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Epicski Academy II - Page 2

post #31 of 211
SLC has the easiest logistics and it is largely already scoped-out for lodging/restaurants/resorts -- less leg work to redo there.

But it also may be worth considering whether rotating venues creates a more distinct and memorable experience each year -- therefore making each event unique. There's always an excitement to discovering a new place and I wouldn't want the EpicSki Academy to begin feeling routine.

I'm just thinking out loud here, not sure myself which is best. Just wanted to point out that there is more to the quality of an experience than how easy it is to execute.
post #32 of 211
One thing that the organizers have talked about is growth of the Academy. Why can't that growth be in the direction of having two Academys next season. One the lowcost special that we know can happen here In Utah at Brighton and the other taking place in conjunction with the gathering, wherever that might be. Personally, I think that without the no advertising stricture that Solitude placed on us we could easily sell out two Academys.

post #33 of 211
Yd, Solitude didn't really initiate the no advertising agreeement we did in order to avoid any appearance of "theft of service." However, I think in the next round we want to find a resort that can recognize the fact that even local advertising and recruitment will not hurt their business. In fact, I feel confident that even getting a number of local participants will only bring more of them into the local ski school as follow up. This can be further enhanced if we get some active participation in the Academy by the local ski school. Wouldn't it be great to develop a group of affiliated resorts with local Epic Ski representatives linking their ski schools to Epic and its Academy? Seems to me we have our first candidate at Brighton, especially since they were able to clinic with Bob and Weems (covering, I'm sure, a lot of the Academy's philosophy).

Perhaps Mary can comment on this and give us some further insight.
post #34 of 211
BOb and Weems clinicing with the instructors gave me an idea. The Wed. fitness presentation was pretty much lecture/demo, since we did not have enough "toys" for everyone. If a local gym would let us use their facilities, we can have that part of the event more participatory.
As a bargaining chip, I could offer a C.E.C. training for their instructors.
post #35 of 211
Reasonable cost is probably the top priority and this would include decent airfare for those traveling. If you've got to take a couple of planes to get there what's the point. Of course with a little organization, we could perhaps coordinate some sort of van or transport service to a mountain local. This could save the cost of rental cars for some.

What else would be in the running besides Slc? Tahoe region? It seems hard to compete with slc for access/cost but I'm sure it could be done.

Logistically, what would make it better if there was a central meeting area where we stayed. Unfortuneately, Extended Stay didn't have a lounge or game room where people could hang out. As a result, if you didn't meet people for dinner than you didn't see them till the next morning. A place where people could hang would be great, but I don't know if anything could compete with the cost of Ext. Stay.
post #36 of 211
Cost is always the prime factor when I plan a ski vacation and the Academy was no exception. For about $1200 I got 8 nights room and board (including 1 night at Cleveland to fly out the next day, it was cheaper then 1 weeks parking), round trip air, 5 days lift tickets (could have saved more if I had cash for Alta group rate but $40 was still a deal) and 1 weeks rental of a 4wd Jeep SUV. I split the cost of the room and car rental with Marcus and we ate in and brown bagged lunch most of the time. This trip was one of the best deals ever and when you factor in the great coaching and new friendships.....priceless.

If we could negotiate a total package including lodging that will come in around the same cost or slightly higher if we stay on mountain (no car rental) that would be great. I like SLC for the variety and the lower elevation. Staying in town really lessens the risk of elevation sickness and lower bases give these wheezy eastern lungs a break.

I would like to bring my family next year so a place with good kids programs would be nice. Any bears out there with a 13-14 year old girl to run with my daughter? Can you imagine a gang of teen bears? A buddy for my then to be 6-year-old boy would be great too.... Rug rats, rug cubs?

I know Weems lead the 'Perfect Curves' women but was that an all women’s group by design? How about an all women’s group for the more advanced skiers? My wife would be interested in such a group. Since she had our children, nothing scares her. I take that back. The North Face at Crested Butte gave her a little vertigo but she was pregnant with #2 and didn't know it so I'll just call it morning sickness.

One thing I really missed was the lack of the truly deep, light powder. If the organizers could arrange that . How about a 'no late breakfast out on a powder morning" rule [img]tongue.gif[/img] ?

All in all, Brighton and SLC were great and there are still huge chunks of terrain at Brighton yet to be explored. Going back next year would be fine by me.
post #37 of 211
If a somewhat concensus about SLC is arrived, I think we could find a package there, that could offer us what we need. I have a contact that is a travel agent in SLC. She may be able to scurry up something. Or, I get to SLC fairly often. Perhaps Ydnar may have some contacts. The possibilities are pretty endless.
post #38 of 211
Perfect Curves aka Bumpin' Babes aka Loose Ladies was not all female by design. The 3 of us just happened to be the lowest level skiers at the academy.
Which brings up another point. According to Weems and RickH, we were more or less a level 6 skiing group. Next year, it would be great if we could somehow find a way to attract some level 2-5 skiers, it would be great! If I had attended a workshop of thiss caliber earlier on, I probably would have never gotten stuck in a rut.

