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Ski Instructor Outfit $$$ Q

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
How much is it acceptable for the ski-school to charge a ski instructor for his working outfit? How much does a ski-instructor outfit cost? We are talking about 30 outfits.
post #2 of 12
The price can vary depending on the quality of the outfit, as well as the number they order. If there are just 30 outfits, chances are your ski school doesn't get much of a quantity discount.

For my ski school (approx. 200 pros), they just got new jackets (we supply black pants). We pay $250 (Canadian) for them, and we have the choice of either returning them in proper condition at the end of the season and getting our money back, or we can buy them outright and get $2 back towards the jacket for every hour we work, up to a maximum of $80 a season (so that we recoup the cost over three years). Most people tend to buy them because they're pretty high quality jackets for a cheap price. If you're curious, they're made by Avalanche.
post #3 of 12
I have had two different experiences. One was a $50 deposit for a jacket, the other was no cost for jacket, pants, and softshell/fleece. Clearly, YMMV. Neither of these places would sell the uniforms, given what they mean in terms of priviledges.
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
That is about 160 EURO. With 40 hours of teaching you will get 50 EURO returned. We have to pay 300 EURO, $460 Canadian, and we cannot return them at the end of the season. What colour do you use and what happens if you have to buy new jackets and the old line is out of production? Does everybody have the same jacket? What about the "old" ones, instructors I mean, do they change jackets all the time or are some using jacket from lets say 5y back?
post #5 of 12
Avalanche specializes in uniforms for ski areas - patrol, ski school, operations, etc. and they will guarantee to produce a given uniform for however many years (I think it's 3-4), so we get a few years before we switch. Only a couple people use the old jackets, but they're usually the ones who only do a couple privates once in a while - it's a smaller private club, not a large scale mountain operation.
We used to have different jackets for each part of the snow school - racing (black), ski (red) and snowboard (black) schools, but with the new jackets they're all blue, with somewhat different variations between the divisions - blue shoulders/arms with a silver stripe for the ski school, grey shoulders/arms for snowboarders and silver shoulders for racing.
post #6 of 12
Originally Posted by ssh
Neither of these places would sell the uniforms, given what they mean in terms of priviledges.
I taught at one moutain where I was hard pressed to find any "priviledges" of the uniform... area policy was that if you were on mountain property you were required to be in uniform. Days off didn't matter- uniform always on when on company property and show up for line up.

It was also against the rules to purchase a lift ticket (for full price) and free ski in own clothing on days off. I guess buying a coke for 50% off was the priviledge?? And they wondered why instructor turn-over was high!
post #7 of 12
that's funny, requiring you to pay for your uniform! If they require you to wear it, they can jolly well provide it. Povo resorts that make you wear your own trousers are funny, too. Here we are issued with the full suit, usually red coat and trousers (Karbon and Couloir the popular ones) with resort logs and things on and a raincoat and a fleece or fleece vest or both, soemtimes other things like shirts with sponsors stuff on them (you keep those) and a variety of hats with logs and stuff on (which you also keep).
post #8 of 12
We purchase Spider every 5th year @ about $535 for pants, jacket, and vest. We are required to purchase the jacket but the pants are optional. Some choose to wear the then required black pants instead. I am not all that sold on Spider, snaps tend to let go and material is only water resistant.
post #9 of 12
I've worked under several different uniform situations over 30 + years. Generally, the area orders uniforms in a quantity to last three or so years. Most manufacturers agree to supply replacements of the same color scheme for a multi-year period. I've been presented with the option to purchase the uniform or lease it by the season. Where I work now, they provide coat, pants, fleece and a baseball cap, all of which have to be turned in cleaned in order to get the final paycheck. Uniform rain gear and windbreakers are optional purchases by instructors. I can ski in my own gear on days off using my pass, which the area provides for me and my wife. But if need arises, I have to suit up and work. They'll communicate that need via lift operators. If my wife isn't with me, I'll ski at some other area that gives me free tickets if I have no desire to work.
post #10 of 12
I find the concept of paying to either use or buy a uniform to be unusual. In all the years I've been teaching/coaching, I have never worked at a resort which required either (save a season in St. Moritz where we were issued jackets which were returned, but had to buy the pants which we kept).

