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Gifts for Private Lesson instructor?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

I've really liked a few of our private lessons instructors for our kids this season.  I'd like to get them a little something as the season draws near (ack!).  What are some small gifts of appreciation that you've received in the past and enjoyed?  All female ski and snowboard instructors!

post #2 of 20
Pretty sure if they're young they want money. I was brought up that money is "tacky", but I've got a daughter who coaches. Second choice after money is "near money" like Amazon bucks, Starbucks gift cards, etc. Make sure the kids write sappy letters, too.
post #3 of 20

A heli trip is always appreciated.

 

Mike

post #4 of 20
Used to teach with a guy spent a few years at deer valley. Had 3 kids with millionaire parents all season as privates. Mom gave him a new Cadillac at the end of the season.

Of course for her giving the car was like the rest of us giving a $100 gift card.....
post #5 of 20
I'm a coach in a seasonal program. All I want at the end of a season are portraits of a dead inventor from Philadelphia. In short, Benjamins. I've never met an instructor who feels differently.
post #6 of 20
In my experience, and those of our coach kids, they really appreciate (and NEED) cash. However, having it come with a sincere card/note really is nice. If you don't like the the idea of cash, a gift card from backcountry.com always seems to work, too.
When our kids were young and in season long weekend programs, we had them make cards, got the coach a ski-related gift from them, and we parents gave them cash.
I've also seen parents do it as a group, which as far as the cash goes can be nice. Some can and will give $1K, some struggle to give $50. But if as a group of six, you might be able to give a coach $2K, it matters and will be greatly appreciated!
Edited by Muleski - 2/25/16 at 5:03pm
post #7 of 20
No starbucks cards unless it's something the student has purchased. I had a little girl in a multi week group buy me a Starbucks card with her allowance money... thought that was awesome! From parents, show the instructors $$$. A new car? I imagine there won't be too many complaints. smile.gif
post #8 of 20
I can't imagine why anyone would feel a gift card is a better gift than cash. Gift cards are a way to turn cash into something less flexible and less valuable.
post #9 of 20

I once got a gift certificate for the ski shop at the area where I worked.  It was a generous amount for a season long program I worked, but I couldn't use it until the next season, and the shop owner didn't really treat us very well, so most of us took our business to other shops in town.  I think I bought a new jacket for The Woman Of My Dreams with that, but cash would have been way better. 

 

BK

post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

Pretty sure if they're young they want money.... Make sure the kids write sappy letters, too.

The old guys want money too.

My tax records are full of those sappy letters.  Gives me something to smile about when I have to do my taxes.

 

BK

post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by habacomike View Post
 

A heli trip is always appreciated.

 

Mike

I never scored that one, although I know a couple of instructors who have,

 

BK

post #12 of 20
My daughter had tears running down her face reading them last season. She's got them saved for posterity or something now.

I hope this crew this season gets remembered as fondly. They are a handful this time, all drama, no work (on their part). First time with this level of frustration in five seasons. Roughly half of them have parents divorcing right now. (El Nino?)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bode Klammer View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

Pretty sure if they're young they want money.... Make sure the kids write sappy letters, too.
The old guys want money too.
My tax records are full of those sappy letters.  Gives me something to smile about when I have to do my taxes.

BK
post #13 of 20

I mentioned Backcountry.com, as some people have this hangup on cash. Not to sound sexist {too much} but it's more money. You time things right, and buy wisely, and you can get great deals, and stretch that GC there. My daughter just bought some Scarpa boots there, between the discount, a price match, a loyalty coupon and some GC's, they were a LOT less than a pro-plan price. Plus they have the insane warranty.

 

I wouldn't think another GC. No. And I'd always give cash. But, some Mom's don't like it. My son jokes that many mothers don't quite grasp the average young ski coach's restaurant choices.  Nothing like a GC to a high end restaurant, when you and your GF could have gone out for Mexican, Burgers, Pizza, or BBQ ten times for the same dollar value! 

 

OK...Cash. But if you have a spouse who thinks it's "tacky",  Backcountry.com works. Hope I'm not offending any sponsors, etc. 

post #14 of 20
If we're talking Christmas presents for family or friends, then yeah, cash is kind of tacky. Gift cards are barely any less tacky, and way more inconvenient/unappreciated/less useful.

But IMO we're talking more about a "tip" here than a "gift." Would you tip your barber with a $5 Starbucks card after a haircut?

So, cash all the way on this one. Unless you have some real inside knowledge and want to splurge on that car or whatever.
post #15 of 20
Ok for a weekend non race program that has a max of 14 students but usually 7-8.
What is the norm?!?
$100.00?
$200.00?
($1k ain't happening).
post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZrxMan01 View Post

Ok for a weekend non race program that has a max of 14 students but usually 7-8.
What is the norm?!?
$100.00?
$200.00?
($1k ain't happening).

My weekend program was 33 days, 5 hours a day.  $100 was light, especially from the rich guys.  

$1,000 from the entire group was OK, because townies and other coaches' kids were exempt.  If a kid's father owned a restaurant, sometimes he'd pick up my dinner. That was the best because it made The Woman Of My Dreams think I was a big shot.

If you really want to be a good guy for the coaches, show up everyday for the last couple of weeks and organize the other parents for a group tip.  There's always a clueless or cheap guy in the group that can be persuaded into giving a little.

 

 

BK

post #17 of 20
Ok sounds like at least $200.00 (from me the NON rich guy) is acceptable.
I always give the coaches a fiver after every single session (For coffee money).
Thanks for the info.
post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZrxMan01 View Post

Ok sounds like at least $200.00 (from me the NON rich guy) is acceptable.
I always give the coaches a fiver after every single session (For coffee money).
Thanks for the info.

An appropriate tip level is completely dependent upon the program, and the coach. How many days was the program? Was it full days, half days, or just an hour/2 hour lesson each time? Did they have the same coach every time, or did they get different ones? And also very importantly, did you and your child like the coach, did the coach do their job well? 

 

In my program, we are on snow with the same kids every week, year after year. The kids in my group I got when they were 8, they're now 10 and 11. I'll continue to have the same group til they're 16, if they stay in the program. We ski 36 days a year, full days. I've never heard of a coach getting less than $100 tip from a family. Average is probably in the $250-$300 range, with $500 plus not unusual, and $1000 not unheard of. But again, it is extremely dependent upon the program and the quality of coaching. 

post #19 of 20
Really? I can assure that is not the case up here. In fact, I'm sure some families never even thought about tipping.
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

Really? I can assure that is not the case up here. In fact, I'm sure some families never even thought about tipping.

A Stowefish is very different than a Whitefish. An entirely different kettle, one might say. 

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