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Thread Starter 
Rather than hijack or derail the other thread going about the ETU, I thought I'd try to clarify a few points regarding both events.

In The Beginning-
For a couple/few years, EpicSki provided a forum which allowed any member a measure of access to others who had a passion for skiing. As more and more pro's started participating regularly, they allowed virtually all comers to pick their brains for information.

This became such an integral part of the Forums that soon the question was "This is great, but when can I ski with you?". The answer was simple- "I work at <name the area> and it costs $$$ per day to ski with me"... The first seeds were planted when EpicSki members started asking if a program could be put together for them to attend. Bob Barnes got the ball rolling, and soon the idea of an "Academy" came to be.

This led to several new discussions on the forums- ranging from the quality of various ski programs and schools, to the impact of tipping on compensation of pro's, and others. These threads confirmed the validity of the events that came to be the ESA and ETU.

As these events became more and more developed, it was important that they have a core philosophy to guide them. So we came up with a few tenents to follow.

The Prime Directive was simple- To make the events "the best programs at the best price". This would include having top level coaches, at areas where we were welcomed, and offered exceptional value for the lift ticket dollar.
Now, as the programs expand or become more inclusive, the prices will likely be going up. But since making a huge profit is not at the core of either event, it still allows us to keep the cost of the events at an incredible value level.

After ESA1, where every coach volunteered their time and effort (we were reimbursed for some of our expenses and tipped by our groups), another philosophy was enacted. In accordance with the thread regarding instructor compensation, it was decided that in the future coaches would be compensated at a rate which would set an industry standard, and attempt to move beyond the paradigm of tipping.
This does not imply that the coaches wages are going to put anyone through college, but would certainly offset any loss of wages realized by being away from their home area, and add incentive for those coaches making the committment to the members of EpicSki and the attendees of the events.

But as these events become more and more sophisticated, other factors become involved- such as Workman's Comp, Liability Insurance, etc, which will also begin to have an effect on the pricing of the events. Though our intent is to remain true to the Prime Directive, please understand that there is a cost of doing business.

And we promise that we will remain "the best program at the best price"!

Have a great season, and we hope to see you at one or both of the events scheduled for this season!