River Glen) is there to.  My suggestion is that if its a good snow year find a friend that will show you around MRG, try not to fall off the water falls!

 

Have a great season!
 

post #15 of 22

I think they do a training session with Terry Barbour on Wednesdays at Bush. If so, do NOT miss it!

post #16 of 22
Thread Starter 

I've heard about Terry.  Hope I get the chance to ski with him at some point.  How exactly is MRG connected with Sugarbush btw (wishful thinking but will I get any discounts at MRG because I work at Sugarbush)?

post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by eastskier44 View Post

I've heard about Terry.  Hope I get the chance to ski with him at some point.  How exactly is MRG connected with Sugarbush btw (wishful thinking but will I get any discounts at MRG because I work at Sugarbush)?


If you want to really up your game ski with Terry at the PSIA trees/steeps event at MRG 3/11-3/12, warning he will take the top group and you better have your A game on, usually the 1st run is a Paradise shake out.Good luck at Sugarbush this year and have fun.

post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by eastskier44 View Post

I've heard about Terry.  Hope I get the chance to ski with him at some point.  How exactly is MRG connected with Sugarbush btw (wishful thinking but will I get any discounts at MRG because I work at Sugarbush)?

 

They are sharing a pass this year. I assume you'll be able to ski there whenever the urge strikes you, but I really don't know.

post #19 of 22

eastskier44,

 

My comment was not quite clear.  What I meant to say was that MRG is only 5 miles (I think) from Sugarbush.  I think it provides a fantastic and unique experience, especially in a good snow year, and is not to be missed!   Before choosing J-peak, I seriously considered the Bush, because having an advanced mountain like MRG available to me was VERY VERY attractive.

 

No idea about reciprocal tickets or discounts, but MRG is cheap ticket any day of the week.

post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 

OK that all sounds great.  And regarding the steeps/ trees event, that sounds awesome!  Barring the cash situation I could definitely see myself signing up for that.

post #21 of 22

As I'm sure you know by now SB and MRG employees have full pass reciprocity. I don't know how often Terry will be here this season, but the Wed. morning clinics are on again this year and usually at least one will be a MRG.  Look me up , I'm Dave Wales and at SB from Tues-Sat. I'd have responded sooner but what can I say I'm a skier not a surfer.
 

post #22 of 22
Thread Starter 

Ok thanks Dave.  That sounds really cool.  BTW, my name's Tyler Dixon.  I'll be at SB Saturdays and Sundays this year.  

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