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The EPICSKI ACADEMY 2003--details and agenda - Page 2

post #31 of 55
I'm bringing my more proficient partner!

We may do a better job at advertising this if we can quote a group rate for lift tickets.
post #32 of 55
Speaking of stories, is Ott going to be at the gathering or academy?
I want to sit down and hear some of his stories over a few pints...

post #33 of 55
I've got a question for you guys and I'm not sure if you have answered it previously.

Will there be an opportunity for people who wait to the last minute(the week before or so) to add in at the clinic? I'm just guessing there a lot of people in the forum who can't justify locking in right now, but feel there is a chance that they might get the opportunity to attend in the future.

What is the current status of this aspect?

post #34 of 55
Thread Starter 
Fox--Ott has just told me that he doesn't plan to be there, unfortunately. We'll have to start working on him!

Feal--it is likely that we'd be able to take a last-minute participant or two. But as always with this sort of thing, the later you wait, the more chance you take. I'd like to encourage everyone to commit as early as you can, to help us with the planning. We have some commitments to make for this thing too, so the more we know what to expect, the better we can do.

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #35 of 55
Is this camp a good deal by Colorado standards? I looked at "all day" group lessons at Park City, Solitude, Snowbird, Alta and Deer Valley. Only DV is pricier. So I'm pretty baffled at your comment about how this camp is economical. Frankly, I'm suffering "sticker shock".
post #36 of 55
Yes it is a bit pricey. But keep in mind the instructors ar Alta, Park City, etc. do not have to buy their own lift tickets, or pay for travel costs.
post #37 of 55
I don't know about relative prices, but in those other situations you are rolling the dice with what kind of instructors you get, here you know up front that you will be getting top-tier instructors with a passion for teaching. Just my take on it.
post #38 of 55
Nice program Bob. I am definitely interested. Having accomodations up at Solitude would be really good, otherwise I would stay in town. I would really like to stay near most of the group for extended get-to-know sessions...you know, the serious talk after skiing [img]smile.gif[/img]
Travel in SLC is okay, so would probably be able to get together after skiing, although if there's a big dump...
post #39 of 55
Thread Starter 
I feel little need to defend the prices we've come up with, as the instructors are going to be doing this thing at a financial sacrifice, vs. staying home and teaching the private lessons that most of these guys/gals would probably be teaching, with no travel expenses. These instructors are professionals, and top pros at that.

Nevertheless, you cannot compare a comprehensive ski camp like we have planned with a regular ski school group lesson, even a so-called "all-day lesson," Mary. The inconsistency and mediocrity of the "average group ski lesson" has been much-discussed here at EpicSki. The only similarity between those and the EpicSki camp is that both take place in the mountains! I'm not sure it is possible to compare "apples with apples," because this camp--this whole concept--is unique. But if you must compare, look at the costs of any other multi-day comprehensive program, and I think you will quickly realize the value of joining us!

McDonald's hamburger--or filet mignon. It's good to have choices!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #40 of 55
I've taken lots of traditional ski school instruction in addition to multiple one week ski camps taught by some of the top pros in the business. The prices being charged for the Epic Ski Camp are very, very reasonable given the caliber/credentials/reputations of these instructors. From my own experiences, if a student shows up physically fit with an open mind, tremendous breakthroughs can be made in a camp of this length. Considering the price/location/curriculum/ expected level of instruction, I believe it would be extremely difficult (if not impossible) to find a better value in ski school instruction this season. Just my 2cents. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #41 of 55
Like I said before prices are very competetive(see my post above, about 25% off compared to other multi day camps), but a few people (myself included) missed the jump from
- instructors are showing up to the gathering anyway, let's have a quick clinic; to
- we would rather stay home and do private lessons, but if there is enough money in this we will show up with full blown commercial product.

Just a little misunderstanding (never happens on the net .
post #42 of 55

Considering all the different threads that discussion has taken place in and the gradual nature of the growth of this thing, its easy to understand how one could have missed any number of the steps that lead from that first comment about quick clinics to our present full blown Bears Ski Academy. There are though two points I would like to make. First, the growth and direction of this thing has been driven by the desires of the potential participants with some suggestions from we instructors. Second, I don't think that there is one instructor who has made the decision to come because we expected to be paid. We all jumped on board when it entered the "let's set aside a couple days pre-gathering for instruction" stage late last winter. and as Bob pointed out most of us could have made more (in some cases probably a lot more) by staying home and doing what we do. But this just sounded like such a fun thing to do (and still does) that we were ready to do it for lift tickets and lunch or less.

post #43 of 55
Thread Starter 
This thread has taken a very discouraging turn. Again, the price of the camp does not need defending. It will not compensate the instructors as the professionals they are, and no instructor is going to be doing this camp for the money--that I guarantee.

