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In a perfect world, the perfect ski school - Page 5

post #121 of 141
Thread Starter 
Sorry guys have been busy last couple days with work.

Medmarko, business plan....maybe?

Harvard Tiger, I agree with your thoughts on ski schools setting their services apart from others to compete for return customers. Focusing on more serious skiers for a declining segment of ski school business could reserect that imd to high segment. Yes most good instructors are already booked... well wouldn't be nice give incentives to instructors to become better higher level teachers? I believe that a ski school that nurtures a reputation for good quality and comprehesive attention to details of equipment alignment can slowly create a ground swell of growth. Just like beginners and newbies to the sport look to their more experienced friends for advice on where to go, what to buy, will also be lead by those friends to a ski school with a strong reputation with advanced skiers, without having to give away the farm.

I like the idea of the incentives and performance bonuses for instructors. Both "team" and "individual performance" bonuses based on ski school annual success is very interesting to me. It promotes long term vision and creativity from the staff.

have not had time to read all the posts yet but will try soon.. Thanks for some great ideas guys.
post #122 of 141
I think that alignment and equipment analysis may be the biggest possible "bang for the buck" in "instruction". So few people are properly aligned that they can't even do what's being asked of them. As we saw at ESA, the process of alignment can jump skiers a full level very quickly. I think getting on the right skis can be almost as effective.
post #123 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzostrike
pathetic AS USUAL, pussycat. here's why:


kinda hard when it keeps hitting me in the face every time you post.
About my screen name, please, get over it. Ignore it. Do something. It's nothing more than the result of an inside joke and I've used it for years. I've never seen anyone even comment on it--much less be so obsessive about it. And check your blood pressure while you're at it.



Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzostrike
I believe that Post #2 in this thread had quite a few concrete ideas, to which you said "Ditto." why are you ignoring that?
"This should be this way...and that should be that way."
Ok. Fine. Agreed. But how are you going to implement it? Oh, Lord: Back to financing something. Again, if you have the answers and the present management is doing it all wrong, nothing is stopping you from doing it better. Do it.



Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzostrike
so the "evolution" not only is "natural" but also "desired"? my how you are lazy intellectually, how you just accept what is, and don't offer thoughts on what could be. who's the natterer really, Pussycat?
Whatever. It's not lazy intellectually to grapple with reality. The real laziness is comfortably thinking in a vacuum...where you know it will never be tested. Again, buy a mountain and show us.



Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzostrike
whatever "reality" you come from is the falsest reality of all. your "reality" contains so much artificiality -- the "resort" experience isn't about skiing at all.
Maybe the "resort experience" isn't about skiing at all--to you. But big deal. Who are you to impune what others want to do for fun? How elitist is THAT?!



Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzostrike
1) where have I supported what I find "evil"? I think you're attacking paper tigers and strawmen here.
1. Ski lifts cost money. 2. Investors buy them. 3. Businessmen run them. 3. You slam investors and businessmen--over and over and over. 4. You pay money to ride the lifts.
Thus, you are intellectually dishonest. Standards are easier to spout than live up to, huh? Sorta' like people bitchin' about farmers with their mouths' full.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzostrike
2) failure and abandon are part of life, pussycat. how do you conclude that the ski areas failed because they did what I'm suggesting?
If they ignore what people want to pay for, they risk failure. If you think resorts can survive--or thrive--with your vision of a ski area, go out and prove it. Quite bashing those who operate the ski areas presently. I'm glad they are in business and I hope they do well. 'Cause I like to have places to ski.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzostrike
3) the caricature about me and my 100,000 friends is tawdry and immature, like your general perspective.
No it's not. It's called putting your money where your mouth is.



Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzostrike
how funny. do you know my work CV? no. if you think I'm no more than the sum of my provocative posts, you are sad. and misled. and uninformed. on top of all that, you misunderstand my posts terribly. which is probably where the sad, misled, uninformed part comes from.
I don't care about your work CV! And it's you who thinks I'm no more than the sum of my posts; you said as much earlier. I don't misunderstand posts that are clear and have a purpose other than bashing others because of where they went to school. I don't care for all your cleverisms and esoterica. You may think it's cute; but I find it boring and elitist and arrogant.



Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzostrike
"already working" as what?
The ski areas are "already working" as...ski areas. People visit them. They ride the lifts up. They ski down. There are other activities and lodging and so on. It's working. Maybe not like you would want them to work...so...again...show us a better way.



Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzostrike
again read post #2.
Your (very underdeveloped) ideas I agree with. Develop them.



Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzostrike
so funny funny funny. how many people do you know who gave up partnership in a law firm, GC in an insurance company, and lawyering generally to do something that will never make riches?

you wouldn't know risk if it bit you in the arse, armchair pussycat.
Everyone does what they want to do. You want me to be impressed? I'm not.

All I know about insurance companies in the 80's is that I was part of a group who wrote a software language for A&A...and we made a little money. Too bad your experience was not as fruitful.

Risk? Again, you do not know me. So keep guessing. Keep firing that shotgun of yours...maybe you'll hit something someday.

This is boring. Now I know why you never listen to lawyers when making a decision involving business risk.
post #124 of 141
Thread Starter 
Boys, boys, it's all yours. Thanks for some interesting thoughts!
post #125 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman
Boys, boys, it's all yours. Thanks for some interesting thoughts!
So what are your thoughts, bud?

How do you now see a perfect ski school in a perfect world?
post #126 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by HarvardTiger
About my screen name, please, get over it. Ignore it. Do something. It's nothing more than the result of an inside joke and I've used it for years. I've never seen anyone even comment on it--much less be so obsessive about it. And check your blood pressure while you're at it.
Obsessive? you're the one who trumpets his Harvardness. what's the "inside joke" -- that one can go from Auburn to Harvard? jeezus you're thinner than microtomy.

BP is fine and always has been. sorry, I"m athletically fit and not likely to get heated up. but you're projecting your own anger onto me, I'd imagine. must be sad to have your life. Sir. (thrown in for Southern Hospitality).

Quote:
Originally Posted by HarvardTiger
"This should be this way...and that should be that way." Ok. Fine. Agreed. But how are you going to implement it? Oh, Lord: Back to financing something. Again, if you have the answers and the present management is doing it all wrong, nothing is stopping you from doing it better. Do it.
thanks, Nike. WTF are you prattling on about? what are YOU doing about creating YOUR dream ski area?

Didn't Bud ask for characteristics? YES.

Did he ask ME to describe implementation? NO. (you did, and I discredit you for creating the fiction that Bud requested it.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by HarvardTiger
Whatever. It's not lazy intellectually to grapple with reality. The real laziness is comfortably thinking in a vacuum...where you know it will never be tested. Again, buy a mountain and show us.
now this is the biggest pile of BOOLSHYTE I've heard. my ideas suck because I can't come up with enough money to create my own ski area?

what fuggin' planet do you live on? Planet Illogic? Planet Nonsequitur? How about PLANET EEDJIT? yeah, that's it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by HarvardTiger
Maybe the "resort experience" isn't about skiing at all--to you. But big deal. Who are you to impune what others want to do for fun? How elitist is THAT?!
you are pathetic. we all make choices, at least those of us with spines to do so. you're not showing much evidence of a vertebral column though. you want to support what "the majority" wants no matter how misguided or failure-prone. that's brilliant. no new perspectives for the pussycat, they might confuse him when he tries to compare them to his vaunted "REALITY"

Quote:
Originally Posted by HarvardTiger
1. Ski lifts cost money. 2. Investors buy them. 3. Businessmen run them. 3. You slam investors and businessmen--over and over and over. 4. You pay money to ride the lifts.
Thus, you are intellectually dishonest. Standards are easier to spout than live up to, huh? Sorta' like people bitchin' about farmers with their mouths' full.
you have NO CLUE, moron. I didn't say ski lifts were evil. YOU DID, in your PROJECTED FANTASY about what you think I"m about. ho ho ho ho. keep entertaining us, idiot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HarvardTiger
If they ignore what people want to pay for, they risk failure. If you think resorts can survive--or thrive--with your vision of a ski area, go out and prove it. Quite bashing those who operate the ski areas presently. I'm glad they are in business and I hope they do well. 'Cause I like to have places to ski.
I'm not bashing people who run ski hills. Jeezus you are dense, stupid, and myopic. HOW DID YOU EVER GET ADMITTED TO HARVARD? hard work and memory skills, I"ll bet. It's surely not intellectual horsepower.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HarvardTiger
No it's not. It's called putting your money where your mouth is.
this makes no sense. you're wrong about the fundament, therefore your conclusion just amplifies the original wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HarvardTiger
I don't care about your work CV! And it's you who thinks I'm no more than the sum of my posts; you said as much earlier. I don't misunderstand posts that are clear and have a purpose other than bashing others because of where they went to school. I don't care for all your cleverisms and esoterica. You may think it's cute; but I find it boring and elitist and arrogant.
you think it's all about where you went to school? no, it's about bragging about being a Harvardian while posting nothing more than overpolite protection and/or worship of the status quo. deep as a puddle.

