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Portable DVD Players and ski lessons

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
Here is a suggestion I have for the ski schools and coaches out there. The portable DVD players, which were priced in $600 - $700 a year ago, are getting so cheap nowadays. I see the Circuit City selling one for $160 or so. I bet the next year they will get into below $100 category.

This is a terrific device, which is useful for ski education. I can carry one safely in my pocket on the slopes. Why don’t you guys make a step-by-step instructional full-time DVD’s so that people may rent DVD and DVD player in the ski school? The equipment required to make such DVD is also cheap and available everywhere. You need a digital camcorder, and PC with DVD recorder drive (which is so cheap nowadays). I think every ski school may produce a set of DVD’s to their liking or even go through PSIA, whichever looks easier for you guys.

I think that this will open up the bottom part of the market. Many customers are still hesitant to spend $50 on a group lesson. I am sure you can rent portable DVD player for half a day for $20 or so and add a big revenue stream to your school. I also believe that this will not jeopardize the group and private lessons. I think it will have the opposite effect and more customers will take lessons with the clear intensions on what they want to accomplish during the lesson.
post #2 of 2

You're on the right track that there is an opportunity for ski resorts and ski schools to use more video. I do believe that you will see more DVDs at ski resorts in the future.

Whether video is delivered on tape or DVD is not a big issue. The costs are not significantly different.

Delivering video on snow makes sense only when you are replaying someone's skiing back to them in order to give them immediate feedback. If you're outside, you're going to want to be skiing, not watching video. Several instructors and resorts are experimenting with video instruction either by watching the LCD screeen on a camcorder or connecting the camcorder to an on-mountain TV. The initial results are promising.

General instruction is best delivered indoors. There have been a few general instruction videos produced. To my knowledge, none have been successful enough to encourage widespread production of more such product. Yes it would be REALLY cool to have a library of short tip videos to choose from and play on demand. But for now, it's cheaper and far more effective to do it live (i.e. have an instructor select the appropriate topic and demonstrate). In the mean time, it is really hard to put a business case together that shows how a resort could make a product out of this that can generate revenue. If you can do it, by all means go to a resort and sell it to them. Ski resorts will be glad to split the pie if you can give thema no brain way to put bucks in their pockets.

Although we have the technology to produce video cheaply from the technology side, producing a quality product is a skill that most resorts do not have and also requires a significant investment of time (which is costly too). It's far better to have product professionally produced. A good example of this is the Snow Monsters DVD being produced as entertainment and motivational inspiration for use in ski school childrens programs. Some of the bigger resorts have the budget to professionally produce quality video for their private use. So far, this has been used primarily for introducing new skiers to the sport.

It's a start!
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