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The Ugly Side of the Ski Industry

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Well today was a dark day for the Boston Mills/Brandywine Ski School. Pierre eh and I are in complete shock and wondering where will we go from here. Our Ski School director, Rick Cunningham, just got the ax this week making many of us unsure of the Ski Schools future.

The decision by “management” looks, feels and smell of something fishy. Most of the Certified instructors don’t understand the move from either a business decision or an instructor development decision. The speculated replacement to him seems unpopular and I don't even know what the person looks like. Rick was highly supportive of instructor development and fought management hard for every penny he could get to give us the opportunity to get better. He was able to motivate second career people to give up their winters to teach kids how to ski. Believe it or not he was even able to motivate teenage snowboard instructors to teach a record amount of lessons while at the same time getting his snowboard staff certified. We have or possibly had many Level II and III certified snowboard instructor on staff. Not bad for a dinky Midwest SS.

Well this was not enough for management! So they told him to resign! Cowards! There is talk of cuts across the board. Like we got much anyway. This is not a popular decision with the most of the trained staff and many people are reserved about there future with the ski school. You have to understand that Rick has been instructing for 31 years and directly involved with ski school for 20. He made millions for these people and he was kicked to the curb like yesterdays paper. We understand that sometimes a change has to be made but when someone, who was literally responsible for creating hundreds of certified instructors is “let go” give the man his due. It shows a lack of respect for the person or his legacy. So much for loyalty. Just show me the money!

Heading for the Backside! [img]redface.gif[/img] See you later
post #2 of 12
Probably the key to his dismissal is in your sentence about how hard he fought the management on the ski school staff's behalf.
post #3 of 12
This is a thread that unfortunately I can relate to....I was axed after nearly 18 seasons (12 as Director) two seasons ago. I was just with Rick about a week ago in Boulder. He and I were part of a 13 member "think tank" for the NSAA giving the SSD view of the "growth model". He has done well under extraordinary circumstances, oft described by Pierre eh.
This biz can really bite sometimes.....
post #4 of 12
That bites. Sorry to hear that for all concerned. Remember, you folks ARE the ski school, the ones that TEACH. I hope that Boston Mills/Brandywine knows that too.
post #5 of 12
"Company Store" mentality. :

Read between some lines that I have heard more than once..... "don't worry too much about how well you ski, in the eyes of those day trippers you already ski like a winged god"

translation ...... we can fire those who are at top rate and replace them with newbies and the customers will be none the wiser.

Plus look at the "perks" that the core company won't have to part with ...... season passes for the family that most of the senior instructors get.

"Redistribution" of the reps for the ski goodies ....

[ July 30, 2002, 01:29 PM: Message edited by: yuki ]
post #6 of 12
dunt dunt dunt, another one bites the dust....

It's going around these days.
post #7 of 12
Keep us posted if you hear more about why's and where fores! I would urge you to give any new SSD the benefit of the doubt or it will probably be harder on the instructors than the owners. :
post #8 of 12
I am not anticipating any negative changes under the new SSD. I personally know him well. He is a superb telemark skier. In fact he is exclusively a telemark skier and one of the main persons to talk me into becomming a ski instructor.

I think the real reason for the replacement was the static status quo that seemed to exist. Some things did not run smoothly from the school advisors perspective.

Under the old SSD a new training forum was to take place this year and I was invited to attend the first training session this weekend. That training session is still a go under the new SSD. That is a very positive sign compared to the scuttlebutt that I first heard with the anouncement last weekend.
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Well, opinions are flying in from everywhere but after the initial shock of the event there seems to be a new undercurrent of excitement that actual change in way we teach lessons and the implementation of new programs might happen.

I just heard from a couple of level III's who are excited and seem to think that this may be a chance to have some their ideas implemented. I take this as good sign because I respect their opinions and ideas but more importantly it looks like their will be a chance to tap into all the unused potential and talents of our very talented staff. Change can be unnerving but it is also a chance to grow. It is up to us to make it a better school without Rick. It is time for us to step up and be heard.

post #10 of 12
Originally posted by PowDigger:
Change can be unnerving but it is also a chance to grow. It is up to us to make it a better school without Rick. It is time for us to step up and be heard.

Good luck and keep us posted.
post #11 of 12
Just found out Mike is going to take over. I think if everyone gives him half a chance he will do fine. Obviously he will need help like all of us would.
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 

I think you are right in the end we are all teachers and hopefully we can get back to that focus and leave all of the ugliness behind.

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