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Private lesson price? - Page 4  

post #91 of 663
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro View Post

I see value as an individual thing. A round of golf at a world class resort with a club pro would cost a heck of a lot more than at my local municipal course.

 

See:

http://www.golfdigest.com/golf-instruction/2011-11/top-20-teachers-in-america?slide=2#slide=1 

 

More people golf than ski, and the elite golf instructors charge anything from $10,000 per day to only $80 per hour (Pelz charges much more, but he is a short game only specialist).  The customer knows ahead of time who the elite golf instructors are and what professionals they have worked with.  However, the customer at a ski resort has no clue how "good" his/her instructor is.  If a customer wanted to carve turns better, and if an ex-head coach of a national team were an instructor on staff, would they ask for him?  Probably not.  So customers simply pay whatever the resort can get for the lesson, with the larger resorts being able to charge more because of the perception that a top ranked gaper magazine resort has better everything including instructors. Is perception reality?  I don't think so but I'm also not in the position to know.  I haven't taken a lesson since c.1978 (that ski coach is long gone).  I also don't want my kids picking up my bad habits, so it is probably time for a lesson this season. But should I pay more than the cost of my EPIC season pass for a one day lesson?  If I were rich, why not?  Since I am looking for relative value, a lesson with a top instructor at a smaller hill or a  3-5 day specialized program might be better.

post #92 of 663
A good ski school will ask you what you'd like to learn when you sign up for a private, and they generally do their best to match you with the appropriate instructor. Put it this way, you're going to get more experience and higher certification for your privates. There are exceptions to the certification rule, but they're usually very good ones that the ski school director or manager feels very good about. It's not in the school's interest to disappoint their clients. Word gets around quickly. One thing that I absolutely agree with JASP about is to let the school know if you were in satisfied with your lesson.
post #93 of 663
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miramar View Post
 

 I just wish that in skiing more of the actual money from the cost of the lesson was passed on to the instructor instead of the resort taking most of the pie. The instructor does all the work and yet the resort is just a conduit for connecting students with instructors but yet they get most of the money.

 

 

If you want to make that wish come true, make sure that you request your private instructor as Miramar does. Many resorts compensate ski pros around 50% for private requests. That other 50% goes to a lot more than just connecting the student with the instructor. That money goes into the same pot that pays the Forest Service their cut, debt service (for those fancy high speed quads), electricity (for all that snowmaking), diesel (for all that grooming), insurance, patrol and of course those Hummers that management rides around in. And don't forget you also get line cutting privileges. I know of one "A" (cough - can you guess which A I'm talking about) list resort that has a significant percentage of their holiday period private lessons where the only thing the instructor provides is the line cutting privilege.

post #94 of 663
Quote:
Originally Posted by quant2325 View Post
 

.... So customers simply pay whatever the resort can get for the lesson, with the larger resorts being able to charge more because of the perception that a top ranked gaper magazine resort has better everything including instructors. Is perception reality?  I don't think so but I'm also not in the position to know.......

 

In this case, I believe the resort is relying on the perception of value. Gaper resorts are attracting customer with stronger buying power, so laying down lots of money for lessons is not a problem for them. If they see improvements in the skiing then it is value to them but it sure skews the market value of lesson for the surrounding areas. 

 

 

btw, I took privates from a two time Olympian, it did not cost me over 400/hr.  

post #95 of 663
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro View Post
 

Survey questions vary and the ski school specific survey concerns only our performance but the general survey does ask about what services they use,or are unlikely to use, etc. I tend to concentrate on my personal results because it's what I can control. Our supervisors post general numbers on our bulletin board though which means we all know where we are as a team. But how we change those overall numbers still comes down to each of us taking responsibility for improving our personal survey numbers.

 

I still contend that comparing small area teaching to destination mega resort teaching is very much like comparing counter service at a fast food restaurant to service at a white table cloth fine dining restaurant. I've worked in both markets and it is remarkable how different those customers are.

 

Hey,,,,we have great fast food counter at Bridger Bowl! We give great lessons to all, all for the same affordable price. If you want quality and value, come see us at Bridger Bowl..

 

Jeez Jasp,,,,do you really mean everything you post the way it reads?

post #96 of 663
Quote:
Originally Posted by jzmtl View Post


It's just what it is. Ski school has nothing to do with traditional teaching where dissemination of knowledge is the goal, it's just a service industry focused on money making and masquerades itself under "teaching". Only the 1% can afford to go to some fancy expensive restaurant, or the top of the line medical treatment, even though it's the most effective, and it's the same deal here.