[quote=HarvardTiger] The ski areas are "already working" as...ski areas. People visit them. They ride the lifts up. They ski down. There are other activities and lodging and so on. It's working. Maybe not like you would want them to work...so...again...show us a better way.



[quote=HarvardTiger]Your (very underdeveloped) ideas I agree with. Develop them.




[quote=HarvardTiger]Everyone does what they want to do. You want me to be impressed? I'm not.

[quote=HarvardTiger]All I know about insurance companies in the 80's is that I was part of a group who wrote a software language for A&A...and we made a little money. Too bad your experience was not as fruitful.

[quote=HarvardTiger]Risk? Again, you do not know me. So keep guessing. Keep firing that shotgun of yours...maybe you'll hit something someday.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HarvardTiger
This is boring. Now I know why you never listen to lawyers when making a decision involving business risk.
post #127 of 141
It could just be me, erh, but if you are in the ivy league aren't the tigers from Princeton?

I know over in Europe people sign up for ski school because they like to ski in groups (even if they don't feel like they need a lesson). My wife, who is from Sweden, will do this from time to time. And better that some anonymous instructor criticizes her technique than me, since I get to hear about it in the car on the way down the mountain ad naseum.

So it seems to me that there are lots of reasons why people go to ski school, and that there, as a result, may be many perfect ski schools quite apart from all the armchair microeconomics going down on this post.

BTW, aren't most of the conservative microeconomists from the University of Chicago and not Harvard? As I recall Harvard was where JK Galbraith used to hang out.
post #128 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by viking kaj
It could just be me, erh, but if you are in the ivy league aren't the tigers from Princeton?
One half of the name has nothing to do with the other half. It's sort of an inside joke that has survived over the years to become a habitual login for me. It's not the "in your face" academic thing some herein assume it to be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by viking kaj
I know over in Europe people sign up for ski school because they like to ski in groups (even if they don't feel like they need a lesson). My wife, who is from Sweden, will do this from time to time. And better that some anonymous instructor criticizes her technique than me, since I get to hear about it in the car on the way down the mountain ad naseum.

So it seems to me that there are lots of reasons why people go to ski school, and that there, as a result, may be many perfect ski schools quite apart from all the armchair microeconomics going down on this post.

BTW, aren't most of the conservative microeconomists from the University of Chicago and not Harvard? As I recall Harvard was where JK Galbraith used to hang out.
I agree--there are as many reasons to sign up at a ski school as there are people who do it. Segmenting them according to their likes and motivations just helps the conversation and helps to design products and services that deliver value to them for their hard-earned dollars.

As for econ, I studied on the "right" side of the Charles River. Those ol' Keynesians were over on the other side.
post #129 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzostrike
...HOW DID YOU EVER GET ADMITTED TO HARVARD? hard work and memory skills, I"ll bet. It's surely not intellectual horsepower.
Well, well.

A window into your tormented soul.

Clearly, you live in a world that worships at the alter of "intellectual horsepower" as opposed to actually doing anything.

And you think that line might actually be taken as an insult? You really think you are insulting me with accusing me of "hard work?!"

We've identified the elitist...and he's (always) the one bitching about someone else enjoying success from hard work while his own intellectual superiority is being ignored.

The symptoms? The malcontent is getting louder and using nastier names with every subsequesnt post.

Quick 80's story for you, gonzi. Ingress vs. Oracle. The Ingress guys had the brains--and they would tell you they did. They thought the customers were stupid and their own engineering was superior. Oracle, on the other hand (those nasty marketing types), simply asked the customers what they wanted to buy...and built that as best they could. Ingrees died...and the Oracle HR department waited for all the brilliant Ingress engineers in their parking lot and hired them to come work for those stupid business guys at Oracle. Result? Smart work wins over intellectual BS.

Always has...always will.

