Ok i had to sign up just to respond to this post. I have been lurking for a long while but this kind of hit me. I now feel like a complete D-bag for not tipping the instructors. I always tip reall well at restaurants, etc. but it just never came to mind to tip the instructors. So for those who I have slighted by not recognizing their service...my apologies.
Welcome to Epic and don't feel like a d-bag...If an all day group lesson was $20, then it would seem obvious that the instructor was not being paid much...different story when it is $100-200+
I am familiar with a few resorts in CO and starting pay is roughly
Child's Specialist I & Freestyle Specialist 1- +$0.50- $0.75 each
Cert 2 & 3 +$1.00-$3.00 each
The above are "teaching rates" Most resorts pay a "customer service" rate of around $9/hr for things like morning meeting, wait time in line up, etc. There is also unpaid wait time (when you can go skiing, but must check in later). Some resorts do offer a variety of bonuses such as a flat $4-$6 for a "return" student. The definition of this varies by resort so you may or may not get "return" pay if multi-days were booked in advance or someone skis with you Monday, skips Tuesday then takes another lesson with you Wednesday.
The bottom line is that around here, most full time instructors have another job and/or income source. As Freeski said, it is hard to see great full timers bust their butts day after day (often with almost no days off during peak times) then hurry out of the locker room so that they can get to their night job.
Copper has their pay system online available to the public http://www.copperskiandrideschool.com/uploadedcontent/2013-14%20srs%20pay%20system%20updated%20on%2012.1.13.pdf