 

As a long time instructor and a person requiring top of the line medical care your post is just uninformed.

post #97 of 663

Yup, all those rich gapers are ruining the sport for all of us real skiers, Let's close the hotels and restaurants they frequent, make them prove they are local residents before allowing them to ride the lifts, and above all else we need to close all the ski areas that cater to them. Damn rich city folk anyway, the ski world would be better off if we got rid of all of them.

 

Does that sum up your opinions well enough? It's sad that I am who is being called a social bigot by the same folks expressing this alarming attitude.


Edited by justanotherskipro - 9/21/13 at 8:57am
post #98 of 663

Hyperbole doesn't help with your position on all this.  

post #99 of 663

I think an idea that I first read about in regards to sports star salaries applies here.  In a market with a limited supply and a global cutomer pool, prices at the top end take off.  Something/someone that is 5% better (however that is perceived) can cost twice as much.

post #100 of 663

   Guys...come on. It is my opinion that this whole thread is a troll :rolleyes:rolleyes:rolleyes. This discussion will go nowhere (or at least won't solve anything)--no one's going to change anyone else's mind so let's just call it. How about a thread on why fat skis inhibit learning??? :D

 

   zenny

post #101 of 663

RicB, I added some clarification in subsequent posts about my editing out the paragraph about "drive by" hour long lessons verse full day and multi day lessons and how customer expectations are quite different in those two situations. Pacing and content being only two of many aspects that would be different.

As far as all this elitism I am supposed to have, well nothing is further from the truth. I could care less what walk of life my students are from as long as they are there to learn. Nor do I hold any animosity towards the ski areas for providing the services their customers demand. I wouldn't say my opinion is very popular here at Epic where is seems to be popular to deride others for their spending habits and vilify the resort owners for catering to their customer demands.


Edited by justanotherskipro - 9/21/13 at 9:44am
post #102 of 663
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro View Post
 

RicB, I added some clarification in subsequent posts about my editing out the paragraph about "drive by" hour long lessons verse full day and multi day lessons and how customer expectations are quite different in those two situations. Pacing and content being only two of many aspects that would be different.

As far as all this elitism I am supposed to have, well nothing is further from the truth. I could care less what walk of life my students are from as long as they are there to learn. Nor do I hold any animosity towards the ski areas for providing the services their customers demand. I wouldn't say my opinion is very popular here at Epic though.

 

I believe you, but you sure are not communicating this very well.

 

I still don't understand the disdain for 1-hr privates though. Pretty much every ski instructor I've ever free skied with is happy to give out tips and ideas with his or her companions, not a lot but a little. Why bother if it's so useless? Why not get paid a bit for this? It seems it is probably more of an economic reality, for the instructors (ie better to wait and take the chance to get booked for a longer lesson), which is fine, but no one explains it like this. 

post #103 of 663

Most of us aren't writers, so let's cut some slack.  Some of us can't spell, let alone articulate a subtle point of view.  An unfortunate phrasing isn't worth puking over -- especially when it's been clarified -- and if you continue to puke over it, see a doctor. 

post #104 of 663
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRusty View Post
 

 And don't forget you also get line cutting privileges. I know of one "A" (cough - can you guess which A I'm talking about) list resort that has a significant percentage of their holiday period private lessons where the only thing the instructor provides is the line cutting privilege.

 I think a hill in nth Tahoe cuts the instructor out for an extra fee on the season pass of $400. By not paying those overpaid fat cat instructors, the resort doesn't need carparking for your Ferraris and can afford to fly the execs overseas in business class to learn how to really gouge punters :D

post #105 of 663
Quote:
Originally Posted by RicB View Post

As a long time instructor and a person requiring top of the line medical care your post is just uninformed.

You may think otherwise, but does the big cheese on top thinks the same way?
post #106 of 663

What I read here, including my own posts, is that many respondents don't like the idea of being excluded. Many skiers really want to experience the big mountains with great snow and terrain which they can't get at home.  When resorts charge incredible amounts of money they necessarily exclude a lot of people, and even if they really wouldn't have wanted the service they feel put out. 

 

Now, I am really getting tired of the "A" line type resorts  for a number of reasons: too many people, long lines, too much commercialism, high prices.  That's my problem and I can easily fix it by skiing my local hills and visiting other similar places in the PNW, but I really feel for the folks who ski the local ski rink and can't afford anything else.  When those people are otherwise in the middle to upper middle class it looks like the big resorts are quite elitist, and that rubs folks the wrong way.