And since you continue to drown otherwise good threads in your disdain for me and things Harvard, you need a little room of your own to play in. So you won't bother the grownups while we talk. Here you go: http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=24413

Knock yourself out.
post #130 of 141
Wake up at 4:30AM; It's -3F outside and I hop into my (cold) 1977 Subaru. It's 2.5 hours to the mountain but it's the closest place I can afford to live with the price of mountain real estate these days. After an hour driving, the half cup off coffee I left in the cup holder yesterday is thawed enough to drink. I feel around and find half a Powerbar under the seat. Ahhhh, breakfast. After another half hour of driving, the right fender falls off my '77 Subaru. No big deal, it's a replacement I fashioned out of duc-tape two seasons ago. I'll hit the guys at the shop up for another roll and make a new one tomorrow.

Get to the mountain at 7:00AM. Supervisor asks me to spend an hour setting up the beginner area. It's now 2F and I spend an hour lugging poles, chains, and signs around ... off the clock.

At 8:15AM, I get my first lesson. A beginner group-- two (drunk) guys from down south, a pair of whiny 9yo girls, a bunch of H1B visa computer programmers from some country with a name I can't pronounce, a 50yo lady who looks like she's spent the last 49 years on a coach watching TV and eating twinkies, and a teenage kid that's been playing hockey since he was two.

I check the equipment. The 50yo lady had her boots on the wrong feet. One 9yo kid had two right boots, the other had two left; no wonder they kept whining that their feet hurt.

We walk over the beginner slope. All the programmer guys fall down after taking one step. It take fifteen minutes to get them all back up. We finally get to the slope and I show them how to step up. They all make tentative sidesteps up the hill, except the fat lady who slides down backwards after every step; oh, and the hockey kid; he skates straight up the hill .... backwards.

I instruct them in making a straight run. The first drunk guy slides from 20' up the learning slope all the way to the lodge. The rental shop did a real good wax job on he's skis last night. The second drunk guy points his skis straight down the hill, pushes off with his poles and goes nowhere. I take his skis off. An inch thick lump of snow packed the entire length of his ski. Shop hasn't wax them in three weeks. The hockey kid has finished skating up the hill backwards and is now skating down the hill forwards.

After and hour and a half of this, it's time to go up the magic carpet and ski down. The hockey kid gets up first, laps us and is back up the lift before the rest of the group has finished loading. Thank the big guy upstairs we don't have a rope tow any more. The rest of the group gers up the lift without incident.

At the top, I instruct that we're all going to go down in a line like a big "S" snake. I make the hockey kid go last. I thought it was rude that he lapped us when noone else had made it down yet. He had fun. All the programmers guys fell down again and he's used them kinda like a slalom gates.

I finally get the class down and we head back up the lift. The hockey kid has lapped us two more times. Second time he's got a pin on is parka and he yells something about "early adminissions program" as he passes us ... doing a daffy ... switch. He used the fat lady who's lying on the slope as a kicker.

After 3.5 hours of this, for which I get paid for 1.5 hours, I wish them all luck, tell them to stay on the magic carpet area and forget about those chairs on the cable. I head in for lunch.

I grab hamburger for lunch. It's kinda dry but that's okay because I got a deal; I paid 1/2 price on my employee discount; it only cost me $7.50.

During lunch it warms up and rains. I head back out and it's back down to 3F. But that's cool. All the customers have left and I get to free ski the rest of the day. I ain't gettin' paid but at least I get to ski. Let's go check that line of bumps up top. Should be just great after that weather change ... not.

I give up trying to ski at 3:00 and head in to pick up my paycheck and head home. My supervisor, some kid who's been playing hockey since he was two, hands me a check for $11.37. I spend 20 minutes scraping the ice off the windshield of my '77 Subaru, buy $11.32 worth of gas and hope that's enough to get back tomorrow for an even better day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post
After my morning breakfast and warm up workout, I email changes to my waiting list back to the school. I show up at the drop off point at 9 AM and the valet takes the Porsche to be washed and waxed. As I change into my ski clothes, I notice that the shop has done another excellent job tuning my skis and placing them back in my locker. Frances brings me a hot beverage and the conditions report, then tells me which trail has been reserved for my morning private. My director drops by with an envelope containing $500 cash (my pay for today's lesson), apologizes profusely for the direct deposit system being down and begs me not to quit. I sneak out for a quick run before my 10-12:30 private. She's a hot model who rollerblades all summer. We bash the bumps all morning. When we're done she complains her chest is sore and asks if I do massage. I tell her I'm booked till Tuesday. Georgette has my table ready at 1. She's found an excellent Chardonay in the cellar to go with the poached salmon. At lunch, my Volkl rep tells me he needs a place to dump an extra pair of next years powder skis and he'll give me a free polo if I help him out. There was a 10 inch dump over lunch, but it's all blue skies after dessert. I sneak a dozen runs in by 4. I grab a quick shower and a hot tub on the way out, then check my email. Bobby has the Porche all warmed up and waiting for me at the drop off point and has IM'd Carmen to get a fire burning back at the (company paid for) house.
post #131 of 141
In the perfect world, the perfect ski school would be absolutely Epic!
post #132 of 141
Thread Starter 
Hey Fox,

