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Directors.... Help!!!!

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hey guys! I got a quick (OK not so quick) question. But first I have to set it up a little.

My Ski and Snowboard School runs private lessons every hour, on the hour. Both ski and snowboard. Problem is, the snowboard instructors are having trouble because it used to be that snowboard privates were 1 and 1/2 hours. I'm not a big fan of "off hour" lesson segments because it plays hell on instructor availability and scheduling. I've mulled over it and done the pro/cons thing for about two hours now and it's time to bring in some back-up because I'm at a loss.

I like one hour segments for these reasons:
1) There are more sessions available and even the lunch hour is open season for lessons.
2) Instructors are encouraged and empowered to "up-sell" from one to two hours.
3) I have plenty of instructors come back to my line-up at 10:00 to handle group sessions. (1 and 1/2 hour sessions don't get them back to me until 10:30)
4) I can do lesson assignments for both SB and Ski simultaneously.
5) I don't have to create special prices for both ski and SB.
6) It's the only way I know how to do it.

My question is this. Am I totally off-base in cutting that lesson out of the program? My SB Trainer is getting frustrated with me because she doesn't feel that she is giving the quality of lesson that she was before. She tries to fit her entire 1 and 1/2 progression into an hour and it isn't working for her. Her expectations are too high, as are all the others'. I'm trying to encourage my desk staff to sell beginner snowboard privates in two-hour increments, but the customer wants what the customer wants. when the one-hour never-evers go out at 9:00 or 12:00 i just cringe because I know I'm going to hear about how it just can't be done... yet I know it can because I've been there. Any suggestions? this is killing the new guy!

Thanks for letting me rant and any suggestions appreciated.

: :
post #2 of 5
I am not a Director, I don't play one on TV, and I didn't sleep at a Holiday Inn last night. So with that intro...

If you have "been there", what are your instructors doing different? Are they going for "mastery" before moving on? Are your instructors final outcome different from yours? Level 2 AASI-able to ride lifts and ride the bunny hill. Doing J-turns? Doing Fallen Leaf? Doing Basic skid? What is your definition of Level 2( I assume that is where you want them after the first lesson)? Match it up with your instructors.

Personnally as a ski instructor just starting to ride, I would want my first never ever lesson to get me on the bunny hill with J-turn/skids and fallen leaf knowledge. From there I can survive and enjoy until the next lesson.

If the outcome and skills are the same, maybe the boarders are dumber(sorry-couldn't let that one go by). Seriously, as a public school teacher, times, techniques, expected outcomes, and yes, students have changed.

If it is "things have changed" issue, why don't you want to run two clocks in your school? (I am ignoring the money issue-you have to deal with happy customers vs management)
post #3 of 5
"I am not a Director, I don't play one on TV, and I didn't sleep at a Holiday Inn last night..."


The main issue I can see is this:
Can your snowboard instructor(s) teach control (safety) and inspire a student to want to continue learning in an hour-long session? If so, then he/she can use the "extra" skills taught during the 1.5 hour lesson to act as a teaser to get students to commit to a second hour. If this isn't possible, then keep the 1.5 hour lessons or bump them up to 2 hour.
post #4 of 5

Listen to your supervisor. Jack Welch made a very successful company by designing its systems from the work-out. Those who do the work know best what the needs of the end-user are. They are more likely to consider the guest needs as having a higher priority than the needs of the system. Satisfy your guest and you will have identified a good system.

Make the system work around the guest, not the other way around.
post #5 of 5
I tend to agree with JR, but totally consumer driven business models are chaos. The are not always right and many times need to be steered toward success.
Limit your SB pvts to a two hour format, if you have sufficient staff. Discount the second hour. If you have a $60 1 hour, charge $100 for the two.
Spag, Kim is still not open...he is driving over from Flag tonight to slide....raining here though. Howz yer penetration.....no, yer students/skier days....not that!
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