or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

A Question - Page 3

post #61 of 74
We need part timers. But ski schools get entranced by them and think that everything can run by part timers. many of whom aren't current and couldn't give stuff about current teaching methods. Then you see part timers being given work ahead of full timers because of the work allocator's misguided sense of fairness. It is unfortunate. Who can afford to be fulltime? Foreign kids on holiday and retirees.
post #62 of 74
Oz, you've eloquently described the problem. What do you see as a possible solution?
post #63 of 74
I see an underlying problem here.
Everyone is discussing the seeing/feeling aspects of the symptoms and proposing solutions, but the underlying cause is being mostly ignored.

Bit like the pharmacutical industry.

SHHH has been asking his question in several of his posts but no-one has answered. This maybe because the subsequent posters

are reacting and responding merely to the latest posters statement
are responding to other statements in a post
do not have an answer to this particular question
are not interested in the question

All these responses are part and parcel of a good epicski discussion.

I would like to ask the same and a related set of questions.

1/ Does anyone know the general finacial business model that a ski resort in the US is applying (come on down to the party you business school graduates)

2/ In the UK a limited company has to produce a balance sheet and a profit and loss account detailing the income from their operations along with other financial information.

Is this a requirement in the US? Where are the details filed and how can the general public (who are potential investors) get access? Is it enlightening as regards individual cost centres?

The UK's accountancy standards require relevancy, reliabilty, consistancy and understandability in the presentation of accounts (amongst other stuff...)

edited to get topic notification

[ March 06, 2004, 10:18 AM: Message edited by: Nettie ]
post #64 of 74
You'd have for publicly traded companies a much better chance to find info. Some companies post revenues by product.

Vail Resorts is public. Which by the way with 3 resorts in the US top6 skier-visits per year (Vail Breck and Keystone, plus add Heavenly and Beaver Creek)(which is 5.7M skier visits from annual report) so the previous 500K lessons almost seems resonable (12%). Remember it said Vail Resorts not Vail.

Anyways, the Symbol for Vail is MTN on the NYSE.
Often annual reports can be found on their own website. Here is the link for their 02-03 annual report: http://www.vailresorts.com/pdf/repor...ual_Report.pdf

I didn't yet have a chance to look at it, but maybe some of those questions will be answered here about the business models etc.

post #65 of 74
Thanks Guy,
As an employee, it does help to know where the business is going, where it wants to go and how it is planning to get there. Often this is not same as the motivational stuff it gives it employees.
Some companies in the UK do have relevant updates but as expected much of it goes over the employees heads if they are not interested.

post #66 of 74

this makes interesting reading in the Peoples Republic of Europe where something like a free market does actually operate!

We just have bigger choice of the sorts of product you can buy. Different ski schools employing qualified instructors can target different markets (schoolkids, racers, offpiste etc).

But we also have skiguides licensed and insured to play nurses to the skipro doctors. You wouldn't go to them for a serious mogul session, but they might take your teenage kids around a new resort while you paid the top money for a proper lesson. They are increasingly used by school groups as shepherds and typically dovetail with the local ski school so that the kids get instruction followed by supervised skiing.

The important thing is that the client knows what they are getting. Do I mind if my instructor is full or part time provided I know they know their stuff?
post #67 of 74
Let me add another tidbit to this discussion. Unfortunately I am in exile in the Deep South of US currently, but in an earlier life I was an instructor up in the Pac NW for 20+ years. The ski areas up there, while also having a "resident" ski school, also allowed other independent ski schools to operate at their areas. From an economic standpoint, the cost to the area for an independent ski school to operate on-premises is very minimal, with the area providing a meeting area, floorspace for the instructors to dress/prepare for lessons, and provide lift passes for cost to process/Forest Service fees. These independent schools targeted their market sectors, advertised, trained their instructors, and transported their students to/from the area or not as each school saw fit. It also divides the liability between the area and the school which would reduce the risk exposure to the area. The benefits to the area from this arrangement is more lift ticket sales, reduced WC payments, and increased food/drink sales with minimal direct outlay from the area. Even when Booth Creek and others ski corps purchased some of the local areas, after several years of study, they concluded that this was beneficial enough to continue to this day. Now there are certain performance targets that each school has to meet each year to permit continued operation in the next season to weed out the "schools" that were created to provide discounted lifts/benefits to the "instructors" with few customers. Thus, there is a smorsgasboard of ski schools at these areas who market to different niches with varying success.

This seems to be a very good model for "local" ski areas near major population centers to generate new skiers/boarders for the whole "sliding downhill on snow" industry. After these new folks are hooked, they provide market for the "destination" areas to go after. This is exactly the paradigm that Booth Creek has been pursuing in the fact that if you buy a pass at one of these "local" resorts, it is good for sliding at one of BC's "destination" resorts or a huge discount (the pass holder pays ~$20/day).

