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Private lesson price? - Page 10  

post #271 of 663
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post


rolleyes.gif Uh huh, and what are those (apparently secret) things that you've seen? The rest of your post fails to list them.
And yet, you don't give the reasoning behind this. You merely state that it's speculation, but don't state any facts.
Wait, wait! That wasn't a reason. That was a statement.
Okay, this I'll believe. But I have to say that from what I hear, the ski resort business is in a certain amount of trouble. Are they really doing that well? What about the leveling/decline of skier visits? And the expected drop when boomer hang it up?
Again, it isn't a compelling "reason" without some facts to back up the supposed reasoning.
Yeah? Where, when? Gimme some facts, brah.
roflmao.gif A video game? Seriously? Is that what "ski resort tycoons" use to see if their proposed innovations will work? Is that what you use to field-check your important decisions? roflmao.gif Too funny.
Now that was a complete load of bullshit. I never proposed lowering the cost to zero, so just drop the hyperbole and "thought exercise" BS, because it's just an imaginary construct from your pissed-off mind.


This has nothing to do with my proposal. But spray on, it almost sounds like it matters.
rolleyes.gif U mad bro? Once again, if if the ski industry is doing so well, maybe you would't be getting so pissed off about my admittedly armchair proposals. All you got is "You don't know what I know" but no facts or reasoning to back that up.

If you're so certain that the industry needs $480 half-day private lessons (did "Ski Resort Tycoon" back you up on that?) then good luck to you.

 

I'm not mad, but I am crazy! (and that is a fact)

 

I'm not particularly fond of high priced lessons, but I believe that there is a place for them in this industry. I have even argued that we should be offering more (and charging more for) premium services in lessons. I also believe that there is a place for low priced and free lessons. They also belong in the industry. One benefit of high priced private lessons is that this is the most common mechanism used for increasing the compensation for highly skilled instructors (because they usually get a higher rate - e.g. 50% - for request privates). Lowering the price for privates will also lower the compensation for instructors. Yes it does not have to work that way. But because it does work that way raising the price of privates has raised the compensation to pros (at least in my personal experience). 

 

If you want to learn how the ski industry works (rightly or wrongly, the good and the bad), get a job in the industry and acquire that knowledge the old fashioned way. It just so happens that a video game that is a simulation of the ski industry is a fair approximation of the real ski industry. So, if you want to learn about the ski industry quickly and experiment with different resort management strategies, using a simulation is way to get some good feedback about that strategy. Of course, it won't be 100% accurate. Models never are. But people use models to make decisions all the time because one usually learns something from them. I've played the game a few times and seen a lot of the same things that I've seen in real life. If that makes you think I'm nuts, I refer to the first sentence of this post. The reality is that even I don't have enough experience to get more than a token "thank you for your suggestion" as they throw my ideas in the trash. This is what happens in a business that can only implement 5% of the good ideas on the table every year. Anything that is pure speculation from outside does not make the first cut. The only pure speculation that does get implemented are low risk/low cost items. Tycoon is extremely brutal about demonstrating this point.

 

I can't write down 20 years of experience in one online post. That's not a secret. I have posted thousands of times here on Epic. Many of those posts have reported what I've seen in my experience. I have painfully watched a nice resort slide into bankruptcy and real savvy resort operator take over. That provided a great demonstration of what works and what doesn't in this business. I've also done a few years work as a marketing rep for the resort. That has given me access to some data that is secret (company confidential). It's also given me access to the decision makers so I could ask them "why" questions. You can learn a lot when you listen to people answer "why" questions. You don't learn a lot when you call BS.

 

It is a fact that what you've stated is speculation. Predicting the future is speculation. I predict that you will disagree with that. We've already seen that other large resorts charge similar expensive prices for private lessons (some more, some less). We've also seen that some resorts charge a lot less for private lessons. So there are lots of data points for private lessons at various price points across multiple resorts. This does not guarantee what would happen at Squaw if they lowered their private lesson price, but it does give the resort management at Squaw plenty of data to work with. Do you think that they don't consider their competition in Tahoe and Vail/Aspen/Whistler when they set their prices?

