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Vail Raises Instructor Pay! - Page 2

post #31 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorenzzo View Post

^^^^
If you'd like to have a legitimate debate you might read and address what I actually said and find the relevance.

Yeah…it's obvious you are incredibly generous…


Actually did read what you said and addressed it directly. If you didn't articulate some nuance within your "feed the instructors" argument, feel free to correct that oversight. 

 

Yeah, it's obvious you're not a shining example of the whiny, entitled ski bum :rolleyes

post #32 of 52

Such a new and invigorating conversation. I’m glad we’re talking about ski instructor wages over and over again.

post #33 of 52

The question is should you tip an instructor who is not wearing a helmet and hasn't pulled the bar down on the chair lift?

post #34 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeUT View Post


Actually did read what you said and addressed it directly. If you didn't articulate some nuance within your "feed the instructors" argument, feel free to correct that oversight. 

Yeah, it's obvious you're not a shining example of the whiny, entitled ski bum rolleyes.gif

This will be the my last acknowledgement of any of your contributions as, for whatever reason, your claims as to me and what I've said have been inaccurate.

I don't rely on instructor wages, I'm not a ski bum, I started and run a successful business which presently employs many. I have been responsible for paying wages and benefits to those people but I don't presume to impose upon them how they should spend their money, what time pressures they face within their lives, etc. When I do give raises, I don't look for or exact an offset that reduces the value of those raises even if I could and then feel better about it by imposing my values on them. That would be presumptuous and pompous.

Absent empathy one can generally avoid almost any sense of compassion or responsibility to others. I chose to share lunchtime habits with my co-workers because I respect them as people, feel empathy as to their treatment and think manners are important.

Others, including you, are free to disagree/ have a contrary opinion. This isn't math...there is no single correct answer. I will say most tipping relies on some degree of empathy. So to witness someone claim generosity but display no empathy challenges their credibility.
post #35 of 52
Thread Starter 

Regarding the food discussion above, one perk is that many of the on mountain restaurants (and some not affiliated with the company off mountain) will discount or comp the instructors lunch when you dine with clients.  In group lessons, they give us a $17 voucher (which may or may not cover the entire cost of our lunch) good at the various cafeterias and the rest of the time we get 50% off (which makes the on mountain food prices comparable to off mountain).

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wade View Post
 

 

That's an interesting chart.  I still think instructors earn too little, and the lessons cost too much, but I'm surprised that the net contribution to profit is as low as it is.  

 

This contribution to profit seems to include only the direct costs of running the ski school.  I assume Vail operates the same way as most businesses in that below the contribution line, they fully allocate all of their central and corporate costs (corporate management, marketing, maintenance, depreciation and amortization etc) across each of their operating units.  

 

Assuming this is the case, and for arguments sake assuming those costs are another 30% of revenue, the ski school might be posting profit in the 25% of revenue range.  That's a very good return, but to me, it's not the rampant profiteering I would have assumed given the lesson and instructor rates.

Not sure how you come up with another 30%.  I think the companies total revenues are something like 1.2 B.  Depreciation & maintenance for ski school assets should be much less than for other parts of the operation like hotels and lift opts.  Do you really think they spend $360 million on corporate management & marketing?  My guess is that the costs the ski school management left out come to well under 10% of ski school revenue.  This is why a ski school like Aspen can afford to pay instructors double (or more) than Vail and still charge less for lessons.   

post #36 of 52

All those Aspen instructors must be doing extremely well. With a wage like that, you can totally afford to live, work and play in the upper RFV.

post #37 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorenzzo View Post


This will be the my last acknowledgement of any of your contributions as, for whatever reason, your claims as to me and what I've said have been inaccurate.

I don't rely on instructor wages, I'm not a ski bum, I started and run a successful business which presently employs many. I have been responsible for paying wages and benefits to those people but I don't presume to impose upon them how they should spend their money, what time pressures they face within their lives, etc. When I do give raises, I don't look for or exact an offset that reduces the value of those raises even if I could and then feel better about it by imposing my values on them. That would be presumptuous and pompous.

Absent empathy one can generally avoid almost any sense of compassion or responsibility to others. I chose to share lunchtime habits with my co-workers because I respect them as people, feel empathy as to their treatment and think manners are important.

