I hope you are all enjoying the days of fall and gearing up for another epic season on mountain. Your first day back at Vail will be here before we know it, and in anticipation of that, I wanted to let you know about a few exciting updates regarding our Instructors’ compensation for the season ahead.
To consistently deliver the Experience of a Lifetime to our guests requires that we attract and retain the best talent – that absolutely includes our Ski School Instructors who are responsible for igniting, or progressing, the love of skiing and snowboarding for our guests.
As we communicated earlier this summer: Last year we announced significant changes with a 20% increase in the private lesson incentive and a 25% increase in the group return incentive, which were in effect for the 2014-2015 season. We also announced changes in the status system that will now allow all certified Instructors to qualify for S1 and S2 status based on their productivity. With the new thresholds that we communicated last fall, and more Instructors generating even higher performance this season, we will have more Instructors qualified for the S1 and S2 categories for the 2015-2016 season than ever before. In June, we announced increased wages for all new entry level non-certified Instructors, rental techs and indoor staff attendants going into the 2015-2016 season.
In addition to merit increases for 2015-2016, today, we have a few additional changes to announce for our Vail and Beaver Creek Instructors:
New Entry-Level Base Wages: Compensation Change Former Rate ($/hr) NEW Rate ($/hr)
Non-Certified Pros $9.95 $10.50 (5.5% increase)
Level 1 Certified Pros $10.95 $12.00 (9.6% increase)
Level 2 Certified Pros $12.95 $15.00 (15.8% increase)
Level 3 Certified Pros $14.95 $18.00 (20.4% increase)
Private & Group Lesson Incentives & Increases
New this season, all Vail Instructors will receive an increase of $1/hour for private lesson requests, changing from $6/hour to $7/hour (which totals a 40% increase over the last two years). In addition, we will provide an increase of $1.50 per group lesson return, changing from $7.50 to $9 (a 50% increase over the last two years).
Gratuities Going Forward
We have heard from both our Instructors and guests that there are questions and confusion about tipping Instructors following a lesson – so we are taking steps to help clarify (and we hope, increase) Instructors’ gratuities. First, at the end of a lesson, guests will now be able to charge a gratuity via credit card at any of our ski and snowboard school offices. Call center agents and location sellers will be trained to answer questions about tipping and provide guidance when asked. These gratuities will be paid out on the Instructor’s next pay check and applicable taxes will be deducted. Second, to raise awareness about the appropriateness of tipping our Instructors we will provide information to guests about providing their Instructor a gratuity on various collateral and in numerous messages including: our website; online pricing tables/payment pages; pre-arrival emails; and printed brochures. Lastly, gratuity guidelines will be addressed in our FAQ section on our ski & snowboard school webpage.
We truly have the most talented teachers in the industry and I am excited about what these changes represent for our team and our Instructors. Thank you for your enthusiasm and commitment to our team, our school and our guests – it’s going to be a great 2015-2016 season!
In the coming days you’ll receive more details from your Manager outlining next steps to return for the 2015-2016 season. Should you have any questions before coming back on board in the upcoming weeks, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly or the school at email@example.com.
Look forward to seeing you soon,
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