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Multi-day programs

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
To All,

How many of you pros out there have multi-day programs at your respected areas?

I am interested in finding out how successful they are. Do they draw more folks than your ragular classes, and how are they priced? Are they a better dollar value than the ragular classes or do they cost a bit more? Also, how does you areas market these programs?

An for you non-pros out there, what are your thoughts on multi-day programs?--------Wigs
post #2 of 27

Sorry, what is a multi day program? Is it a series of classes over a few days?

If so, they are good and they work.

post #3 of 27
I think anytime you get a pro working with the same students over a longer period of time the results are better because the students and pro don't need to start over each day. Our last trip to the Canyons we did not get a "multi-day package" but we did hire our instructor for 5 days straight. The result was amazing.
post #4 of 27
In New England, many of the multi day workshops are Women's skiing programs. I personally love them, although I do think guys get a raw deal.
The pricing is infinitely less expensive than simply taking lessons, which can explain their overwhelming popularity.
At Okemo, the 3 day program was about $300, and it included 3 full days of instruction, 3day lift tickets, overnight ski check, daily basket check, breakfast, lunch, midday hot cocoa and a party.
Whistler also does their 3 or 4 day "Ski Espirit", which is a little bit less about instruction, and more about travelling around the mountain. What's taking me a little while to realize about that particular program, is that people are placed by speed, rather than technique. So you can have people bombing down the hill banging into each other, or wiping out the whole class when we re -group, but if you slow down to avoid the carnage, you'll be put back, not them. No problem. This year I'm going to go one level down. Perhaps my ego won't get such a beating when we do those darn gates.
For the most part, multi day programs a great idea, but there are some caveats. Example, the program I took in Italy was pre-paid multi day. By day one, I had suspicians that it was not appropriate, not because of the instructor, but because of the technique and philosophy of the school. Looking back one month later, I can say "Wow, this was a unique lesson on the history of skiing, and not many people get to experience first hand the techniques of 40 years ago!" But at the time, it was an uncomfortable experience, to say the least.
I think that anyone thinking of joining such a program should research it carefully to decide whether or not that particular program is appropriate for them.
What I'd personally like to see in the future? Not quite so many "I am Woman watch me Ski" workshops, but more "theme centered" experiences, such as the Centered Skier and Inner Skiing type workshops that used to be taught, unfortunately before I started skiing.

Of course, I'd also love to see ski workshops that would involve off snow conditioning activities such as Pilates, Feldenkrais, Stability Ball. BUT.....
Not just doing them as an arbitrary activity. Making the connection between how the off snow movements compare to the on snow movements.
These are just a few things I've been thinking about. Thanks for bringing up the topic.

Be Braver in your body, or your luck will leave you. DH Lawrence
post #5 of 27
Since we are a little metro day resort, and get almost zero multi day business, our multi-day programs consist of (for example) programs of 6 lessons on 6 consecutive tuesday evenings. We call them our "6 session programs". We used to do a lot more of them than we do now, but it has slacked off due to a serious lack of marketing on the resort's part, as well as the fact that our previous owners went belly-up due to 3 consective tragically warm winters. So we went one winter being owned by a bank before they found a buyer. The multi session programs were everyone's favorite. Being a level 3 cert, I'd usually start out with a group of level 3 or 4 skiers (we never had any who started higher than that). After 6 weeks, they'd be ripping the hill up. A lot of the participants were teens, who would learn very quickly. So by the end of the sessions, they'd be close to level 7.

The few seasons before I started teaching, I got into some of those 6 session packages as a student, in my mid teens (14 and 15). That's what really got me hooked on skiing. My parents had never skied a day in their lives, but would drive me an hour each way, every saturday, to take ski lessons. I have great parents!
post #6 of 27
We have about a dozen or so schools that bring the kids (High and Middle schoolers), for a trip per week. A one hour lesson is included with each of the half dozen trips and it's mandatory that the kids attend.
post #7 of 27
Thread Starter 
Jim O'D,

Good question Wigs, by the by, how is your beginners magic program working? Are you having many return guests?<<

First off, thanks for the response to my post.

The Beginner's Magic program here in Aspen/Snowmass has been a great success! The idea out of the gate was to try and give the ski industry a shot in the arm. We not only were trying to teach a new approach to learning how to ski with a direct parallel teaching progression, but market the program with great incentives such as lesson, lift, and equipment for the unbelievable price of $98.00 a day. ( At least for Aspen that's unbelievable ) We were also trying to get folks back into skiing where numbers have fallen off in the last few years. The idea of just breaking even with a great priced package and small groups, just to get some newbes interested in a ski vacation instead of the beach.