 

If you want to argue that lower prices will drive behavioral change, it's pure economic theory that the more you lower the price, the greater the change you will get (yes there is an exception for people not buying because the price is too cheap, but this undermines your argument as well). So lowering the price to zero is the ultimate test of your argument. To my knowledge no resort has ever tried giving lessons (either private or group) away for a full season. However, there are many examples of resorts offering free or effectively free group lessons. Do these experiences create the ability to 100% accurately predict what would happen if private lessons were offered for free? No. Do they give resort management enough information to make a comfortable assessment? In my experience, yes. Does it help management understand the decision making guests use when guests decide whether or not to take a lesson? If you don't like the zero price scenario, fine. Take the model I laid out and plug in different numbers. Come up with something that works that also minimizes risk of failure. If you want a resort to lower the price on a product to make more money, you'll have to show them how it is going to work if voting with your feet is not strong enough. The ultimate proof is everyone voting with their feet, er, skis. It is a fact that this is not happening.

 

My resort has a program where new skiers can get free lessons for the first season after the first visit. We have another program where skiers who buy a "night" season pass get free lessons. We have a frequent skier card that offers skiers a 40% discount on group lessons. The group package tickets offer lift, rental and lessons for less than the price of lift+rental (i.e. the lessons are thrown in for free). We support the Pennsylvania learn to ski for free program (one day - all residents of the state can learn to ski for free - lift/lesson/rental). We typically offer early season deals for learn to ski ($39 for a complete beginner package) and regular lessons ($10 - which are mostly privates for anything above level 3 except when family members show up together). Employees can get lessons for free. Free private lessons for employees (cough) "can" happen. The list price on lessons has more than doubled since when I started teaching. The percentage of people paying list price has fallen dramatically. We know the stats on all these things, but I can't reveal them in public. What I can reveal is that our management believes from their experience that the price of lessons is relatively inelastic compared to the price of lift tickets. We've seen significant, but not overwhelming response to lower lesson prices. But we've also seen insignificant response to higher prices (note that lower price options were available to people who bothered to hunt for them). Yes, group lessons are not the same as private lessons. But they are not a lot different either (and oh BTW - some people do learn more effectively in group lessons). There are always people complaining about the high prices of private lessons, but raising the price a small amount every season does not lower the demand.

 

I've seen my resort sell a private lesson when the use of that one instructor for a private caused a group lesson to go out with 20 students instead of having two groups of 10. I've also a seen a guest be refused to have a 1 hour private lesson with me (because of a shortage of instructors for groups), only to have that guest buy a (much cheaper) group lesson and end up getting me as a private instructor for a 90 minute "group" lesson 10 minutes later. There is no shortage of stupid things that we do in this business. But there are usually good reasons why we do stupid things. For every good idea, there are a 100 buts. There are a lot of butts in this business.

 

Resort management is aware that higher quality and lower priced lessons can drive an increase in lessons taken and that there is a definite link between lessons taken and an increase in skier visits per skier. Lowering the price of private lessons would seem to fit within this concept. Butt is not that simple. I've reported elsewhere about the NSAA "Model for Growth". The industry is well aware of our demographic path to destruction and has a plan to avoid it. That plan is not achieving the target goals, but it is having a positive effect. The skier visits for the last 10 years are better than the previous 10. It's not a fact that resort owners know what they are doing, butt there is strong evidence to support this theory. There are no simple answers for how to make the industry healthier beyond this one - hard work. I decided 20 years ago that I had no right to complain about things unless I was involved. Teaching has been the hardest job I've ever done. 

post #272 of 663
Two things that you may have missed theRusty - I work at a ski area, not just when snow is on the ground, and have a lot of contact with the managers and am learning quite a bit about how that place runs.

But more importantly, I haven't been talking about all lessons - my "speculation" is directed only at the outrageously priced private lessons mentioned in the OP.

Nice rant though.
post #273 of 663
TR, nice post. Too bad Bob doesn't see value in what you wrote. Like you I have lived through a lot of changes in this industry. Some good, some bad. Will the sport survive as the boomers leave the market? Yup. What will that look like? Who knows, innovation and invention will certainly be involved but even the best tech pundits can't tell you which inventions will be game changers.
Discounts already exist on the ski school products most folks buy, (group, newbie,etc) arguing that they don't is ignoring the facts. Nor is price only marketing ever very successful.
Edited by justanotherskipro - 9/28/13 at 9:37am
post #274 of 663
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro View Post

Discounts already exist on the ski school products most folks buy, (group, newbie,etc) arguing that they don't is ignoring the facts.
Speaking of ignoring facts, I don't expect you to answer this, because you don't answer questions that you find inconvenient, but who, exactly, argued that there aren't discounts for groups or newbies?

