Here is one for you.
If I teach a day at Vail, I get paid X.
If I give a day of training to instructors, I get paid Y (X-35%).
If I do a clinic for PSIA-RM, I get paid Z(X-50%).
Now, I don't complain too much about my Vail pay, it's adequate, but I'd be a moron to say I wouldn't appreciate more. But when it comes to training, that's ridiculous! 2/3's for the best my brain and body have to offer (which some may tell you is still too much), so their staff can go out and be more successful ($$$)?
Vail did not teach me my craft! Like most top end pros, I did it on my own, with some help from a few mentors. But none of them are here in Vail. But they feel they can take advantage of my knowledge and hard work for peanuts. That's what I told them- NUTS!
I removed myself from the trainer pool this winter, and now only work with those individuals who come to me and ask for my help. I give my assistance willingly, without reservation. AND FREE! I will not accept anything from any of them, but I do insist that they put in as much effort as I do. The moment they don't, I'm gone.
This is my way of defying their system. It may sound weird, but the reality is, those that I work with come away with comments like "why didn't we get this info from the other clinics" , or statements to that effect. I tell them to ask the training supervisors, and leave it at that. The sup's have no answer for them...
When I first came to Vail in '85, we had 650 instructors, and a training budget of almost 1.5 MILLION dollars! These were Vail's glory days, the days of Chris Ryman, Jens Husted, Walt Chauner, John Boles, and dozens of pros that were unbelievable!
Now we have twice that number of pros, and each of the 4 pods gets a paltry 50K for training each season. Look at our reputation. It's rather tarnished after having been arguably the finest ski school in the world.
Why did the top pros from around the country gravitate to places like Aspen, Vail, Deer Valley, etc? It wasn't solely for the money. It was the environment for learning! It was like grad school for ski pros!
Now we all wallow in the quicksand of the corporate ski area. No, not all are as bad as some others. (I hear Weems coming in) But right now, the average ski school does NOT have the ears of the owners. They acknowledge that we (ski pros) have the greatest personal impact on our guests vacations, and their decisions to come back again at a later date. But nothing is shown to the pros to recognize that fact!
Why do I keep working for the division? Because I believe it's important. Upholding the standards, and keeping the "faith" as it were. But wouldn't it be something if the ski areas actually respected PSIA as something more than a necessary evil. And actually SUPPORTED PSIA? It would help keep costs to members down and realisticly compensate those doing the training which the areas benefit from? Would we feel better about working for less if we knew the companies were 100% behind us in our efforts to train better instructors?
I'll get off my soap box now....