Who has the biggest ski school in the world?
Originally Posted by nolo
PSIA and its divisions arguably run the largest ski school in the world.
It's not perfect by any means, but I'd have to say that PSIA's gotten better over the years.
I second most of your comments in the original post. In my experience, I have seen PSIA get better over the years. I've heard horror stories about the past. I've seen some elements of those stories. It's disappointing to see past experiences presented as a blanket condemnation. But it is understandable that these stories stand out because there is little motivation to post "good news" and positive stories and such stories make for boring reading compared to the horror stories. I don't want to take away from the positive focus of your post because I agree with it.
But the "largest ski school" got me thinking. The PSIA-E web site lists all of the examiners and clinic leaders for all disciplines. A rough count of active folks comes in about 400. If PSIA-E is almost 1/2 of PSIA member wise, let's use the same ratio for staff and say that there are 1000 staff members in the PSIA ski school. I don't have the exact clinic day numbers from PSIA-E, but we do know there are 30,000 total PSIA members. My guess is that the average # of PSIA clinic days per pro is at best about 4. So lets call it 120,000 lesson days. At 7 hours/day that's 840,000 lesson hours.
I asked at Vail one year and someone said 1700 pros for the Vail/Beaver Creek combined ski school. Can you count that? What about Whistler/Blackcomb? I wouldn't count all ASC resorts as "one" ski school, but are there any other candidates (e.g. Aspen/Snowmass, Mammoth, Killington)? Figure a 16 week (active) season and 10 hours teaching average per pro per week and 3 students per lesson hour that would work out to 816,000 lesson hours. That works out pretty close to PSIA. But if some of my conservative estimates on average hours taught or # students/class are off, it would be easy to think of these schools as larger.
At my school, we teach approximately 100,000 lessons hours over a 10 week season with about 225 pros. We have a tiny school. Is Vail/Beaver Creek 10 times bigger?
Can anyone confirm or deny some of these guesses? Should we say "largest" is based on staff, hours taught, student hours taught or something else?