Others, including you, are free to disagree/ have a contrary opinion. This isn't math...there is no single correct answer. I will say most tipping relies on some degree of empathy. So to witness someone claim generosity but display no empathy challenges their credibility.

This sounds like one of those things that you probably thought would be a really incisive mic-drop moment, but in reality, doesn't mean a damn thing. Because I disagree with someone on the Internet complaining about lack of discounted food options, my claims of being generous are suspect? Okay, cool story. 

 

Whether you rely on your instructor wages or not is meaningless. I was addressing your argument, not your lifestyle, of which I know nothing about. Your argument implied that loss of food discounts is just another way the instructor is getting screwed by the man. If I argue second amendment rights, does it matter whether or not I own guns, or does my argument stand or fall on its own merit or lack thereof? 

 

I've said in the past, it appears to me that instructors are underpaid, at least at the upper end. Seems like unionization or some type of organized effort is the logical way to combat low wages, with the least logical way being complaining about tangential things like not getting discounts on lunch. The latter is indicative of why the general public seems to have absolutely no sympathy for underpaid instructors.

 

But carry on with the good fight and patting yourself on the back for eating disco fries and all that. 

post #38 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree30 View Post

Not sure how you come up with another 30%.  I think the companies total revenues are something like 1.2 B.  Depreciation & maintenance for ski school assets should be much less than for other parts of the operation like hotels and lift opts.  Do you really think they spend $360 million on corporate management & marketing?  My guess is that the costs the ski school management left out come to well under 10% of ski school revenue.  This is why a ski school like Aspen can afford to pay instructors double (or more) than Vail and still charge less for lessons.   

30% was a pure guess. Maybe it's 10%. Maybe it's 50%. I don't have access to the financials.

It depends on how Vail treats costs that aren't directly charged to each operation, and how it allocates those costs. Given that there are no charges for the cost categories I mentioned in the direct cost breakdown for the ski school, I don't think it's unreasonable to think that those types of costs are accounted for centrally and allocated to operations based on revenue, contribution, or some other methodology.

You're assuming the ski school receives little or no allocation for resort infrastructure. Maybe you know something that I don't, but I don't think it's beyond the realm of possibility that Vail allocates charges related to infrastructure across all operating divisions.

Regardless, my point was more that I was surprised that direct costs that are mostly variable account for almost half of ski school revenue. I would have assumed the margins were much higher given the disparity between the lesson rate and the instructor pay.
post #39 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeUT View Post


I feel like that's not a great comparison. I don't pay that much for an entire day of dog daycare. If she can get that much, good for her, but doesn't have much to do with other industries. Also undoubtedly a bunch of other overhead included in that price - advertising, time spent on non-revenue aspects of the business, cost of any supplies, etc.

The point wasn't to compare dog walkers and ski instructors--as I mentioned in that original post nearly ANYTHING you do here (in a city that already passed a $15 minimum wage though it is not fully implemented for every job type) will pay more than being a level 1 instructor at Vail.

post #40 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldSchool47 View Post
 

 

DO NOT tip your ski instructor. My hunch is that the current system of tipping in America, which is derived from England, is going to collapse. The German system will be taking over ("round up in a restaurant"). No tipping. 


Hey! I'm his instructor! :duel:

post #41 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post
 


Hey! I'm his instructor! :duel:

 

What?  Being able to spend time with the likes of me isn't reward enough for you?  Jeez!  A little respect here! I'm the best damn skier in my portion of the space-time continuum!

 

:duck:

 

Back to your regularly scheduled programming.

post #42 of 52

Hmm... Just started skiing seriously (more than once a year) last year and I tipped $20 or $40 per $85 session. What is normal? I tip on my perception of service received, what are others basing your tips on?

 

As for hourly rate, if they are paying to low...they will not fill the positions. Until that happens why would the management raise the pay rate?

 

I would like to point out, my 16y/o just got a $0.75 per hour moving him from $7.75 to $8.50 an hour. He could make more but appreciates the flexibility McDonald's gives him around sports seasons. This was his first raise in 2+ years. What extras do ski instructors get? Might be something they want out of life, they get working on the slopes besides money.

 

Edit was to fix the math.


