Again, a parallel with the fitness industry. Much of fitness instruction is done as sub contractor work, which leads to the same problems you discussed. However, this could almost turn into a benefit,if instructors were given the leeway to self promote, and be more entrepernurial. But this will only work if the self promotion is rewarded financially, otherwise, why bother?
On the other side of the coin, many fitness centers are finding that loyalty is more prevalent when those who work for you are employees. One such gym in the Boston area, gives any instructor who teaches at least 10 classes a week, health insurance, 401k with employer contributions, profit sharing, quaterly bonuses, money for continuing education workshops, and, get this, a trip to Aruba in November! Our pay scale is slightly lower than that of other gyms. But, IMHO, we are the best darn fitness teachers in the Boston area. Because our owners and managers appreciate us.
As ski resorts attempt to become more multi- seasonal, perhaps, instructors who can teach seasonal activities, can stay employed year round, thus becoming more connected, and hopefully more valuable to the resort.
As someone in the unique position of having some work as an employee, and some as an independent contractor, I see 2 ways that each of these situations can be optimized as a win/win situation. The independent contractor, through self promotion, is , in a sense, a business partner of the resort. The employee, is family, and should be treated as such.
But neither of these scenarios will work if the instructor is not respected and valued .
Be Braver in your body, or your luck will leave you. DH Lawrence