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May 2010

Mountain Spy :: May 2010

Mountain Spy Liz Eren rides the Olymic wave with this issue's question and received the usual varied answers.

Written by Liz Eren | 0 comment


Mountain 1: New hampshire

First contact: Female, very chirpy and happy sounding.
SAM: Stated question.
Staff: Ha ha ha! Okay, well, um, we’re going to be open this weekend and we have a starter’s special you might want to take advantage of. I’m assuming he doesn’t have equipment?
SAM: Right.
Staff: Okay how old is he?
SAM: He’s 12 and will be 13 this summer.
Staff: Okay, um, it’s $70. It includes a rental of the snowboard and boots, a one-hour group lesson and an all-day value lift ticket for our beginner terrain which is the best place to start.
SAM: Great. How late will you be open this season?
Staff: We’re open for two more weeks.
SAM: So this is something I could start him off with this week and then get him right back into next season?
Staff: Yup, absolutely. And this way at least you’ll know whether he’s going to like it or not before you go out and buy all of the equipment, ha ha ha, because those kids can be tricky.
SAM: I know! Shaun White, go figure. And then do you have any sort of progression teaching program?
Staff: Yup, of course. What we do is we have levels, skill levels. And what you can do next season is take part in our weekend program, learn-to-ride program. Or, you can take part in school programs. Where does he go to school?
SAM: He goes to the local middle school.
Staff: Okay, because some of the schools have a program with us, which is a really good option and they’re great programs. They usually meet and come up here once a week. And, um, you can check with his school in the fall to see if they participate.
SAM: Sure, that would be helpful.
Staff: Other than that we have a weekend learn-to-ski and -snowboard program where they come seven weekends in a row starting in early January either Saturday or Sunday, you pick which one. And that includes a one-hour lesson, tickets and rentals. And all of that information is our website with details, dates, etc.
SAM: That sounds great, I’ll try to come up there this weekend and get him started.
Staff: Oh perfect! Glad I could be of assistance. We look forward to seeing you.

Rating: 9
Comment: Great details, great attitude, great all around.

Mountain 2: new jersey

First contact: Automated machine. Chose “lessons.”
Answering phone: Automated machine. (Grrrrr.) Chose operator.
Answering phone: Automated machine. (Seriously?!) Finally got a female, nice sounding.
SAM: Stated question.
Staff: And he wants to do what?
SAM: (Gave explanation.)
Staff: All right well, the mountain is closed down now, but next year you can sign him up for X academy lessons. Now does he know how to do his turns and stuff?
SAM: Not really.
Staff: Okay, well then before he starts the academy he would have to be better at his turns so, umm, yeah he would just, ahh, start with basic lessons next year.
SAM: Okay sure, that’s fine.
Staff: Let’s see what we’ve got for him… uhhh… um… How old is he?
SAM: 12.
Staff: Okay and next year will he be 13?
SAM: Yup.
Staff: Okay so then we have a card package, um, package, um, that would benefit him. Basically it’s a learn-to-ride package. A learn-to-ride package is $89 and comes with rentals for the day, lift ticket, um, and the hour and a half lesson. Um, so basically, ah, when you buy the card package at $119 it includes three of those lessons at a discounted price.
SAM: Great, and that price includes the ticket and rentals for all three lessons?
Staff: Yes it does, um, and um, that’s the best way to go to get him three lessons right away. And they call it an X card because if he feels he still can’t turn or stop after three lessons he can, um, have um, more lessons, until he can, um. He would just have to pay, um, it’s not the same, um, he would have to get his own rentals and lift ticket is all, but the lessons would be free. Ahh, yeah that’s it.
SAM: Great.
Staff: Yeeah, and he can progress from there. Once he learns his turns and stopping real good and such, umm, he can take jib lessons down at the terrain park. Ummm. Yeah.
SAM: Perfect.
Staff: And then I know we have, uhh, classes, uhh, week-long classes during holidays where they do, uhh, special week-long, umm, lessons that are a lot of fun for the kids. Once he gets better, umm, they say in order to do lessons down there he has to turn well on both edges and stop, ahh, umm and then he can move up to the tricks and so forth.
SAM: Okay. So you’re saying you have progression lessons he can follow that will eventually lead him to the terrain park?
Staff: Yes, umm, uhh, exactly. So we have, like, the north slope where beginner lessons are and then we have the south slope with the terrain parks, etc. But first he would start off with the learn-to-ride lessons, but the best package for you would be the Y package, which gives you the most for your money. And it’s all on our website, too! So next year just get started there and he’ll be good to go.
SAM: All right then, thanks so much.

