Vail/Beaver Creek Ski and Snowboard Schools
Vail/Beaver Creek, Colo.
WHY IT'S GREAT Vail/Beaver Creek is the major leagues. Serious instructors at small resorts throughout the world dream of teaching at Vail. Instructors here receive constant training, not only in skiing and teaching, but also in subjects such as nutrition, second language and personal finance. Much of modern ski-teaching theory has been developed in Vail, and the majority of the PSIA Demo Team members live here. Vail was cited recently in the Harvard Business Review for "the high-risk, high-reward work environment" its instructors "savor," and internal competition is fierce. By industry standards, Vail instructors make the big bucks and the big tips. If you can't find a teacher to match your personality in this, the country's largest instructional staff (numbering 1,410), you can't find it anywhere.
SCHOOL PHILOSOPHY "To provide excitement and adventure as well as create memorable experiences in a supportive, confidence-building environment." For Vail instructors, student improvement and skiing mechanics are important, but they're secondary to ensuring the guest has a great day.
DISTINGUISHING QUALITIES Top instructors from around the world offer instruction in 30 languages. Many guests take half- and even full-day privates and 75 percent of the resort's private-lesson students return to the same instructor. Student:teacher ratios usually stay below 5:1.
LEADER Mike Porter, Managing Director
WHAT'S TAUGHT Modified American Teaching System (ATS)
A GOOD DEAL The Adventure Guides program includes lift tickets and coaching tips and also uncovers secret stashes that only locals know. Cost: $110 or $120 during high season (Dec. 26-Jan. 1 and Feb. 19-April 15).