--Just a thought...
post #68 of 74
I think one aspect of the 'freelance ski instructor' issue is the matter of making money on someone else's property, or at someone else's place of business....

If you sold used cars out of your backyard, would you think it's ok to go to an auto dealer and try to poach his customers?

How about standing outside the dealer's front door and telling people headed inside that you can give them a better deal, they shouldn't even go in?

Suppose a freelance ski instructor takes his 'client' onto dangerous terrain, and the 'client' is injured - is there a freelance ski patrol, and a freelance insurance policy to cover any lawsuit, or does that burden fall onto the owners of the resort?

I personally believe in the right of anyone to seek redress in court if they feel they've been wronged (misguided or frivolous suits can be summarily dismissed at the first hearing, and lawyers who file papers in such cases can be disciplined).
But one of the prices we pay for that freedom is the right of a property owner, or business entity, to exercise some control over what happens on it's premises.
post #69 of 74
The property owner ALSO has the right to permit - even to invite - outside instruction. Sometimes, the property owner sees that as a very wise business move and welcomes it, which has happened at least three times since January 1, 2003 (ESA, ETU, and ESA2).

There's narrow and short term thinking, and there's visionary and long term thinking. A ski area can think of itself as a monopoly business in the area, such as the electric distribution business - or it can think of itself as a great concert hall in which others play.

This does not advocate one or the other - but they both are legitimate, and they both can work.

[ March 06, 2004, 06:44 PM: Message edited by: oboe ]
post #70 of 74
Over here the property owner is usually US... the land is government land....

In the car dealer analogy you are not retricted from setting up a car yard opposite his....

In the ski school one you are....

If the lease of the area allowed opposition then the operators would compete on product (as regular businesses must).... when the lease is exclusive they cannot..
post #71 of 74

is the core objection to freeforall a squeeze on the 'official' ski school by freelancers or is it simply the reluctance to open up the areas to multiple official skischool operators, all of which, like tenants in a shopping mall, can contribute a rent and share of insurances etc?

I know that coming from the People's Repulic of Europe you might expect me to take a doctrinaire pro freemarket approach, but some services do need protection and maybe the skischool is such a service, or are we just looking at convenient monopolies?
post #72 of 74
I personally don't see anything morally or ethically wrong with teaching someone to ski at a ski area. And if they pay me for my trouble, I think that's between us.

And I do appreciate the point that many ski areas are located on federal land, which 'belongs' to all of us. But did the US Forest Service ever build a lift for the use of skiers?
No, the entrepreneur who started the area did that, and the current operator is responsible for maintenance and insurance.
It might not be economically feasible to run the lifts and heat the lodge without the revenue from the ski school and sales of food and drink in addition to the price of lift tickets.

Here in the east, ski areas have the additional expense of snowmaking, and driving snowcats up and down the slope to create a washboard pattern in the resulting sheet of ice that covers the mountain from top to bottom.
post #73 of 74
Since it has become a point of contention, here is the specific info regarding teaching on Govt land...

Conducting independent or unauthorized ski/ride instruction or guidance for compensation:

"Conducting unauthorized instruction and/or operating any commercial activity without a permit from the US Forest Service is in violation of Title 36 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 261, Section 261.10(c)."

And as to the subject of how much revenue is generated by the Vail/Beaver Creek Ski School, the number being thrown about is fairly accurate. But it is ONLY for Vail/Beaver Creek, and does not include Keystone, Breckenridge, or Heavenly.
That makes your head spin a bit, doesn't it? It's done with 1500 instrs busting their asses for 5 solid months.
post #74 of 74
Believe me when I tell you that I am NOT a fan of big business - but I believe in being fair.

It saddens me to see all the small ski areas that have closed here in the east; I learned at Scotch Valley (deceased) and I taught my wife to ski at Cortina (deceased).

I used to drive past Fahnestock Ski Slope on the Taconic Parkway, before I started skiing - and told myself that I was going to ski there someday - I never made it before they closed.
I even have photos of a hill that used to have a tow rope on a golf course in Queens (there was a recent article in Newsday about kids sledding and tubing there now).

My point? It might have been possible for some of these places to make it with a comprehensive plan, including very good instruction to attract people, ski tuning on premises, and a good restaurant.

Freelance instructors; independent ski tuners working in the parking lot; a hot dog truck selling food in the parking lot; all these things take income away from the ski area.

In the east it may not be possible to make snow, groom trails, and stay in business on lift ticket sales alone. Out west things are different, but the same priciple applies.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Instruction & Coaching