From an Instructor: Addicted to Love

 

What makes a person pay $600, $700 (sometimes more) for a private lesson?  Why do they spend so much for a lift ticket at their resort of choice? 

When everything is added up, equipment rental, travel, lodging, tickets, lessons (group/private/workshop/whatever), lunch, clothing, souvenirs, and the odd trip to the hospital add up to an awful lot of money.  Of course, each experience is done differently; many strategies to save include skipping lunch to save up for après, buying equipment vs renting (although transporting that equipment, if you don't live at your ski area, usually ends up costing more), deals on tickets, significant others offering to teach their loved one(s)....also a way to end up spending more, frequently.  No matter how it's done, skiing is spendy.

Maybe it's the thrill of the "lottery experience"?  Will my luggage get lost or not?  Will my resort have snow or not?  Will my kid meltdown and refuse to ski after I've spent the (non-refundable) money or not?  Will my instructor be cute, funny and single (caveat emptor on this one, the odds are good, but the goods are odd, trust me!). 

Sometimes it seems that mere survival is the catalyst for the addiction to the ski trip.  Or maybe it's the same mysterious natural ability to forget painful experiences over time, like childbirth.

But back to the spending part.  If I could identify one significant aspect that makes so many visitors fork it over, I'd probably be successfully working in the marketing department at my resort-by the way, marketing, I'm still available, at a price!  But you'd have to make it a better deal than teaching skiing, and I'm not sure that's possible.  And maybe that's the answer to the non-lovestruck skiers who shake their collective head, saying, "why?"

Love.

Sappy but true, humans do a lot for love.  Cost is justified, effort rewarded.  And the entire experience really can't be replicated by many other ventures if the skier truly falls in love with the sport.  How many people have I seen spend their money, dare I say, recklessly, in their pursuit to share their enthusiasm for skiing with friends and family?  Our industry often propagates this, too.  "Free ski passport for all 5th graders in this state!"  "Free skiing for straight A students"  "Free skiing for naked people"-by the way, that last one is true at one Colorado resort....do your research, and rev up your circulation!

Can you hike into the woods, fashion your own boards in your basement or garage, mug a resort employee for his uniform jacket (not recommended)?  Well, sure.  But the point is the same, there is a cost involved, and if you're hooked, you just gotta have it.

People fall in love in a myriad of ways, not always healthy, and often in sick, addictive ways, but what a way to go if your love is skiing! 

Now I know that this is a warmer-fuzzier perspective from me, but I really am passionate about this challenging, beautiful, expensive sport and I truly believe that it is worth it at any cost....or maybe I'm just describing myself in hopes of reminding my (instructor, too) husband that Valentine's day is getting closer....and more expensive....

Operations Shots