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Instructor Income growth (or lack thereof)

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Let's see how many instructors make more today than in the past or how many have made a lifestyle choice.
post #2 of 3

Interesting questions. I teach full time at Eldora and can only do so for a couple of reasons;

1) My wife is a sucessful businessperson and we have decided it's too difficult for both of us to work full time year round and take care of our daughter. I take the kid to school and I'm on the hill by 9:00 a.m. I just teach privates and get off skis by 2:30 p.m.

2) In the offseason I consult 18 weeks of the year for an NFL team and enjoy a generous salary from the consulting that I do. (Note: I know nothing about football. I consult in the area of stadium/game day operations)

3) I think it would be difficult to net $500.00 per week at Eldora. I average four hours of work per day and have a couple of generous customers from Boulder who tip very well. If I didn't have these folks I think I'd make $50.00 per week in tips. In many ways I think it may be advantageous to teach at Eldora due to the customer base in Boulder and potential for word of mouth referrals as opposed to a destination resort.

I market myself fairly hard because I like to stay busy. I know a few folks who are trying to pay the bills via teaching and they have a difficult time of it.

I offer this explaination because I think my answers about my income increasing tend to skew the results. I've only taught two years at Eldora and just got my level II cert this spring. Being full time,having my level II cert, and merely two years at Eldora puts me near the top of the seniority pile during the week. I think my seniority is more telling than anything. We have one full cert ski supervisor during the week and a half dozen part time level III certs who work an occasional weekday and/or the weekends. The whole picture changes on Saturday and Sunday.

[ May 07, 2002, 05:47 AM: Message edited by: Rusty Guy ]
post #3 of 3
I'm one of the lucky ones in this industry, I'm sure. I taught full time in the 80's because I was using this as my main source of income during the winter season. Summers were a struggle, however I purchased my home in Vail in the 80's when things were rockbottom, and my roommates/tenants basically paid my mortgage for me. I left the area and the business around 1990 for "greener pastures". Leaving, however, taught me one thing a couple of years later; I love the lifestyle, love the mountains, love the sport, and I missed them terribly.

Out of the blue, we ended up back in Vail, this time with husband and kids in tow (a little different from my swingin' singles days in the 80's). Now, having some of my own money and a partner who brings in the lion's share of the income, I am able to teach when I want, but we do depend on the income as well, since I am on a year long leave from my primary job as a stew.

The income will never turn you into a millionaire, but the costs are low to be in the business (other than equipment). You can, theoretically, live here with no car, there are no clothing expenses, and lunches are often bought for you, unlike the corporate world, where expenses are much steeper. No doubt, rent/mortgage are the major expenses, and, of course, finding supplementary income during the summer months.

Still, I wouldn't trade it for the world.
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