Since Ott's rodeln story was so elegant, (and please, Ott...THAT is superb writing...especially compared to our claptrap!), I will relent and talk about the Wizard Sessions.
Starting in January, we will be joining with John Clendenin (2 time world pro freestyle champ) and his Ski Doc system (Ski & Board Simulation--SBS) to erect a rolling ski deck at Buttermilk. We will call it the Wizard, in association with our Beginner's Magic.
At first we will sell time on the Wizard as a separate product to enhance the learning. Later, (next year maybe) we can incorporate it into all our Beginner's Magic.
The idea is to do a complete simulation of all the skiing/snowboarding movements in motion, in an environment where there is no possibility of a fall, and no concern about the fall line. (The skier/rider is in a harness. The safety issue is 100% covered.)
Technically, the rolling deck does not offer much for the turn finish, but for the initiation (the dive down the hill), it is everything.
The product--the Wizard Sessions--will be available as a "full bells and whistles" way to learn to ski or snowboard from scratch. Small groups will be in a warm "party" tent (and hopefully in the future, in a building). They will go through stations: the Wizard, boot accomodation, centering/balancing, video/orientation. About two hours and they are ready to ski.$179--2hours indoors, 3hours on real snow.
Another program in association will be the availability of time on the Wizard for those already in snow classes, and needing a little tuneup to make it more comfortable. "Grad school."
This will only be available at Buttermilk this season, but if it works as well as I think it will, the possibilities are pretty much endless. (Clendenin's got years and years of experience with this stuff and the technical side is excellent.)
Of course, one young child came by yesterday while the platform was being built and asked what was happening. When informed that this was a ski simulator, he informed us that it was unnecessary to simulate it because we had a mountain here and we could do it for real! I love kids. That one got us to scratch our heads, for sure.
Nevertheless, I'm guessing it will take about a day off the learning time.
I'll let you know what happens. But we're pretty excited.