 

So defending $156 an hour lessons is a losing battle in the public relations arena, but the resorts don't give a rip.

post #107 of 663
Seg, I appreciate your feedback. I have no particular disdain for one hour lessons beyond the fact that it limits my opportunity to work with that student and help them make lasting improvements. I see that as a process that takes more time. That doesn't mean I don't offer tips to my friends who ask. Ask any of our coaches who I have mentored how willing I am to give them tips. Or bears who I have met and skied with. My only rule is I don't offer unsolicited advice since it almost always is received as critisism.
Like my mentors I don't expect pay for those tips, because that would break the pay it forward chain. BTW, I am curious about what you learned about boot fitting while trying to solve the problems you had back when we met? That's probably way off topic here but I would love to read about what you discovered.
post #108 of 663
Quote:
Originally Posted by lakespapa View Post
 

Most of us aren't writers, so let's cut some slack.  Some of us can't spell, let alone articulate a subtle point of view.  An unfortunate phrasing isn't worth puking over -- especially when it's been clarified -- and if you continue to puke over it, see a doctor. 

 

It's not just one unfortunate phrase, and it's not just one thread. That's why people are nauseated. No puking yet.

post #109 of 663
Quote:
Originally Posted by jack97 View Post
 

btw, I took privates from a two time Olympian, it did not cost me over 400/hr.  

 

Nobody is getting $400 an hour - they were talking half day I think. But more to the point, was the Olympian any good?

post #110 of 663

I seem to keep reading from the same people that  - lessons suck and don't work, but more people would ski and/or have more fun skiing if they had lessons which were priced more affordably.

 

This thread is um - interesting. I guess I fall in the middle here. I work at a resort that charges big bucks for a lesson. Do I think I'm worth it? Well... not really, but my clients do and book me out a year or two in advance. I know that when I see the price on the lesson ticket I think "holy shit - I'd better give this my all" and I do. Would I ever personally pay that kind of money? I want to say no, but I've tracked down people an paid a week's salary to ski with them when I've thought they might have what I am looking for - even though I could have all those free clinics at home.

 

I don't think that our "World Class Resort" has only one kind of client. Far from it. I rarely get the ultra-privileged "line-cut privates" though they do exist. I probably book 40 full day lessons per season. Most of them want to be good skiers, and now some of them are. I get plenty of 1 hr lessons and everything in between. I certainly get the Occupy Wall Street mentality, but privates are not the only way, and may not even be the best for everyone (not so sure that the "race clinic route" is that great either though).

 

JASP you need to work on your self-loathing!

post #111 of 663
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post
 (not so sure that the "race clinic route" is that great either though).

 

 

 

 

  Not perfect maybe, but a step or 2 above reading a book. :rolleyes (assuming it's available at your area and the cost isn't prohibitive that is)

 

  zenny

post #112 of 663
Defending their decision to provide a premium service their customers want is hardly proof they don't care about the rest of their customers. Like I've said all along other options exist and not just at small resorts. Season lesson programs for under $300 being just one example of that.
The average skier identifies themselves as upper middle class in most surveys. Skier visit numbers suggest they frequent places like Breckenridge and Vail a lot. Breck is one of the resorts that offer both privates and the season lesson option. If all they offered was $600+ privates all this stuff about pricing people out of the market would make more sense to me. That simply isn't the case though.
post #113 of 663

It's amazing what a little bit of real instruction can do for you though. Just in my case, I'm going to use sporting clays as an example. I've been shooting my whole life, learned from friends and family, spent lots of time at the range and mostly sucked. Took lessons from certified pro (not sure what level he was or who certified him - that's probably true of most ski lessons though, right?) at a "big" range and continued to suck and or got worse. Took one lesson from a National Team Olympic coach which probably cost more than all of my other lessons combined and now can shoot pretty well. I don't break every bird that gets in front of me, but I do OK. Sometimes it is worth it to dispense with the hacks (and NO, I am not saying that everybody at Dartmouth Ski Way is a hack or that everybody teaching privates at Vail is awesome - in fact I very much doubt that) and just pony up for the good stuff.

post #114 of 663
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post

I seem to keep reading from the same people that  - lessons suck and don't work,

I don't think anybody is saying that, only that at the current premium it's too expensive for what you get and wish it's more affordable.
post #115 of 663
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post
 

I seem to keep reading from the same people that  - lessons suck and don't work, but more people would ski and/or have more fun skiing if they had lessons which were priced more affordably.

 

Who. exactly, said that?

 

Quote:
 JASP you need to work on your solicitude and egalitarianism!

