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Is it possible to....live the lifestyle while supporting a family - Page 3

post #61 of 68
Thread Starter 

If anayone is interested, this is how I got my balance. In Europe skiing is much more permanent, eg the lifties are the same ones I've seen since 1997, in nearly all the resorts I regularly ski, it's not so temporary like it is in NZ or the States. What does this mean? It means they pay a better salary. I live in the Swiss Alps in a very international town. I run a medical center at a boarding school. This way I get to ski every weekend (the oldest boy started skiing at the end of last winter). The school also finishes at 1130hrs on tues/thurs for skiing. These are my busiest days as the number of kids I see in the health center quadruples as kids try to get out of skiing. That is right, it quadruples. The rich russians, Kazaks, Arabs and other weathly, spoiled, unpleasant princes/princesses will do anything to get out of skiing. The kids that love to ski are the american, australian, kiwi, canadian and british kids. These kids often are not as rich, or their parents have done something right and made sure their kids are used to doing physical things. I regularly see kids take taxi's from one buildilng to another classroom, which is about 400meters away.

 

Oops, I really digressed didn't I. Sorry guys.

Anyway, I do get to ski, and I do enjoy skiing for myself and now my oldest son. It's nice not to be stuck in a beginner bowl on a powder day. I do teach occasionally, but usually friends or an occasion private lesson.

post #62 of 68

I do wonder what the Europeans are doing right.

 

The resorts pay living wages to its lifties yet their lift tickets are cheaper than most N. American resorts.

post #63 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by at_nyc View Post

I do wonder what the Europeans are doing right.

 

The resorts pay living wages to its lifties yet their lift tickets are cheaper than most N. American resorts.



More government benefits, health care, better public transportation, housing, etc.. 

post #64 of 68

Less liability insurance?  Fewer overpaid executives at the top?
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by at_nyc View Post

I do wonder what the Europeans are doing right.

 

The resorts pay living wages to its lifties yet their lift tickets are cheaper than most N. American resorts.

post #65 of 68

Been there,done that.  Lived the life for 10 year of 100 + days per season.  Lived for it. Started to instruct while healing from an injury, and did it part time for 7 years.  Basically to get my pass for free and a few other perks.  While I loved it, I grew out of it.  I moved away from it by choice, not that I could not have supported my family while living in a ski town.  I have plenty of friends that do just that  and live in ski towns, while most do not teach or patrol full time.

 

Once you have a home, you are pretty much set.  My deal was that my skiing had progressed as far as I was willing and interested in taking it. I actually started to get a little bored.  My advice is not to work for mountain full time, skiing really does become a job.  Find a better paying job or start a business, keep the skiing for fun. (While instructing part time worked really great for me.)

 

Honestly, i can't imagine ever going back to skiing 100 plus days per year.  25 is a good number for me.  My kids are intermediate skiers, and I have never pushed them to ski, although I have made sure that they have always had a ski pass and equipment.  They play other sports and like hanging with there friends, but when they ski, they have fun.  That is what it's all about.  

 

The recession is really making it much more difficult to make a solid living in the mountains, but I think it can be done.  You will just have to create  your  job/career/life. 

 

On a side note, what someone said earlier about the amount of trust funders in the mountains is so true. They are everywhere, instructing, patrolling, waiting tables, tuning skis....and yeah they make it look easy.  

 

post #66 of 68

^ That's so true.  When you ski that many days for too many seasons in a row, and you work at the resort, you get tired of it  It's a job, like any other job.  I went from 6 100+ day seasons in a row from 99-05, to skiing 8 times during the 05/06 season, 15 in 06/07 and 10 in 07/08, while I went back to school.  It made me appreciate the days spent at the hill so much more when they didn't happen often.  In the 08/09 season, I got somewhat back to my regularly scheduled programming, and skied maybe 30-40 times.  Last year I got 46.  I still enjoyed them better than having to wake up every morning and go up at 7AM when I didn't want to, and shoveling jumps while everyone else skied powder.  I love being in the mountains, but not when it's work.

post #67 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by at_nyc View Post

I do wonder what the Europeans are doing right.

 

The resorts pay living wages to its lifties yet their lift tickets are cheaper than most N. American resorts.

Don't have an exact answer, but here are a few thoughts (in addition to those given above which make sense)-

 

More full week and fewer weekend trips (except maybe in the resorts closest to the cities)- At Les Arcs, the slowest day was Saturday as this was the in/out travel day.  Seems like most of the tourists would buy 6 or 7 day tickets (and possibly not use them all if there was a serious storm day or hangover)

 

Less off-piste patrol work (but lots of off piste terrain)

 

Less lifties per lift- more auto gates (and pushing in line) and fewer lifties actually checking tix or organizing the line

 

Less grooming?  while most of my time in Europe was spent off piste, it seemed that while a greater % of the official pistes were groomed, they might have been groomed less often than in the US.

 

Fewer workers per skier?  I don't recall seeing as many mountain info people or ski patrol/safety personal at high traffic areas in Europe like I do here in CO.

 


 

post #68 of 68
They pay much much much less insurance. The degree to which they pay workers more is only because they have to by law of course.
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