[ February 06, 2003, 07:09 PM: Message edited by: Lisamarie ]
post #39 of 211
Please keep the suggestions coming. But let's remember that we just broke bread together at the closing banquet last Thursday. We need to allow the pot to simmer a bit before committing to a plan of action, in my opinion.

If we could decide on the date window, that would settle an important variable that is necessary to ask for proposals from a short list of resorts.

Does the same time frame as this year's Academy work for you?
post #40 of 211
The time frame was perfect, the locale was perfect, the gurus [nolo and Bob Barnes] were perfect, the Barking Beavers were in a very happy group - and we did enjoy watching the Perfect Curves.

If the time frame is the same, the gurus come back for more, and the area is as much fun as Brighton - it's got to be wonderful.
post #41 of 211
All opposed?

My hat's in the ring for Brighton next year.
Nuff said.
post #42 of 211
You are getting me so excited! We have too much planned for January next year, so I may have to make some hard choices.

I agree that cost is a concern for many. One thing to keep in mind is a larger airport (like SLC) leads to better airfare. This too can be a substantial part of the trip. It sounds like ESA was great as it was more conducive to brown bagging, etc (plus the prices sounded great).

Closer to the slopes probably eats up a lot of savings one gets from not having a car (but the convenience is great).

I almost have my husband convinced (depending on the concessions to make for the other Jan plans). We are both intermediate -- he in lack of fear and flying down the hill, myself in finesse but SLOW! [img]smile.gif[/img]

I don't know if I can wait 11 months!

post #43 of 211
This may be off topic, so sorry, but...

Was there or will there be any option for children at the Academy? I know many people use ski school for their kids simply as day care, but my daughter (age 9) is really getting quite good and is getting bored with the "c'mon guys, follow me!" type of experience at her last few lessons -- both locally here at Sugarloaf and when we went to Steamboat last month.

I sure am jealous of the quality of experience it sounds like everyone had at the first Academy, and would like to try to make it to Academy II. But it would be much better for us if my daughter could also partake.

Comments or thoughts?

[ February 09, 2003, 05:47 AM: Message edited by: gForce ]
post #44 of 211
We had actually discussed this in the planning phase.;f=9;t=000016

Although it would be fun to have them there, I really don't think we should arrange the academy dates to make it convenient for children to come. School breaks, 3 day holidays are a nightmare on the slopes. Since we are not affiliated with the ski school, we do not have lift line privledges. This was no problem in a mon-fri. group at Brighton. Do this during spring break, a holiday, or over a weekend, YIKES. And costs would be considerably higher.

That said, I still think its a good idea, if parents want to keep their kids out of school to coincide with the academy dates. But then you get into the issue of , ok, you allowed kids, what about a teens group?
post #45 of 211

As Lisamarie notes, we did discuss children at the Academy in the Planning Room. There did not seem to be much interest in children's groups at the first Academy, perhaps partially due to its timing, as Lisamarie also notes. But it is certainly something we can consider for future Academies.

One thing to remember is that most special interest groups--kids, telemark, teens, etc., don't work well unless there are enough people involved to create SEVERAL such groups, to allow splitting according to ability. Barring sufficient numbers, the best alternative may be to take advantage of the local ski school's offerings, although I appreciate your frustration with the "quality" of the programs you've expreienced.

Be sure to bring this question up, along with any other needs and desires, when the discussions begin in earnest for planning the next EpicSki Academy. One of the keys to the Academy's success is surely its participant-driven nature.

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #46 of 211
One more thing to keep in mind, we would have a good bargaining chip with whatever mountain we choose if anyone enrolled their kids in the local ski school. If we put in our own ski school program, they may percieve that to be competition.

Bob also raises a good point about levels of proficiency. Just because they are kids, it does not mean that they are at the same skiing level.
post #47 of 211
Thanks for the link. I am not surprised it was discussed before, but couldn't find the thread. I assumed that even with children participating, the Academy could not be held during an official school break due to crowd and cost issues already mentioned.

I hope, though, that as planning begins, there might be some barometer of interest for a child/teen program to see whether there would be enough individuals participating to warrant its inclusion.

Like I said -- I am green with envy reading all the reports from this year! Nice job everyone!
post #48 of 211
As I said I said in my post above, I'm interested in bringing my family. I worry more about the time frame for me because this Academy occured right in the middle of my ski school's 5 week group programs and a main selling point of that program is having the same coach (sound familiar?). Vacation from my money job is no problem and I'll always take my kids out of school for a ski vacation. Their puplic school would think there is something wrong if I didn't.

I never thought that the Academy would provide instruction for my kids. I'm willing to use the Host's school. Also, my oldest, though still very much in need of formal learning, really does not desire classes. She just needs and also would benefit from running with a pack of like skilled and age appropriate (as determined by mom and me), young teens. My 5 year old hasn't met a group of kids he doesn't like and seems still to enjoy a well organized kids program.

We can discuss this over the next year but I just want to get this out early so others may consider making the Academy/Gathering a family vacation. Do not fear all you singles, empty nesters and married without kids. I have no wish to turn the focus to kid time. I just hope that this event will be family friendly enough to bring my gang on vacation.
post #49 of 211
I was planning on signing up during the last week but was not able to attend Academy 1 due to a very sick father who was in the hospital.