The program ( Ref: Beginners Magic post for those that have not read it ) can be a one to three day deal. We as pros, try to push the three day lesson plan, but some come to class with the one day ticket. We normally are able to sell the next two days after the first day. The guest can extend at the same price for the full week or as long as they are there. This is a hell of a learn to ski, vacation deal! So Jim, to answer you question on returns, Yes, the return rate is great!

I am more interested in hearing about levels 5 through 9 multi-day programs and there successes, or failures.

We had a program here at Snowmass that went by the name of Mountain Masters. It was a very popular program and the price was right. It was a four day program with small class numbers and the same pro for four days. There were some extras such as lunch one day and a party on the last day after skiing, all on us. It was staffed with full cert pros that were very good at multi-day programs. The company marketed this program fairly good, but word of mouth was our biggest marketing device, with some folks returning as many as a dozen years to go through the program. We even had some of the skiers that repeated so many times, become ski pros, and actually teach the class!

Now, the program has changed a little. The name is now Mountain Explorers. It's still a four day program and staffed with very good pros. The price is still very good, but I think that the word of mouth advertising that we had for so long has fallen off along with the numbers of skiers that come to take the program. One reason may be that the guest doesn't want to commit to a four all day program, and the lack of marketing on the company's part has caused a great program to almost dry up on the vine. I for one, believe that multi-day programs are the absolute best way to learn and improve one's skiing. They are for the most part the best dollar value for lessons at most ski schools. I think with a little bit better marketing, the ski week lesson plan could be back in vogue, and for us pros, we all would be employed all week.

I would like to hear from more of you guys on your thoughts. Thanks,--------------Wigs.
post #8 of 27
We have a couple of two-day programs, which judging from being on the hill are extremely popular. We tried three-day programs a couple of years ago, but they weren't particularly successful - at least, they were discotinued.

The key to our current two-day programs, which are priced at normal rates (twice the single-day price) is simply that we offer them as a guarantee - i.e., we guarantee that you'll be skiing better by the time you've finished the program .

We also try to let the guest keep the same instructor if they want, which helps to ensure the guest's progress. So far, it looks like one of the better programs we've instituted. I don't think we have solid numbers yet - that they're letting us know about, anyway.


~Michelle H.
post #9 of 27
We also have the Mahre Training Centers at Keystone, which are three-to-five day programs; like the ones you mentioned above, Wigs, they often have return students year after year.

They may not be that useful from an ordinary point of view , because I suspect that the main reason for their success is that they are taught by Phil and Steve Mahre, as well as by coaches trained in their teaching methods and skiing techniques. Still, they are multi-day programs.

~Michelle H.
post #10 of 27
I did a ski week at Taos 2 years ago and it was fantastic. People might be shocked, but Taos claims over 40% of their skiers take lessons! Many of these are advanced skiers and many of them come back year after year and do a ski week. People are way less resistant at Taos to take lessons. Part is the terrain and part is just the ethic of Taos. Of course you're going to take lessons, it's just what you do.
A ski week means you ski for 6 days with the same group and one instructor for half the day. The great thing is if you go alone you meet people to ski with for the afternoon.
You can even do a super ski week which means full day with the instructor, more video and after skiing analysis. I wanted to do that one but at the time I was the only one at my level and they weren't going to do a whole group just for me.
I couldn't believe the stuff we were doing the first day! I'm looking up at these really steep mogul runs and thinking "don't we ease into this?" Much of it was getting over the fear of really steep stuff. By the second day in the afternoon a member of our group helped me do my first cornice jump into the chute.
In the week we also skied gates, probably total of one day. They shot video of it that we could see in a shack on the side of the hill. You could even by the video clips at the end (there were mogul shots too). We hiked up Kachina Peak 12,600 ft? the tallest part of Taos and skied down. The whole experience was really great.
There's a book called "Ski the Taos Way" written in the mid-late 80's about their super ski week.
I'd highly recommend doing a week at Taos......
post #11 of 27
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your reply to the multi-day post. It sounds as though you had a great time.

I believe that if more folks got into these multi-day programs, they would have just as much fun as you did. Let alone improve their skiing a great deal. Thanks again.----Wigs
post #12 of 27
As a middle-age rookie just learning to ski the idea of multi-day lesson is wonderful. The problem is having the time, money and energy to take such a program. What I have never seen and would really enjoy is hooking up with an instructor for a season and take an hour with him/her every day I get up to the mountain for feedback on how to improve. What to practice and what I'm learning or not learning. A full day is just too much for an old guy much less a full week!
post #13 of 27
Check my post above.. We did just as you wanted. They were 2 hour sessions and privates but almost every day was 4-6 people so it came close to the group pricing. 2 hrs each morning right when the lifts opened and then all day to practice what we learned. Except for the first day which was a private by myself, I was kind of a tagalong student learning more about movement analysis and watching the instructor teach the others but very helpful. working on basics.... Same instructor all week so there was some progression instead of learning from a different instructor each day.
post #14 of 27
Also if I remember correctly Vail and Steamboat both had "early bird" specials of some sort. I think Steamboat had a first tracks program where you get to ski before the mountain actually opens. If you went for that on the first day and mentioned you want continuing through the week you might find an instructor that would be willing to try to hook up every day at the same time.
post #15 of 27
well, we just got back from a level 8-9 ski week at Tremblant. I think Tremblant does this absolutely brilliantly.

