re: the premium lesson
I think the argument can be made that a request private does just this. It gives the customer the ability to select for quality at a premium.
Yes and No. It's easy to think that a private lesson is the only premium lesson product that is offered or necessary. But many resorts offer specialized children's products, multi day or week programs, focused clinics (e.g. women), etc. Some people may judge my premium lesson concept to be gimmicky or not different enough to be worthwhile. I thought so myself before I made an assumption that money was being left on the table and then put on my marketing hat.
There are enough extra services that are possible that could be used as the basis for successfully MARKETING a premium lesson as a distinct product from a private lesson. Here are some example ideas:
guaranteed certified instructor
special priority for ... parking-valet parking/lines/lift access (e.g. early on)
take home documents (achievement certificates, report cards, training plan, how to docs or videos, newsletters)
unbiased equipment advice
lesson only equipment rentals (for multi discipline experience, shop demos)
personal and expedited (with pre filled out forms like the car rental companies) service in the equipment rental process
reach the goal "guarantee" - if we can't get you there, we'll at least give you a plan for getting there
free overtime (i.e. take as much time as needed to make the lesson meaningful - up to a limit)
club membership with on hill internet access/reserved lodge space/day locker access/walkie talkie loaners
This is the kind of idea that is hard to say yes to because there are so many reasons to say no. But think how attractive this kind of package would be to a customer, especially as the list of extra services builds up. This kind of program is doable if you WANT to do it.
Similar ideas have been tried in the past. My resort tried to do a piece of this backwards (e.g. throw in a free lesson with equipment demos). I also suspect that many resorts are already doing something like this for VVIPs anyway (e.g. at my resort we get occasional visits from presidential families and congressmen). The success for this kind of program depends on strong marketing support and a pricing/expense structure that makes it more profitable than a private lesson for both the resort and the pro. Getting these kinds of ideas onto the table makes it easier for a resort to increase pro compensation.