Reading these posts discussing kids maybe attending next year I got to thinkng. I have a 14 year old son who is my ski partner and would ski with an advanced adult group...Is this a possibility...
post #50 of 211
I hope your father is okay!

Given that there is some interest in kids instruction, I think that as we get closer, you folks should see if there are some common levels of proficiency amongst the kids or teens. Then we can see if there are enough at the same level to make it worth the coaches while to have groups. Once again, the option of the local ski school is always open.

HOWEVER: We may need to clean up our act a bit in the closing ceremonies. Perhaps we will have to leave out the "it only felt like 6 inches" comments! [img]graemlins/angel.gif[/img]
post #51 of 211
Originally posted by Lisamarie:
HOWEVER: We may need to clean up our act a bit in the closing ceremonies. [img]graemlins/angel.gif[/img]
Naaah, we can just slap on an appropriate rating from the motion picture association and check IDs at the door.
post #52 of 211
I'd just like to reiterate that I feel that both the Academy and the Gathering should be pretty close together, if not in the same place.
It would seem a lot of people travel a fair distance, and it just keeps the costs down for the majority of people who want to attend both. It would be a shame to exclude some people from one or the other because of this.
I can't help feeling that from the posts I've read about this years event the reason it was so succesful was because of the proximity of the two events in both location and timeframe.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

...or something like that.
post #53 of 211
MarkP, I second that emotion.
post #54 of 211
I vote for the North Shore of Tahoe.

That's all I got to say.

post #55 of 211
Reading these posts discussing kids maybe attending next year I got to thinkng. I have a 14 year old son who is my ski partner and would ski with an advanced adult group...Is this a possibility...
Bob, nolo, or sno'more would have to answer that question since there might be a legal problem involved. There was a tremendous amount of work that went into the Academy that was done by the organizers. Part of it was making it "legal". Ya can't just show up on a hill with a whole bunch of people you are teaching and are "responsible" for. The amazing thing is that all that stuff got done plus the logistics....

Remember the subtitle from "Aspen Extreme" ?

"Skiing's the Easy Part"

Well that's a long-winded maybe eh?...
post #56 of 211
I agreee 2 zillion % that I would like the academy and gathering to be at the same location.


I do have a concern that people who are ONLY interested in the GATHERING will feel that the ACADEMY is trying to overshadow it. There seemed to be a bit of animousity about that, regarding the first academy.

Keeping the academy at Brighton with the inexpensive lift tickets and dirt cheap lodging would make the Academy more affordable for more people. And once again, I reiterste, no matter what the exchange rate is, you are not going to find a $70 per person lift and lodging deal anywhere.

Also, as far as Utah goes, there are other mountains, such as the Canyons, Snowbasin and Park City can be held.

If it turns out that the Gathering Only people want an entirely different venue, once again it would be great if we could at least keep them in the same time frame, with easy transportation between the 2 locations.

Some possible pairs would be any 2 Colorado resorts. Someone in the gathering thread mentioned Taos. A Taos gathering with a Wolf Creek, or possibly Angel Fire academy may be fun.
post #57 of 211
Originally posted by Lisamarie:
There seemed to be a bit of animosity about that, regarding the first academy.
I have seen no animosity.

And once again, I reiterate, no matter what the exchange rate is, you are not going to find a $70 per person lift and lodging deal anywhere.
You absolutely can be in that price range at major Canadian resorts. And you could do it with lodging on-hill, not 30 mnutes away (I'd trade on-hill location for a kitchen any day).

If it turns out that the Gathering Only people want an entirely different venue, once again it would be great if we could at least keep them in the same time frame, with easy transportation between the 2 locations.
I am working under the assumption that the two will be together (at the same resort or at least within an hour drive of each other). Everyone I have heard from supports keeping them together.
post #58 of 211
Actually, the figure is closer to $50 per person double occupancy. It's $70 if you have your own room. That has a kitchen. I too, doubt if that could be beat.
post #59 of 211
It would certainly be worth seeing if we could get a great deal on lodging near a resort. This would save a lot of time after and lead to more informal get togethers. Yeah, the 30-40 minute distance isn't all that great, but it's still a lot of schlepping. Also, if people didn't need to rent cars it would lessen the cost.
It was really nice having the Acad at a small area where you actually saw other groups. Were we to have it someplace a lot bigger, maybe we should make an effort to facilitate group interaction. (It would be nice to have some real tough terrain also)
post #60 of 211
OK, I stand corrected. Next time I go anywhere in Canada, I should probably consult you folks as to where to stay. But for the most part, Canada does give exceptional value for price.

Whether we can get a decent deal on lodging that is close to the mountain, depends on how big of a mountain we are going to. I seem to recall that Snowbird had offered $140 a night as a group discount, and Solitude something like $110 a night.
Sorry, but to me, this does not qualify as a discount.

A smaller mountain may offer us something better.

One thing I would like to keep constant. I LOVED the fact that the academy was before the gathering. I think some people who would have felt uncomfortable skiing with other bears were greatly helped by this!
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