Instructors are PROFESSIONALS. The instructors who will be involved in this camp have devoted their lives to this career. Yes, most of us love what we do. Even if they would do it for free (as many have offered), I will not support the exploitation of ski instructors, who make little enough as it is.

This whining about the cost makes me seriously wonder why I am spending so much time working on this project. Fortunately, I know that most people know better. I will post this one message, for the minority, then I will get back to working for those who are enthusiastic about this thing.

The camp is not for everyone. I think it will be the best skiing camp that there is, and an outstanding value. I'm doing all I can to make it so, because I really believe in this thing. If anyone doesn't want to come, though, that's a choice you're certainly entitled to make! There ARE cheaper alternatives, including not taking lessons at all. You pays your money and you takes your choice!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #44 of 55
Also, it is possible to get pretty cheap lodging in Utah, if you don't need the luxury. Some of us are staying at the Extended Stay for about $39 a night. If you're on a budget, pick your priorities. If you need to stay on mountain, that's fine, but even if Solitude will give us a group discount, considering that their first offer was $170 a night, I doubt that they are going to come down all that low.

I'd personally prefer to spend the money on decent instruction.

Once again, keep in mind that you can take an all day lesson at some resorts for about $75 a day. But the instructor already has a place on the mountain, and does not have to pay for transportation and lift tickets. Sometimes you may only end up with a level 1 or 2 instructor.

Also, keep in mind that it does not seem like we have huge groups of people attending. At some of these workshops, there may be 12 people in a group.
post #45 of 55
Have you ever watched an artist paint a painting? Often the intermediate steps are ugly, but the final result is a thing of beauty. If the artist tries too hard to keep the painting beautiful at all phases of the process, the end result will often fail. So the artist must detatch and at times be willing to destroy parts of the painting that don't work.

You asked for feedback and you are getting it. That is a good thing. There are issues you didn't consider and now you are hearing about them. That is part of the process. Please hear us out, this is a Bears camp, we all are the artists, you just happen to be holding the brush. Thanks for holding the big heavy brush.

Edited to add these low brow philosophical thoughts

Maybe it's time for some counter intuitive thinking. You seem to be kindly protecting the interests of the instructors. Do those instructors need your protection? If they are willing to "bleed", let them bleed. Let grace flow. Have a free or low cost camp, and have some faith in the gracious capacities of the students to throw down fat tips etc. and step up to do what's needed to make this thing fly.

It grieves me to see language like "this camp isn't for everyone", or telling people they are "whiners" when they ask about pricing. Lets not have a potentially cool Bears camp turn coldly Darwinistic.

[ September 15, 2002, 01:38 AM: Message edited by: mary ]
post #46 of 55
I have spoken to some of the OZ/usa in summer bunch about this when they have asked if I am likely to ski overseas this summer.

The general feeling was that at $100 per day it was very reasonable for the lessons.
post #47 of 55
As usual, those providing the service will not get to keep much of the money - just like at regular ski schools, right?! How this turns out economically will depend in part on how many paying students there are. The $100 per day could turn out to be even less than peanuts once costs are paid, and if the group of students is small enough, they could get some great small group or individual attention and the instructors could get less than peanuts - and yet they're willing to do it anyway!

Instructors may be doing what they love for a living - and don't we all want to do that - but the fact is that, as professionals, they are used and taken advantage of by the ski areas. I, personally, don't want to be one who takes unfair advantage of them.

My late father was a professional musician. In addition to his regular work, he gave violin lessons at our home, and my mother gave piano lessons. They were professionals - their education, training and experience brought them to their professional status, though not to riches. I can not imagine that they would have bargained over the cost of a music lesson. Perhaps not everyone could afford that - as not everyone can afford to ski. But that's what they charged, and those to whom it was worth the money and could afford the money - paid it. Those who could not afford it or to whom it was not worth it - didn't take the lessons.

A lot of work is going into this clinic before any student even arrives for the clinic, and the cost is reasonable for the product. If anyone reading this wishes to fund "scholarships" and has the wherewithal to do so, then you are indeed to be thanked and admired for your generosity and kind heart. However, if such assistance is needed or desired, let us not try to squeeze it from the instructors or reduce college budgets by paying professional educators less than they already are getting.
post #48 of 55
WELL SAID! Also, keep in mind that they are not being paid for the planning that has gone into this.
post #49 of 55
Sometimes you may only end up with a level 1 or 2 instructor.

Gee....that's a bit harsh. I've only been teaching for two years and was kinda proud of my level II cert!