Answer that question JASP. For once don't just get all paternal condescension like you, and some others, do here all the time.
post #275 of 663
It was you Bob trying to limit this discussion to the half day private. Not me. Yes the OP asked a valid question about that and strategic pricing is why that product exist at that cost. Your argument is at best coming from an incomplete understanding of that strategy, at worst it's a rant against the "1%" because they can afford thing you can't.
I don't know why discounting that one product is so central to your theory but as many have pointed out marketing strategies must include the entire product / services offered by the ski school and how all of those products fit together to meet the varying demands from a diverse customer base. Fixating on a single part of that wider picture is what many here have accused you of doing.
post #276 of 663
Oh, my apologies for trying to stay on topic. But you didn't answer my question (again) - who is arguing that there aren't any discounts like you claimed in post #272?

Answer the question, please, since this imaginary construct has you so wrapped around the axle.
post #277 of 663
Bob's objections aside, a good book on quality and how perceived value can be a very very complex thing is,
I know it when I see it.
It explores how value is determined and the title offers a glimpse into how difficult it can be to define those concepts.
Like TR I believe the folks responsible for marketing have looked at the entire line of services offered in every department at the resort. I also believe a good coach drives demand for their services and better coaches cost more but deliver more bang for the customer's buck. Bob probably doesn't agree but request privates are all about returning customers liking a coach and wanting to continue to work with them. As a customer setting up that lesson by asking for exactly what you want is a big part of that. That can be as simple as wanting a full cert, or examiner level coach like Schancey. Or if pro moguls is your thing asking for a coach with that experience is within that product offering.
post #278 of 663

It's just unfortunate that fixating on profits has removed the most effective tool for learning how to ski well from the majority of the population.

post #279 of 663
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro View Post

Bob's objections aside, a good book on quality and how perceived value can be a very very complex thing is,
I know it when I see it.
It explores how value is determined and the title offers a glimpse into how difficult it can be to define those concepts.
Like TR I believe the folks responsible for marketing have looked at the entire line of services offered in every department at the resort. I also believe a good coach drives demand for their services and better coaches cost more but deliver more bang for the customer's buck. Bob probably doesn't agree but request privates are all about returning customers liking a coach and wanting to continue to work with them. As a customer setting up that lesson by asking for exactly what you want is a big part of that. That can be as simple as wanting a full cert, or examiner level coach like Schancey. Or if pro moguls is your thing asking for a coach with that experience is within that product offering.

You know, insofar as your issues with me go, perhaps things would go better for you if you confined yourself to addressing things that I actually wrote, rather than things you make up about me (like the highlighted portion above).

Likewise, the discussion here would be advanced if you addressed issues that people have raised instead of relentlessly debating points that only exist in your imagination.
post #280 of 663

By coincidence I picked up my season pass today. It is an unlimited pass, with thirty free days at ten other resorts through the  Powder Alliance. At a cost of $519, it's pretty much the same price of the half day private we are talking about. I am probably one of those skiers who shies away from group lessons, but could greatly benefit from a quality private. Given the above price structure, my value lies with the mileage and not the instruction. The ski industry is definitely leaving my money on the table by pricing me out of options.

post #281 of 663

...meanwhile, 13 FEET... yes 13 FEET of snow is predicted for Mt. Baker over the next 3 days. 

post #282 of 663
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post
 

...meanwhile, 13 FEET... yes 13 FEET of snow is predicted for Mt. Baker over the next 3 days. 

What is the going rate for private avy certification training?

post #283 of 663
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post
 

...meanwhile, 13 FEET... yes 13 FEET of snow is predicted for Mt. Baker over the next 3 days. 

 

    It's gonna be a good one, I can feel it!!!  ;)

 

 

    zenny

post #284 of 663

You could do a 3 day avy 1 course for right around $400 give or take a couple Jackson's.

post #285 of 663

Mr Golf, Bridger Bowl is part of the powder alliance and we charge 90 for a 1.5 hr. private and 165 for a 3 hr. private, including ridge terrain. So come get a free lift ticket and see us for some quality instruction. Lodging is also very affordable in town and the drive is short, only about 25 minutes.

