(maybe straying from the post here, a little?)
If someone wants to lay down big bucks for a ski lesson, then a "generous" tip, that's great, for the student and the instructor. Some of the numbers I've seen, heard of, for privates, or groups at the pricier mountains, truly make me shake my head. And I confess to not getting it.
Still, I begrudge no one in that dynamic a thing. What the market will bear and all that. The last lesson I had, a group (of two, besides the instructor) cost $90. I thought it a reasonable price and hoped I'd get something out of it. I did, and had a great time doing it. (This is Deer Valley, by the way.) I tipped the instructor $20, without thought of percentages or what it equated to in per-hour terms for the instructor; it just seemed a fitting amount. Fair. I'm darn sure he's gotten tips MUCH larger than that, and maybe a few that were less.
What I keep coming back to in all this is that really it's just skiing. That's not to denigrate anyone, but it is THE reason I can't always empathize with the lament of Not Enough Pay. Except for some instructors, skiing is a pastime. A vacation. Simply having fun and exploring a mountain in a probably attractive locale. The man or woman I'll easily express my deep financial thankfulness to is just more likely to be the MD who finds out what's wrong and stops it from killing me, or the carpenter who keeps my house from caving in, or the mechanic who gets my vehicle back on the road so I can get to work and make a living. So I can THEN ski and smile a lot.
The relative worth card is an easy one to play, of course. It also happens to be highly applicable in my opinion.
The skier who drops a handful of C-notes for a lesson, then another one on the instructor is as much about sheer disposable income as he/she is about some hunger for improving as a skier. But hey, no law against conspicuous consumption. Or leaving a healthy tip as appreciation for the guide, if you want to and can.
Not saying anyone's EXPECTING things here, but if so, maybe a reality check?
[ April 03, 2003, 10:40 AM: Message edited by: ryan ]