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Interesting Ski School Concept

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I did not get a chance to take advantage of this when I was in Banff, but this is na interesting concept.

Since Sunshine, Lake Louise and Mount Norquay are in a national forest, similar to europe, they are not privately owned. As a result, it is possible to have independent ski schools.

The Caribou Snow School, is owned by Caribou properties, a group of hotels in the Banff area. They only hire CSIA level 3 or 4 instructors. Classes are either private or semi private, and can be done as half or full day.

The school van picks students up at their hotel and takes them to the mountain. They are given a video and photo analysis of their skiing. Based on their level, as well as the conditions on a particular day, the instructors determine which mountain would be the most appropriate. There is also a 3 day program, which explores all 3 areas.

Students are also given a $25 gift certificate, applicable towards either a massage or dinner.
post #2 of 4
Sounds interesting! Surprised you didn't check it out.
post #3 of 4
There are many areas in the Northwest that have independent schools.

The areas near Seattle, such as Alpental and Snoqualmie have many independent schools, and I believe that the successful ones have their own buildings at the area. I also believe that they are less like the formal, commercial schools that we operate in Colorado and Utah, and more like "club" schools--some of them attached to companies (like Boeing) or ski shops.

You're right, though, that in Europe there are more like the Canadian ones.

Although many of our Colorado areas are partially or completely on National Forest land, we have basically leased the right for all commercial ventures on that land. And we have fought for and won that right in the courts over the years. Here, teaching underground is a bit like going into someone else's restaurant and serving food.

There have been exceptions where the areas work out a deal with other schools such as the Eskimos from Denver to Winter Park and the Club Med at Copper and Crested Butte.

It's always been an interesting discussion.

Also, in Europe, I know of individual foreigners who have tried to start their own little businesses who have been woken up in the night, and transported to the train station with instructions never to return.

We don't do that here, but we do pull passes.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ March 24, 2002 05:30 AM: Message edited 1 time, by weems ]</font>
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Patrick, I decided that for once, I should spend time with my husband, who got me in to skiig so he'd have someone to ski with, as opposed to spending a day in class.

What's interesting is that this school has added value by putting in a "convenience factor". In the Baff area, there is very little on mountain lodging, so you have between a 20 and 40 minute drive, depending upon which mountain. The parking situation is not always optimal, and the shuttle buses are often overbooked. So by picking up the students, they eliminate the hassle. It also gives the instructor some off mountain time to talk to the students.

I also like the idea that all their teachers are level 3 or 4. Eliminates the hit or miss factor.
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