 

So gang, check out the prices at the GNFAC for avy training. This is not avy 1 or 2 cert., but it is very comprehensive training by some of the best in the country. $30 for the "Intro to Avalanches with full day Field Course", and $50 for the "Advanced Avalanche Workshop with full day Field Course". The avalanche center calls it's fee a "donation". Bridger also conducts a couple of Saturday ridge clinics during the winter sponsored by the Bridger Ski Foundation, which are 4.5 hour clinics with beacon training, ridge tactics, and skiing in avy terrain, for a sum of 40.00. If you want to find a successful business model for quality affordable skiing and education opportunities don't pass up Bridger Bowl and southwest Montana. The big resorts may have the destination market cornered, but they don't have quality instruction and skiing cornered.

 

http://www.mtavalanche.com/education

post #286 of 663
Quote:
Originally Posted by RicB View Post

Mr Golf, Bridger Bowl is part of the powder alliance and we charge 90 for a 1.5 hr. private and 165 for a 3 hr. private, including ridge terrain. So come get a free lift ticket and see us for some quality instruction. Lodging is also very affordable in town and the drive is short, only about 25 minutes.

So gang, check out the prices at the GNFAC for avy training. This is not avy 1 or 2 cert., but it is very comprehensive training by some of the best in the country. $30 for the "Intro to Avalanches with full day Field Course", and $50 for the "Advanced Avalanche Workshop with full day Field Course". The avalanche center calls it's fee a "donation". Bridger also conducts a couple of Saturday ridge clinics during the winter sponsored by the Bridger Ski Foundation, which are 4.5 hour clinics with beacon training, ridge tactics, and skiing in avy terrain, for a sum of 40.00. If you want to find a successful business model for quality affordable skiing and education opportunities don't pass up Bridger Bowl and southwest Montana. The big resorts may have the destination market cornered, but they don't have quality instruction and skiing cornered.

http://www.mtavalanche.com/education

And there exactly is my objection to the Squaw pricing. It's crazy. There's only so much that can be put down to some cost of living issue. As the consumer, my only issue should be value. Is there the times the value at Squaw? Doubtful.
post #287 of 663
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post

...meanwhile, 13 FEET... yes 13 FEET of snow is predicted for Mt. Baker over the next 3 days. 
Where are you seeing that forecast? What we have now is the equivalent of a winter Pineapple Express, lots of moisture (as much as what caused the Colorado floods) but too warm for snow. A colder front will move in behind the current storm. The forecast I saw indicated some light snow at Baker Mon-Wed but a few inches, not feet.
post #288 of 663
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post
 

...meanwhile, 13 FEET... yes 13 FEET of snow is predicted for Mt. Baker over the next 3 days. 

 

Good lord. When will they open?

post #289 of 663
Sib, I don't see a problem if you think the value isn't there. Do other options fall more in line with your sensibilities? Like others who have worked with top pros I find value in their lessons. So who's right and who's wrong? We are all right as long as we don't try to make value judgments for anyone but ourselves. And that is to me the bottom line.
post #290 of 663

They're letting  money walk out the door with their pricing and VALUE. Frankly, the SSD should be shot for placing - on two occassions (and there was no third time) -  privates with a group lesson that only had 2 texans in it. If they think they'd lose a few bucks by having 1 instructor for 2 texans, they should think about pissing of people who pay for a private. We wouldn't have minded sharing (even though we paid top dollar) except the texans fell part of the way down Shirleys AND all the way down Granite Chief's 'gentle' groomer. If I get a high price lesson these days, its with one of the programs like Gartmann.

post #291 of 663
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post


And there exactly is my objection to the Squaw pricing. It's crazy. There's only so much that can be put down to some cost of living issue. As the consumer, my only issue should be value. Is there the times the value at Squaw? Doubtful.

 

If you think Squaw is overpriced, what do you think about Vail?

