Thanks for all the great info! I'm bringing a laptop to Colorado when I come over, and if anyone wants to ski with me, I'd be flattered and honoured! Thanks for all the encouraging words about Keystone, too. I go by gut feeling in most things, and it was a hard choice between Copper and Keystone.
I've got a Keystone trail map here at work, so I'm following Bob's recommendations and thinking ahead impatiently. Spent all weekend trying out the suggestions for teaching beginners. I noticed other first timer groups on teh hill had 2 skis on while we were just progessing to one ski, but, I had less failures...in fact, I didn't have any!!!! I had a group of 11 teenagers doing fast happy linked turns down the hill within the hour. That's 11 new people who are going to stick with skiing, I reckon.
Pay? Better in your US West and midwest, pretty woeful in the East. I started in Vermont on 7.85/hour. You only get paid if you are allocated a class. If it's quiet, you don't work ("oh but you can go skiing, isn't that great" "yeah but food and stuff is good too").
This year I'm headed to where there's plenty of work, lots of people coming for a holiday (so they are HAPPY) and hopefully they tip, too. No tips in Australia, I'm on $16.80/hour here, but the fulltimers report that things can be very slow in the shoulder season.
Yeah, it's a great job with lousy pay. I'm on a very comfy gov't salary here in Oz, but am planning ot give it all up and become a citizen of the world, commuting between Oz and the US, following the snow. Outside in blazing sunshine, sanblasting blizzards and miserable rain with sore feet...
I can't wait.