The tremblant ski week runs from 10am-12, 1:30-3 from monday to thursday. The sessions are a mix of lessons and skiing. There is a race the last day and gold, siver and bronze medals awarded to people whose time is within certain percentages of the instructors avg time. (there is an easier race course for lower levels). The package includes a free photograph of your group, welcome cocktail with your group after skiing the first day and, for another $20, a three course meal on the last day of ski school with your group and instructor where they show videos of the race and award medals. (the cost of dinner may sound low, but I think they make a lot on wine bottle and drink purchases which are not included.)

If you book this 7 days in advance the cost of this $27 usd/day. No, I didn't get it wrong, $27/day. Additionally, they have a program for kids that includes all the above plus lunch for $35 usd/day. This allowed my wife and I to ski together in class.

My wife and I were in the level 8-9 class and loved it. The social aspect of the class (drinks, dinner, lift talks, comraderie) are great, but all the instructors (ours was level III) have a great enthusiasm about skiing which is infectious. We're in touch with our group via email and we're all going to try to go the same week next year.

why isn't this done everywhere?

post #16 of 27
I agree, why isn't this done everywhere?

Part may be resistance of the skiers to take lessons. It seems to work better at destination resorts.
However, I know at Windham,NY they have a program for adults where you ski with the same instructor every weekend for most of the year. Some of those groups have been together a long time. I believe it was twelve years for this instructor's group.
They even take ski trips together out west.

A one hour lesson is very frustrating I think for both student and teacher. I'm not sure really why we do them except for cost.

post #17 of 27
Thread Starter 

>>I agree, why isn't this done everywhere?<<

And I agree. I think the price is right here at Snowmass with our Mountain Explorers program, at just over $300.00 for the four days, but with the lack of advertising of the program has hurt it, I believe.

The program use to be called Mountain Masters, and I remember one year they ran full page adds in The Wallstreet Journal and other major news papers around the country. We had more work as ski pros an we knew what to do with. The program really took off at that point. Now all we get is a couple of sentence in the brochure. So, I think it's important to get the word out.-------Wigs
post #18 of 27
Thread Starter 

>>You get any snow out of this storm today? It looks like we'll only get an inch or two in Summit County. <<

It's snowing now, but I wouldn't call it a dump. It was real warm here last week, so this is much welcomed. As you know, March is usually a great snow month in the rockies. Let's hope tradition is still in play, because it could be a rough April if we don't get a good dose of the white stuff this month. ------Wigs
post #19 of 27
This just shows the transatlantic divide. Here in Europe the multi-day package is the norm, not the exception - typically 2 or 3 hours/day for 5 or 6 days, but sometimes 4-6 hours (all day).

Any thoughts from the others out there how short-duration one-off sessions as opposed to multi session affects the way you teach? Here we're not as rule looking for instant results, more at building towards a goal over the week as a whole? Do you feel under pressure that your clients have to feel they've improved significatantly in an hour (or whatever)?
post #20 of 27

Welcome. I don't remember seing you around here before.

Yeah. That's pretty much it. America, land of instant gratification. And if that's not the reason, it's because they are too cheap to pay for an education.

And if they don't have some instant revalation in their skiing, they feel like they've been ripped off. It's especially bad in day areas near cities, and not so bad in destination resorts.
post #21 of 27
Thread Starter 

For me, it does in some way effect the way I teach a lesson. With a short lesson, I try and focus on basics such as balance. I start with forward and aft, lateral and then on to the effects of how ones balance might change through the turn. I finish off with turn entry.

The amount of time spent in each area depends on how much time I have with the skier or skiers. If there is a very definite need to spend more time in an area, I will do so.

Lesson in our school could be as little as 1 1/4 hours, ( Early Bird special ) to privates that go 2,3,4,6 hours. Our class lesson run 2 1/2 to all day 5 hour lessons. Our multi-day programs are Beginner's Magic which is for levels 1-4. The new skiers are not obligated to take a multi-day lesson, but are encouraged to upgrade as long as possible.