 

There's a story going around about a Costco in AZ with a bottle of whiskey for sale at $17000 (did I get those details right?). If it sells, that means someone found acceptable value in the price. That's really all that matters. If Squaw is selling all the privates they care to at that price, then there is nothing wrong with the value. Clearly, $17K is no value for simply becoming intoxicated when anyone can get drunk on "2 buck Chuck". Yes, 2 buck Chuck is wine, not whiskey. But if the goal is only to get drunk, does it matter if either will get you drunk at the same speed? Clearly there must be other qualities that contribute to value that we aren't considering, at least for the people willing to pay that price.

 

When are luxury goods over priced? VW offered a luxury model called the Phaeton. Who's going to pay >$100K for a VW????? They were very nice cars. To me, they looked fairly priced ... if you took the VW off them. They did not sell well. Audi does not have any problem selling cars at the same price. How crazy is that?  Is the Audi brand worth that much over the VW brand? Hmmm - is the Squaw brand worth that much over the Bridger Bowl brand? I'll claim yes if it sells and no it if doesn't.

 

If you think Vail is over priced, what about Yellowstone Club?

 

I've golfed at Pebble Beach. Their prices are so high it is embarrassing to admit what I paid. Some of us have gone heli skiing. Those prices are as ridiculous as PB. I've described these experiences to "normal" participants of each sport as "If you have the money, they are worth every penny". My little brother (who lives in Salt Lake and used to spend most of his on snow time skiing for free in the back country) used to think I was crazy for buying lift tickets and totally nuts for going heli skiing. But now that he's a few years older and gets a free season pass, he spends most of his time on lift served terrain and understands. Clearly value is a personal perception that is dependent on one's unique personal circumstances.

 

There is one aspect of luxury value that relates to this discussion: time. My brother used to laugh at the rubes paying Wasatch Powderbirds for a heli ride to the same terrain he was skiing for free. Part of what heli skiers are paying for is the time saved flying up the hill instead of climbing. If I get paid $100/hr for my day job, it's not hard to see that I would value my free time at $100/hr also. But if I'm working 100 hours/week, I'm probably going to value my free time at more than $100/hr (maybe even as much as how much I'm making /available free time?). And if I'm working only 10 hours per week, my free time is probably a lot less valuable.

post #292 of 663

The price of a bottle of whiskey does not have as direct an influence on the number of people using the best method to learn how to ski, and thus has less of an impact on the number of people skiing well and growing the sport.  

 

Take off the profit über alles  blinders and see the big picture.

 

Edit:  Stop looking at the best way to learn how to ski as a luxury item, and start looking at it as a means to improve all skiers.  

post #293 of 663
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

Edit:  Stop looking at the best way to learn how to ski as a luxury item, and start looking at it as a means to improve all skiers.  

To which I'd add: if all skiers improve, the entire industry improves.

Great post Ghost. (<-poetry)
post #294 of 663

Yeah, that's concise, Ghost.

 

These are different paradigms, I guess -- each valid in its own frame.  

 

Supply and demand works.  It's fine that Audis exist -- gives me something to dream about (though at the moment I'm dreaming Kästle).  Supply and demand has a drawback, though, in that it's exclusionary.  That's ok for lots of things.  The question is whether exclusivity is detrimental to the industry in the long run.  It may not be; it may be.  (If all cars were Audis, the auto industry wouldn't thrive, certainly -- Henry Ford understood that.)

 

The broader, long-range, let's-get-everyone-skiing paradigm could work, too, I'd guess.  It would also have effects positive and negative -- maybe there wouldn't be enough cream, maybe resorts would be too crowded.  

 

I don't know whether ski moguls think globally enough to gauge the long-range results of either position.  Perhaps yes, given the demands of shareholders.  But I don't know.

 

As a person who has to budget carefully, though, I do know that my two, cheap-but-excellent lessons made it far more likely I'd ski out my seasons.  The only reason I'm biting the bullet (painfully) for boots this year is that I can now control speed with turn shape, ski crud creditably, and edge with more finesse -- thanks to one, one-hour lesson at Dartmouth.  My thousand bucks isn't significant, even when you add years and years of future skis, jackets, hand warmers, lift tickets, meals, and lodging.  But multiplied by a modest zillion, emboldened, middle class skiers, maybe it is significant. 

 

On the other hand, if the vast majority of skiers are idiots, as people here have argued, I'm probably wrong. 

post #295 of 663
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post

Two things that you may have missed theRusty - I work at a ski area, not just when snow is on the ground, and have a lot of contact with the managers and am learning quite a bit about how that place runs.