 

Fixed it for you.  

post #116 of 663

Ok, since we are to continue here, this is from the Schweitzer Masters site  http://www.sars.net/masters.htm

 

  
  "SARS Masters athletes range from intermediate level skiers with little or no race experience to racers with elite level backgrounds that still enjoy the challenges of gate training and racing. Our athletes receive access to the best coaching on the mountain and use of necessary equipment such as; gates, radios for safety, tools, panels, timing and video equipment. Members select the program that is most appropriate to the needs of the individual. Members may select a session with emphasis on slalom or giant slalom. Typical training for this user group consists of Giant Slalom on Wednesdays and Sundays and Slalom on Thursdays and Saturdays. Similar to the other user groups, the Masters do not train gates on powder days and often ski the entire mountain in their groups. Free-skiing tips are given by the coaches in these sessions."  [emphasis added]

 
MASTERS 2 DAY  for $416.00SEASON: Beginning Wednesday, December 11, 2013 through March 2014
TRAINING: Train two, 1/2 day training sessions per week
CAMP: December Holiday Camp included in program cost


 
 
MASTERS 4 DAY  for $572.00SEASON: Beginning Wednesday, December 11, 2013 Through March 2014
TRAINING: Train every day that coaching is offered, up to four days per week
CAMP: December Holiday Camp included in program cost
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Again, not the same as privates/group lessons with an instructor but if you break down the cost per session ratio :dunno In fact if I'm not mistaken, Chris Thompson (PSIA) is one of the coaches........it will improve your all mountain skiing. There ARE alternatives out there--this is but one example. :) 
 
   Edit: Please note that the "2 day" means 2 half-days per week from Dec. 11th 2013 thru March 2014 and the "4 day" is up to 4 half-days per week (conditions permitting) from Dec 11th 2013 thru March 2014. That's a LOT of coaching for the price, IMHO....

 

    zenny


Edited by zentune - 9/21/13 at 2:33pm
post #117 of 663
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post
 

I seem to keep reading from the same people that  - lessons suck and don't work, but more people would ski and/or have more fun skiing if they had lessons which were priced more affordably.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post
 

Who. exactly, said that?

 

The most common advice on this forum does seem to be "take a lesson", regardless of the problem. It seems to be the go to phrase. Even people asking for equipment advice are frequently told to save their money and take a lesson instead. Good instruction may last a lifetime, but it's a tough choice when one hour costs more than your skis or your season pass.


Edited by MrGolfAnalogy - 9/21/13 at 2:22pm
post #118 of 663
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post
 

 

Who. exactly, said that?

 

 

 

I was taking T-Rod's "I wouldn't take a lesson with you at any price" to mean that, but maybe he meant JASP specifically. It just had me wondering if you'd never ever take a lesson anyway, why do you care what other people are paying for it.

 

Anyway, my opinion is that they cost too much and I don't get paid enough, but that's what they cost, and that's how much I get paid. Oh well, it's probably not changing anytime soon.

post #119 of 663
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post

 
I seem to keep reading from the same people that  - lessons suck and don't work, but more people would ski and/or have more fun skiing if they had lessons which were priced more affordably.

Who. exactly, said that?

I'd go along with that. The best tip I ever got skiing came from a friend, not an instructor. I've said it again and again, in forty years, there is not a single group or private lesson where I felt I learned anything. I've had lessons in Austria, Canada, Pennsylvania, New York, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Colorado, Montana... over forty years. And I am more than willing to accept all blame. Possibly I am unteachable. I never understand what they want you to do, as I don't know what I AM doing. I just do it, it gets me down the hill, I don't analyze it. I've seen a couple videos of myself and been perfectly happy, if not a bit relieved. Sure, I don't look like my daughter, but that's fine.

Given all that, I'd take more lessons if I could afford them, but I'm on a fixed income and my savings is disappearing year by year. While lift tickets increase year by year. The thing I do have is TIME. So I ski a lot. That's how I learn.

I know all the ski instructors don't like hearing this, but a bunch of certs is no guarantee that someone can actually TEACH. Or that THIS student will get it.

And yet, unbelievably, I plan to try again this winter but am setting really really really low expectations.
post #120 of 663
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post
 

 

Nobody is getting $400 an hour - they were talking half day I think. But more to the point, was the Olympian any good?

 

My apologies, I was thinking about golf pros and divorce lawyers.....

 
 
Former Olympian was excellent, after competition, he helped coached the freestyle teams at several local mountains.  I spent about 2 hours with him. Set me straight on lots of things; both technique and gear. .
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