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The relationship of your ski school with ski area management?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I thought it would be interesting to see what the current views are of ski area management and/or ski area owners towards their snow sports school. Here is a list of possible views and feel free to add your own.

1. The snow sports school is a profit center.
2. The snow sports school is a service provider.
3. The snow sports school is an asset to the area.
4. The snow sports school and management/owner are a team.
5. There is areas of conflict between the snow sports school and the area management/owner and they are________?
6. The snow sports school is a necessary evil.
7. The snow sports school is other (fill in the blank).
post #2 of 7

The snow sports school is a profit center. But..
But SAM does a lot to "invest" that profit before it ever gets it. Group sales essentially gets the bulk of their discounting by giving lessons away. We've been doing a $19 learn to ski promo before Christmas for years now and last year had free lessons at all levels before Christmas. There's a night plan that included unlimited lessons. This year we're doubling the size of our rental building, but part of that includes moving the ski school desk operations from the lodge into the rental building and moving the lesson line up area from the main to the beginner slopes

Nonetheless, SAM continually hammers SSD throughout the year to stay within budgets (even when higher volume drives higher costs) and SSD has to fight very hard for funding little projects (e.g. helmet rentals in the childrens center, the mini terrain park).
post #3 of 7
7. The snow sports schools are seperate to the ski area. Each works together for the benefit of both (not very capitalist, I know, but then neither is having no school competition in a resort)
The profit from the schools stays with the schools, the profit from the resort stays with the resort. The marrying of the two is simple:
If the resort has good ski schools, then visitors will come.
If the ski school is located in a resort which caters well for visitors, then they will come.
post #4 of 7
fox you radical person you! stop all the weird thoughts right now....
post #5 of 7
Our relationship with managment is improving as our numbers and customer satisfaction improves.

Additionally, our relationship with other departments is improving. Instructors have gotten a bad reputation for being disrepectful to other departments. Some instructors are incredibly rude and have argued with lifties or rental staff in front of customers.

Has anyone else had this issue?
post #6 of 7
We've got 230+ pros on our staff, with 20-50 newbies every year. Some of the newbies need to be trained in how to be nice when faced with blatant rediculousness. Last year there was a change in lift management and wholesale cleansing of the lift staff. Some of the newbie lifties that were quickly hired to fill in were ... a real ... "blessing" to work with. Fortunately most of us old timers knew how to roll our eyes and be patient for common sense to kick in. Nonetheless, we've found from experience that it still takes consistent management reminders to all staffs to be friendly to other departments and take complaints off the slopes. Disrespectful employees in any department get a talking to before rude behavior becomes a habit. The guests can see it when we're nice to and help each other and it really makes a positive difference for their experience.
post #7 of 7
I have worked for 4 ski schools(looking for #5) and have seen it run the gamit. A good SSD can insulate the SS staff from the negative and help deflate the egos when the SS is thought of as an asset.

As far as friction between departments the SS can be a buch of jerks. I personaly have hardly ever had a problem, I always try to treat the lift ops with respect. Ask them if they need anything on your way by or haveing cookies to pass out works wonders. The lifties get to know you and will bend over backwards for you.
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