But more importantly, I haven't been talking about all lessons - my "speculation" is directed only at the outrageously priced private lessons mentioned in the OP.

Nice rant though.

 

Yes Bob, I have missed that. How does the price of your resort's private lessons relate to Squaw? Let's compare the hourly rate/max adult day ticket price as well as the hourly rate to hourly rate. How much experience do you have with ski school? From my experience, most of this stuff is universal. Rats - Squaw does not have their 13/14 ticket prices up yet.

 

There are a few reasons why I've been talking about all lessons. First, resort management is not going to have much attention span past lessons to distinguish between private and groups. Second, if you compare the price of a private lesson to the income that a single instructor could generate teaching a group lesson you'll probably find that the total revenue is about the same or "discounts" private lessons. Turn that around and look at it from the customer perspective. If you have 6 people in a group lesson you are getting 10 minutes of personal instruction per hour paid. What is the customer paying per hour for personal instruction for each option? Third, when you look at the guest's decision making process for taking a lesson, management is going to assume that most people make the decision about taking "a" lesson first, then what "type" of lesson next. Finally, management is going to look at a private lesson as the same thing as a group lesson with values added (time saved by not sharing the instructor with other group members, a guarantee of "attention time" vs hoping for a fair split in a group and the ability to select your own instructor) that warrant the guest paying a higher price to get those values.

 

If a guest was to complain to me about the high cost of private lessons, I would say: "Yes I understand and agree that private lessons are very expensive. We have other lesson products that are more affordable." Squaw offers a free "tips on Tuesdays" lesson product. I can't see how they would agree that lowering the price on their private lesson product would entice people to ski more compared to their free tips product. Comparisons among lesson products is unavoidable.

 

At Squaw, the price per minute of attention is $2.66 for the 1/2 day private and $2.97 for a group lesson with 5 people and 2.37 for a group with 4 people. At Vail the price per minute of the 1/2 day private is $3.30 and $2.11 for a group of 3 (max per group). At Bridger it's $1 per minute for private and $2.22 per minute with a group of 5 people. Should we be outraged that Bridger is overcharging for group lessons????

 

My point here is that there are many ways to look at this. If you look hard enough you will surely find something that is upsetting. It's ok to be outraged. Butt your blood pressure will be healthier if you seek out the reasons why things are the way they are. They don't all have to be good reasons. Agreement on bad reasons can be the impetus for change. On this topic, you are going to find it hard to get universal agreement that high private lesson prices are "wrong".

post #296 of 663
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRusty View Post
 

Yes Bob, I have missed that. How does the price of your resort's private lessons relate to Squaw? Let's compare the hourly rate/max adult day ticket price as well as the hourly rate to hourly rate.

 

The lift tickets where I work are about 70% of Squaw's and the 3 hour rate for a private is a bit less than 45% of Squaw's.  I assume you have some point here?

 

Quote:
 How much experience do you have with ski school?  

 

What the hell does that have to do with anything other than being patronizing?  

 

Quote:
...<snip a bunch of useless and irrelevant rambling>...
 

...My point here is that there are many ways to look at this. If you look hard enough you will surely find something that is upsetting. It's ok to be outraged. Butt your blood pressure will be healthier if you seek out the reasons why things are the way they are. They don't all have to be good reasons. Agreement on bad reasons can be the impetus for change. On this topic, you are going to find it hard to get universal agreement that high private lesson prices are "wrong".

 

That's a bit condescending, don't you think?

post #297 of 663
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRusty View Post
 

At Squaw, the price per minute of attention is $2.66 for the 1/2 day private and $2.97 for a group lesson with 5 people and 2.37 for a group with 4 people. At Vail the price per minute of the 1/2 day private is $3.30 and $2.11 for a group of 3 (max per group). At Bridger it's $1 per minute for private and $2.22 per minute with a group of 5 people. Should we be outraged that Bridger is overcharging for group lessons????

 

My point here is that there are many ways to look at this........

 

IMO when the rates are broken down to minutes to justify cost, then the cost is high to begin with. 

post #298 of 663
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRusty View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post

Two things that you may have missed theRusty - I work at a ski area, not just when snow is on the ground, and have a lot of contact with the managers and am learning quite a bit about how that place runs.