[ September 15, 2002, 07:55 PM: Message edited by: Rusty Guy ]
post #50 of 55
And you should be proud! This was not meant to sound harsh. In my industry, if you want a private lesson with a more experienced trainer with a higher level of certification, you pay more. The trainer earns more.
It would be both un American and uncooth if everyone was paid the say amount regardless of training and experience.
post #51 of 55
I think $100/day is somewhat of a bargain. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

HH charges $150/day, and Lito is $1100 for 5 days, including lift tix, so about $150/day also.

I'll be getting a better product for 33% less, cheaper lodging, and get to ski with my friends (who I haven't met yet!)!!!!!

I'm looking forward to major breakthroughs at the camp! [img]smile.gif[/img]

I'm working on getting a kitchen pass! [img]graemlins/angel.gif[/img]

post #52 of 55
MXP, if you're planning on attending the clinic, please post here: http://www.epicski.com/cgi-bin/ultim...&f=12&t=000215
post #53 of 55
Hi Mary,

I thought it appropriate to lend a little moral support. Your question on pricing was not only appropriate (and implicitely solicited), but quite useful, to my mind. The Clinic has been in the discussion stage for quite some time, and I believe this is the first thread where any price was mentioned. The lack of a thorough discussion of it seemed sort of in the nature of ignoring the elephant in the room. (Normally not a problem here at EpicSki).

The price does seem quite reasonable to me. A multi-day clinic is a way different story than a full day group lessen (or a series thereof) is likely to be; fewer students per instructor, higher quality more dedicated instructors, and continuity of instruction as well as fellow students, to name a few differences. As mentioned before, the $100/day is significantly less than Lito's or Harald's, but in the range of the Super Ski Weeks at Taos ($666 for 5-1/2 days including lift tickets in 2000). I expect the instruction at the Bears' Clinic to be truely top notch, and the atmosphere built up over these months to prove, well, electric.

Thanks for your helpful posts and hang in there.
post #54 of 55
Thread Starter 
All right gang--I think we may have explored about all we can regarding pricing. I'd love to bring the cost down further, but it's already at the bottom! Please remember that, unlike most products, there was no attempt made here to maximize "profits," or even to consider how much people would be willing or able to pay! We figured only how much it would COST us to do this camp, and how little we could afford to charge, while respecting the professionalism of the instructors--who will still be taking a cut in pay to do this. We did not just pull some price out of the air. If it is not affordable for someone who really wants to come, I am truly sorry. But there is a cost to this thing, as with anything of quality, and the option to just lower the price simply doesn't exist!

In that note, I would LOVE it if any Bear with the means and motivation wanted to offer some financial assistance to someone who cannot afford the camp. To me, that would be a fantastic expression of the community spirit that is developing here at EpicSki. People are contributing in many ways here--numerous people have already volunteered time and expertise to help pull this off, and that will continue. The instructors are eager to help out, even though their expenses may not even be met. If anyone has the desire, and the means, your financial support is certainly most welcome!

That includes instructors--if you want to donate money, please do--but folks, this should be their choice, just is it is for everyone else. Please don't ask us to extract a donation from their paychecks!

Yes, I suppose we could have done something cheaper if we wanted to. Like other ski schools, I'm sure I could have found some kids with no training and bought them lift tickets and beers, and they'd have gladly pretended to be "ski instructors."

But my focus is on creating the highest-quality experience I possibly can, with the best professionals available--NOT on cheapness! (Cheapness is available elsewhere!) Even so, the cost is as low as we could go in good conscience. Want to compare it? Check out a 5-day program with the NASTC (National Ski Training Center). This excellent program is analogous to ours, in that it employs top-level instructors who have to travel to the event. It costs $1597, for 5 days. Yes, it includes lift tickets, so let's take $250 dollars off that: $1347. And it includes 3 dinners and 4 breakfasts--if they're VERY good, they may be worth another $300. We're down to $1047 for the 5 days of instruction--roughly $210 per day, well over DOUBLE the cost of the EpicSki Academy. And it is probably worth every penny!

Anyway gang, I'd really like to get back to the planning of this event. Time is limited for all of us, and mine could be put to better use in other areas here! I appreciate the feedback, concerns, and ideas, but I hope everyone understands that "letting the instructors bleed" is neither an acceptable option, nor one that would be in ANYONE'S best interest! I hope this post helps explain why the cost simply cannot go any lower without sacrificing quality, and I hope we can now move on!

I look forward to seeing as many of the Bears as possible at the camp. Keep the ideas coming!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes

[ September 16, 2002, 10:24 PM: Message edited by: Bob Barnes/Colorado ]
post #55 of 55
This and all other EpicSki clinic threads will be continued in the EpicSki Academy Planning Room (click here).
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