Our upper level mulit-day program, ( Mountain Explorers ) are obligated for four all days with the same pro and small group sizes. This clinic type program is for levels 5 to 9. When doing this type of class-clinic, I can spend much more time on polishing the skiers needs. The use of video is a great help, and if done correctly, will help the skiers understand much better what the pro is trying to get across by visual images. This may take up more time than the skier with shorter lessons may want to spend inside looking at a TV, but is one of the best teaching tools we as ski pros have as a teaching aid, IMHO.

So IMHO, take the time and sign up for a multi-day clinic. It's the best money and time you will ever spend if you are really interested in improving your skiing. -------Wigs
post #22 of 27
This is a small story that I think says a lot about multi day programs.I was skiing at Park city early last season.I desided to take a brake and went in the Mid mountain Lodge. well it was packed but a group of Guys had an empty chair and invited me to join them. Turns out they were in The early season program called ski College.They were all from diffrent parts of the country and had met 5 years earlier in ski college and had become good friends. Since they all skied at about the same level they took at least one ski trip a year together as well as meet up for the ski college ever year.Multiday programs Not only allow you to grow as a skier.But to meet and work with others that share your passion for skiing.To me a big part of skiing is the comradeship.

The Best skier in the world is the One with the biggest smile. Utah49
post #23 of 27
Just wanted to agree with Utah49 - I did a lot of multidays when I started skiing, and have almost more and better memories of the people in the groups than I do of the instructors!

~Michelle H.
post #24 of 27
Tog, I whole heartedly agree with your thoughts on Taos. I have been there 6 times and have participated in the ski weeks all six times. I don't think you mentioned that you ski all 6 days with the same instructor and students,a great benefit. All students participating in the ski week, individually ski off from the top of the hill and placed into a specific class selected by one instructor.The groups are surprisingly equally matched.
Prior to my first trip there, I had hit a mental wall and was about to give up skiing after 20 years. Well, I have been reborn with alot of enthusiasm for skiing.
I am surprised that the Tahoe resorts don't offer multi-day packages along these lines.
Modeling a multi-day lesson package after the one in Taos would be my recommendation. It is a huge commitment from the resort.
Happy skiing

post #25 of 27

Welcome to epic ski forums! If you've done 6 Taos ski weeks I'm sure you'll enjoy the discussions here.

The "culture of learning" at Taos is truly impressive and inspiring. Almost everybody wants to get better and take lessons. Maybe it's because of the attitude at the top.

I remember talking to Alain Veth (in charge of the Taos ski weeks)in his ski shop one evening after skiing. He was upset because although the ski racing season was over, some teams wanted to add another race. But Alain's team had disbanded, and furthermore he was done for the season. He told me "I do a lot of prepartion before a race, I don't just go out there and ski." Then he preceeded to describe some of what he did to get ready for a race. Now, when someone of his level of skiing talks about practicing and preparing that has an effect! It's an attitude of working to get better rather than resting where you are. That and a tremendous enthusiasm for skiing seem to be the defining characteristics of Taos.

devo, you've been there far more than I have, can you shed some light on this?

-ciao<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Tog (edited March 21, 2001).]</FONT>
post #26 of 27
Tog, I can't shed much light on Alains race training. I have met him in his shop, and he has tuned my skis before. I have not had the oppurtunity to talk at length with him about his racing experience. Is that what you were asking????
As for the Taos "experience", I missed the last two seasons there, but highly recommend it to all my friends. The school does offer a great ski week for all. The school mgmt and instructors are an awesome group of individuals that take pride in their school. The first couple of days, the instructor gets a feel for the class and begins to mold the lessons toward the groups skiing needs. Later on in the week if the students feel like they need to practice on certain skills, the instructor is more than happy to oblige. They are always asking questions, making sure that we are happy with the experience.
The team spirit that develops within the group is motivating. I've skied places where I would not ski with my friends. As you know,Taos ski valley is somewhat secluded, the nightlife is limited. We (I've usually traveled with groups of 6 or more)always enjoy the nights, either stopping by the Thunderbird to visit Craig the bartender or playing cards or dominoes @ the St Bernard.
The accomodations on the Mtn are very laid back and lend that atmosphere to the overall Taos feeling. I can ramble on more, but I think I've said enough
As you can tell, if I had one place to ski for the week....It would be Taos.
I hope this answered your question re: my experience.

post #27 of 27
Thanks for your response. I was actually refering to why at Taos are people so interested in taking lessons/improving. Is it because the terrain is difficult, the atmosphere, the particular people who go there. Why is there this "Culture of Learning" at Taos which doesn't exist at many other places?
This relates to the topic right now under "I'm sad...lively discussion nipped in bud".
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