Originally Posted by Bob Lee
I think you missed the point - the independents would not be working for the ski area, they would be self-employed and charging whatever they felt was fair.
As far as lesson pricing goes, it's very clear to me that one of the main proponents of the idea that Squaw hurts the sport and its own long-term profits by having one premium product, still doesn't understand some of the basics of labor concepts like right-to-work (and so may have big holes in understanding in other ways as well) .
As already noted multiple times, in the real world, ski resorts have the right to determine who provides instruction and coaching at the resort. There are direct, valid pricing, customer relations, patrol, ski lift, and other nuts and bolts reasons for this. There are also important risk management concerns that may be surprising to "some people" but nevertheless are very real. For instance, what if the resort knows that someone who intends to run camps on their mountain makes patrol's hair stand on end in terms of risk assessment, for instance? What if a talented race coach quietly left his last coaching job and, while nothing was public, senior people in the ski school know that there was an inappropriate relationship involved? There are very legitimate real-world reasons for a business like a resort to want control over who and what with a duty of care provide instruction or coaching at the resort.
I have a feeling there are already very hard-working, highly ethical people at Squaw and other resorts with relatively "ritzy" market positioning who regularly look at ways to tweak their product offering to best serve their market. That they were slurred in the way they were by some of the attack language in this thread was unfortunate. Those hardworking, ethical people likely actually understand basic labor concepts and even are mindful of things like risk management that "someone else" may not appreciate. I have a feeling there are already lots of people at Squaw doing things to grow skiing and riding in other ways as well. The assertion that the pricing of one single premium product is broadly impactful on overall skier participation is certainly interesting -- sort of like arguing that a restaurant at Squaw having a $25 burger is going to keep a junior high kid Fresno from being able to eat a cheeseburger when he's hungry.