So let's franchise it!
post #133 of 141

problem-too much$ for the pupil/too little for the teacher

I was shocked to learn that a $450 private lesson yielded $90 to the instructor. That makes everyone unhappy except the middle-man. therefore, eliminate the middleman(did I get that from GEICO?)
post #134 of 141
Thread Starter 
Seriously, to subcontract a ski school with a resort, the key would be to get the resort to put you under their umbrella on insurance.

Could the ski school be like (what was that airline called that was owned by their employees? People's Express?...Yeah I know they went broke.) where the ski school instructors would collectively share the profits base on hours worked? After the resort got their cut (percentage of gross) The staff and administrators, trainers would split the remainder? The question is how much would the resort want? And what resort would be open to the concept if they thought they could make more doing it themselves?
post #135 of 141

does every part of a business need to be a profit center?

why not have pay toilets? what if a resort in a competitive region that didnt have the best mountain became known for teaching? they could sell more tickets, burgers, equipment, etc.
post #136 of 141
Thread Starter 
I am working on that! No No not the pay toilets, though I can guess what would happen if resorts had pay toilets....tree skiing would become a whole other sport/spectical.
post #137 of 141
Brilliant account, Learn2Turn! Brings back many, many, MANY memories!

$90, Duke Walker? hmmm, at last year's rates, that'd be an all-day. 7 hours. I think the customer would have paid more than $450 for a day lesson though.
post #138 of 141
I don't know, at several resorts that I know, a L3 with several years seniority at the same resort, and a returning request student could do better on an all day, before the tip.

Now, for me, that's about what I'd get for an all day private.
post #139 of 141

all day private for$90? sign me up.

even double it , with half for the resort. but 450? no thanks.thats my point.
post #140 of 141
I am pretty new to this site, & couldn't do more than just scan all the previous posts to this thread, so I hope I'm not repeating anything that has already been said.


In the 90's I worked at a resort where we did complimentary clinics to adults (13 & up) level 6 & above. You could sign up at the top of the mountain prior to the starting time. We limited the group size to a maximum of 7 in a group & had 4 ski groups & 1 snowboard group per session. Each session ran 1 hr. 45 min. Groups went out 2 to 4 times per day depending on skier numbers that day.

For an area that was basically a beginner factory up to this time, it was a great way to get advanced skiers/riders into lessons that normally wouldn’t. The philosophy was low key, have fun, ski a bunch, & give a few tips (really what every good lesson should be).


The program worked great. The coaches got more opportunities to teach upper levels, made some tips, & sold themselves some privates. The guests got to ski with & meet new people at their level, learn the mountain, improve their skills & discover that being in a lesson can be more fun than just skiing on their own (the real key to a Snowsports schools success). They were also more inclined to take all or multi-day specialized workshops in the future. The bean counters got the benefit of repeat business, as polls showed the program was definitely a reason to return, & a motivator to take more lessons.

The secret to making the program work was taking the hassle out of it for the guest.
  • They could sign up as they got off the lift without even taking their skis off.
  • The Supervisor initially formed groups with a quick interview.
  • The session began at the top of the mountain.
  • All levels began at the same time, on the same run, with the Supervisor following, making any adjustments in the first five minutes quickly & painlessly.
Out of the approximately 30,000 lessons we did during a season, 5,000 were in this program. The groups were almost always full & we tried our best to accommodate everyone who wanted to participate.

I feel that if upper management would see Ski Schools more as a guest service & less as a profit center they would reap huge benefits in the long run. "The better you get, the more fun it is. The more fun it is, the more you want to do it".

Thanks,
JF
post #141 of 141
What 4ster said.

Duke, the $90 was what the instructor gets paid. For an all day lesson. Some highly paid ones probalby make more, but us mortals are looking at about that. I think the all-day lesson would be more like $600 or so though.
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