How can snow pros unleash their potential to be catalysts of a renaissance in snow sports instruction?
Raise the standard. Make PSIA cert the best in the world. Make it so attractive that the world wants to be PSIA certified. Hire and retain pros and pay them to train, travel and gain experience, learn languages, make SS visible mountain ambassadors again, have them run the mountain tours, be greeters, work the lift lines with big smiles and bags of goodies, send them into schools for talks etc, get down to the PEOPLE, the grass roots of the customer base.How does our present business model hinder this objective?
There does not appear to be any value in being a visible ski pro. No in uniform free skiing, (the ski standard is pretty crappy which takes us back to the first answer) No pub talks in the resorts, No real visible in ya face "ski with a pro marketing", No promotions including instructors, No utilisation of instructors "internationality". Its like there is this huge pool of talent being kept in mediocrity by a weird sense of corporate FEAR. It’s like in playing to the masses and trying to have a huge customer base the whole essence of SS has been lost. I do not eat at McDonalds so why would I ski at a Ronald SS ... but I will pay for good Sashimi in an intimate setting!How do our systems contradict and even sabotage this objective?
The system calls it self PROFESSIONAL yet it is run by people who have worked hard to get out of the pile but seem to be very, very fearful of actually being adventurous. It is like bunches of IT nerds running a people orientated, holiday sport. Lift tickets and lesson prices are so expensive that the CUSTOMER base is discouraged to take time to learn YET the very mediocre SS marketing programs say "hey look everyone can take a lesson" ... if you can afford it. The CUSTOMER just wants to just get out and get their moneys worth on the hillIs dissatisfaction with the current state sufficient to inspire a vision for the future? What would that vision be? What are the decisive first steps that would be most likely to lead us toward our Vision?
Inspiration will only come when the focus is not on GROWTH but on quality and retention (which creates growth). The future .... More of the same across the board because VISION is not what got most SS management where they are, rather the corporate need for GROWTH and CONTROL. Best example is the growing private Elite SS camps, clinics, Ski Weeks etc that are going gangbusters. Dare I cite the HH enterprise, Mike Dempsey etc?
This thread has some of the PSIA most senior members as well as long time SS management participating BUT all we have really read so far is questions !!!! SS will remain the same because many in resort, SS and PSIA (in Oz too) management do not want to stick their respective heads out of nice safe positions that they paid vast sacrificial dues for. (And I do not blame them one bit)
SS could become a profession but it would take an act of GOD ie. A huge Rocky Mountain Range rising up in the Southern Hemisphere in a country with a stable political system and an affluent population to rival North American …. In short without the ability to practise our SS craft year round SS will always be a part time job undertaken by a vast majority of happy hacks and a few real and very professional full timers.
The best hope for the industry is in Conglomerates running Ski Mountains. The bigger a company is the more vulnerable it is to the labour market and regulation. The best hope for SS is visible small niche marketing programs. How to marry the two conflicting arrangements is the BIG question?
I just worked a week for an office fitout mob in Sydney and for just the skill of commonsense and the ability to keep working I made $150 a day more than my best day at SS (not inc the ever elusive tip) Now that is how I pay the mortgage, child support, school fees and save for retirement. SS is much more fun and personally fulfilling but ….. hey its not reality and never will be without the previously mentioned act of god.
Can the SS product be improved … you bet ya it can.
Thats my bit from downunder ... but ya all probably know better ! [ April 17, 2002, 10:27 AM: Message edited by: man from oz ]