The Vail Resorts areas all issue every employee a full uniform, keep very accurate records of serial numbers, and each piece must be accounted for at the end of each season, or it must be paid for. You can imagine the chaos- in my locker room alone there are over 300 ski and snowboard pro's... inevitably, various parts get swapped with others, resulting in frantic searching by many near the end of the season! Multiply that by 6 other ski school locker rooms on Vail and Beaver Creek Mtns, and the various lift operator, ski patrol and mtn ops locker rooms, and it can be pretty crazy!

I can understand why some smaller areas would opt for the employee paying for, or renting the uniforms. The average rule of thumb is to purchase 50% more uniforms than will be needed, in order to get the appropriate number of sizes necessary to outfit an entire staff. So your staff is 30- you'll likely need 45 jackets to get everyone the right size. (Imagine Vail Resorts, with over 12,000 employees... we just about bankrupted FILA, because VR drove a very tough deal with them) Now we are having a go at DNA...

But lets face it- uniforms are uniforms... I have yet to wear one which I would enjoy freeskiing in! And I've worn dozens of different brands over the years... And the last thing I want when I'm freeskiing is to be identified as an employee. After all, it's my time off!
post #11 of 12

How much is acceptable? For part timers=Cost. For full timers=Cost is acceptable if overall pay makes up for it, but Free is preferred.

How much does it cost? It depends on volume and specs, and and and, ...
advertising? Schools choose the fabrics (including degree/quality of waterproofing), amount(?) of insulation, and the designs. I suspect they also might pay extra for a custom design, embroidering, titanium zippers, etc. One year we got a discount from Avalanche because the uniforms were partially sponsored by Mountain Dew. Yes, I have a 'Dew patch on my uniform jacket (thankfully that experiment seems to have failed)! My guess is that our resorts $250 US price is about average. It's amazing how complicated the uniform selection process is.

The industry "standard" is new uniforms every 3 years. We went 5 years once due to $$$ problems. That last year I was teaching in threads. It looks like our school buys about 15% over what's needed, but we have about a 66% return rate with most of the turnover among new instructors.

At my resort, new instructors put down a deposit for the cost of the jacket prorated to where it's at in the cycle. When they return the jacket at the end of the season, they get their deposit minus 1/3 of the original cost back. At the end of the cycle they get to keep the jacket. Volunteer instructors are not required to pay for jackets, but must check in to get a jacket for the day and return it at the end of the day. Full timers and selected multi year part timers who work their ass off are not required to pay for their uniforms. All instructors are expected to keep their jackets in their pro room locker (policy instituted to minimize off mountain wear and tear) unless they are going to an event. We are encouraged to wear our uniforms at off mountain events. Unlike John Cole's resort, we are required to wear pants . Our own pants. Pants are usually available through the sport shop at cost, but we can choose whatever all black pants we want. Fleece uniform vests are not required and are made available at cost ($10?).

In the past, we have had cases of new instructors getting jackets and ah kinda disappearing with them. That kinda forces management to asking people to at least cover the cost via a deposit. We've also had problems with some new instructors not showing up to work a whole lot. Those folks typically don't get a chance to teach a second season, but asking people to pay for the jacket gives them an incentive to show up to work. We're running about 230 instructors in our school, about 10 are full time.

We are allowed to free ski out of uniform on our days off. If we ski in our uniform on days off, we are expected to be available to teach (i.e. show up for line ups), except that full timers are not allowed to teach 7 days continuously.
post #12 of 12
We are supplied parkas,sweater ( part of the jacket)..We purchase black pants---there is a sizable deposit required ,when presumed necessary.(new hires, etc)...after 3-5 years--our parkas are sold for a nominal amount to us and to other resort employees---we draw the same jacket every season...We probably have over 300 units in inventory--all sizes--that`s a quess.....Our jackets are KARBON...
larry c
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