But more importantly, I haven't been talking about all lessons - my "speculation" is directed only at the outrageously priced private lessons mentioned in the OP.

Nice rant though.

 

Yes Bob, I have missed that. How does the price of your resort's private lessons relate to Squaw? Let's compare the hourly rate/max adult day ticket price as well as the hourly rate to hourly rate. How much experience do you have with ski school? From my experience, most of this stuff is universal. Rats - Squaw does not have their 13/14 ticket prices up yet.

 

There are a few reasons why I've been talking about all lessons. First, resort management is not going to have much attention span past lessons to distinguish between private and groups. Second, if you compare the price of a private lesson to the income that a single instructor could generate teaching a group lesson you'll probably find that the total revenue is about the same or "discounts" private lessons. Turn that around and look at it from the customer perspective. If you have 6 people in a group lesson you are getting 10 minutes of personal instruction per hour paid. What is the customer paying per hour for personal instruction for each option? Third, when you look at the guest's decision making process for taking a lesson, management is going to assume that most people make the decision about taking "a" lesson first, then what "type" of lesson next. Finally, management is going to look at a private lesson as the same thing as a group lesson with values added (time saved by not sharing the instructor with other group members, a guarantee of "attention time" vs hoping for a fair split in a group and the ability to select your own instructor) that warrant the guest paying a higher price to get those values.

 

If a guest was to complain to me about the high cost of private lessons, I would say: "Yes I understand and agree that private lessons are very expensive. We have other lesson products that are more affordable." Squaw offers a free "tips on Tuesdays" lesson product. I can't see how they would agree that lowering the price on their private lesson product would entice people to ski more compared to their free tips product. Comparisons among lesson products is unavoidable.

 

At Squaw, the price per minute of attention is $2.66 for the 1/2 day private and $2.97 for a group lesson with 5 people and 2.37 for a group with 4 people. At Vail the price per minute of the 1/2 day private is $3.30 and $2.11 for a group of 3 (max per group). At Bridger it's $1 per minute for private and $2.22 per minute with a group of 5 people. Should we be outraged that Bridger is overcharging for group lessons????

 

My point here is that there are many ways to look at this. If you look hard enough you will surely find something that is upsetting. It's ok to be outraged. Butt your blood pressure will be healthier if you seek out the reasons why things are the way they are. They don't all have to be good reasons. Agreement on bad reasons can be the impetus for change. On this topic, you are going to find it hard to get universal agreement that high private lesson prices are "wrong".

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jack97 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRusty View Post
 

At Squaw, the price per minute of attention is $2.66 for the 1/2 day private and $2.97 for a group lesson with 5 people and 2.37 for a group with 4 people. At Vail the price per minute of the 1/2 day private is $3.30 and $2.11 for a group of 3 (max per group). At Bridger it's $1 per minute for private and $2.22 per minute with a group of 5 people. Should we be outraged that Bridger is overcharging for group lessons????

 

My point here is that there are many ways to look at this........

 

IMO when the rates are broken down to minutes to justify cost, then the cost is high to begin with. 

I see; you're saying the price of private lessons is high so as to make the other lessons (e.g. where you get 20% of the instructor's time and waste 80% of your time in a group of 5 while the instructor addresses the other group members issues that you do not share) seem like good value for the money.  

 

It's not working.

post #299 of 663
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

 

I see; you're saying the price of private lessons is high so as to make the other lessons (e.g. where you get 20% of the instructor's time and waste 80% of your time in a group of 5 while the instructor addresses the other group members issues that you do not share) seem like good value for the money.  

 

Ah, I see now.  I'm glad you had the patience to decipher the math.  

 

Quote:

It's not working.  

 

I know, right?  

post #300 of 663
What's not working here is all the overstated opinions being offered as facts. wasted time? One on one being alway the best way to learn?
The cold hard facts here are simple, value is subjective and asymmetric dominance is part of what led most of you to conclude price per minute is the best measure of value. A few here looked at what they took away from past lessons. Some were disappointed in the past, while others were satisfied because success was part of that experience.
Regardless, there is no right or wrong here. At least as long as we stop calling others names simply because our value judgments differ.
Edited by justanotherskipro - 9/29/13 at 4:00pm
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