Edited by prologix - 10/20/15 at 6:20am
post #43 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by prologix View Post
 

Hmm... Just started skiing seriously (more than once a year) last year and I tipped $20 or $40 per $85 session. What is normal? I tip on my perception of service received, what are others basing your tips on?

 

[snip]

You'll find some useful answers about how much is reasonable when you want to tip in the first couple of pages of post in this 2014 thread about tipping.  After that . . . I stopped reading. ;)

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/125872/tipping-etiquette-for-ski-instructors

post #44 of 52

I don't know who would fund it but the discussion makes me wonder if an anti-trust lawsuit might get traction.  Microsoft was forced to include other browsers in Windows, AT&T had to allow other long distance companies to use it's infrastructure, shouldn't Vail have to allow other ski schools to teach at its resorts?

post #45 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Utagonian View Post
 

I don't know who would fund it but the discussion makes me wonder if an anti-trust lawsuit might get traction.  Microsoft was forced to include other browsers in Windows, AT&T had to allow other long distance companies to use it's infrastructure, shouldn't Vail have to allow other ski schools to teach at its resorts?


No, its a liability and property rights thing.

AT&T was a dealing with a monopoly thing, helped by the government granted right of way.

Judges were outright wrong with the browser thing. But it hurt MS that they as part of the contracts with the PC manufactures they tried to block other browsers.

post #46 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Christy319 View Post

The point wasn't to compare dog walkers and ski instructors--as I mentioned in that original post nearly ANYTHING you do here (in a city that already passed a $15 minimum wage though it is not fully implemented for every job type) will pay more than being a level 1 instructor at Vail.

So if instructors want to make more money they should become dog walkers. Personal choices...
post #47 of 52

Teaching a group lesson at times is like herding cats, so similar.

post #48 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by COBillsFan View Post
 

All those Aspen instructors must be doing extremely well. With a wage like that, you can totally afford to live, work and play in the upper RFV.

 

 

Most of the one's I know do and I don't really hear many bitching.   I think they also have profit sharing.

post #49 of 52
I work part time at Aspen. Many of the full time instructors work 6-7 days a week and up with 500 plus hours a season. That is alot of hours in boots.
post #50 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post
 

Teaching a group lesson at times is like herding cats, so similar.


yeah, but no poop to pick up.......unless of course they get s**t scared!!!   :D

post #51 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Utagonian View Post
 

I don't know who would fund it but the discussion makes me wonder if an anti-trust lawsuit might get traction.  Microsoft was forced to include other browsers in Windows, AT&T had to allow other long distance companies to use it's infrastructure, shouldn't Vail have to allow other ski schools to teach at its resorts?

When Vail purchased multiple Summit County ski resorts, they were forced to (at least partially) divest of A Basin.  While it would certainly serve the skiing public to allow multiple ski school to teach at the big resorts, you are correct that it would be tough to get anyone to fund such a suit.  If the public thinks this is a good idea, its free to post on the U.S. Forest Services FB page as they own much of the land big Western Ski Resorts like Vail operate on and might be convinced to issue more than one "Non-Exclusive" SUP to allow for a second school to help reduce the huge gap between what the public pays for ski lessons and the instructors get paid.  

 

The interesting thing is that Vail has an unofficial working agreement with most other Colorado resorts to allow instructors from other resorts to bring private lesson guests to each others mountain.  This doesn't happen a ton, but I have seen Vail instructors in uniform at Copper and Aspen instructors in uniform at Vail with clients.  At the very least the USFS should make this unofficial arrangement official.  By making it official, a resort like Vail couldn't pull out of the arrangement if too many instructors from resorts with lower private lesson prices showed up with clients at Vail.  

Quote:
Originally Posted by prologix View Post
 


No, its a liability and property rights thing.

AT&T was a dealing with a monopoly thing, helped by the government granted right of way.

Judges were outright wrong with the browser thing. But it hurt MS that they as part of the contracts with the PC manufactures they tried to block other browsers.

Given that most of the land that Vail operates on is National Forest, the property rights are determined by the USFS issued "non-exclusive" Ski Area Special Use Permits which the USFS retains the right to modify to serve the public interest.

post #52 of 52

Fairly depressing wages in any event, I was making more than that in the 80's despite the fact I refused to get certified. On top of that, back then most full time people were on free equipment too.

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