Rating: 4
Comment: Uhh, umm, anyone else follow that?

mountain 3: miNNESOTA

First contact: Automated machine. Chose lessons.
Answering phone: Female, nice sounding.
SAM: Stated question.
Staff: What do you mean? Do you want a season’s pass or…?
SAM: Um, well, I’m not sure. I imagine he might need lessons, right? He hasn’t done much snowboarding before.
Staff: Yup, we can do lessons. You can do private lessons during the week or group lessons on the weekend.
SAM: Can you explain those?
Staff: Yup, usually they run around an hour and a half. The group lessons you can pay for it to include the two-hour rental and lift ticket. Private lessons are a little more expensive and you have to get the rental and ticket separately. And, uh, yeah.
SAM: Okay, right. Is that my only option?
Staff: As far as lessons go? Yeah. We have private or group lessons to choose from.
SAM: All right.
Staff: Yeah. Otherwise, you can buy a season’s pass and then purchase the lesson itself.
SAM: Okay, how much is a season’s pass?
Staff: How old is he?
SAM: 12, but he’ll be 13 in September.
Staff: Okay, so he’ll be an adult. So it’ll be $250. And if you want an additional season rentals it’ll be about another $130.
SAM: Sounds good, and how much would lessons be then?
Staff: And then group lessons would be $25 each time.
SAM: Great, thanks.
Staff: Sure. Thanks.

Rating: 3
Comment: Basic information: good. Attitude: not so good.

mountain 4: INdiana

First contact: Automated machine. Chose operator.
Answering phone: Young male. Very nice sounding.
SAM: Stated question.
Staff: Ha ha, he’s not the only one, that’s great. Okay, has he ever been snowboarding before?
SAM: Barely, he’s been once with his friend.
Staff: Okay, sure that’s okay. How old is he?
SAM: He’s 12.
Staff: Okay, well, that’s great. And when does he turn 13?
SAM: September.
Staff: Okay, well, you know we’re closed for the season now, but if you were interested in getting more involved there’s two pieces you might consider. One is a pass and there’s lot of different levels of passes that make it a lot cheaper than buying tickets every day you decide to come.
SAM: Okay, so a season pass that is good from when you open for the season and when you close?
Staff: Right, and it’s based on age and if you buy one before he turns 13 you can get the cheaper price. You could get him a pass that’s good for every single day of the season for $190.
SAM: Well that sounds like a good deal.
Staff: Yeah, it is, so you might consider that. They’re cheaper before July and they’ll go up a little after that.
SAM: Okay, but even if he’s 12 now and turns 13 in September, I can buy him the cheaper 12-year-old pass now?
Staff: Exactly, exactly. So that’s one thing. The other thing is for $40 more added on to the pass there’s a 4-week lesson you can purchase. And it’s exactly what it states. Whatever level he is, he takes that lesson, and it’s progressive. So whatever he learns one week he continues on from there the next week. And we try to pair him with the same instructor as often as we can. That’s also a great place to start.
SAM: That’s a good deal. How many lessons does he get per week?
Staff: It’s one per week.
SAM: And it’s a group lesson I assume?
Staff: It is a group lesson, yes. We also do some introductory never-ever lessons that are included in our passes. So he could take some of those never-ever lessons at the beginning because those four-week lessons don’t start until January.
SAM: That sounds even better, sure.
Staff: Yeah, and that’s whenever he comes, they start at the top of the hill every hour. And the other thing when looking at the price of the pass, tubing is included for all of our pass holders.
SAM: And what about rentals?
Staff: We have a rental add-ons and depending on the pass type, it’s either $100 or $125. Once-a-week pass is $100 and an every-day pass is $125 add-on.
SAM: Okay, great.
Staff: Yeah, and if you were interested in buying equipment we have a great big ski swap at the beginning of each season that’s the grand opening of our retail shop. We also do a fundraiser for our ski patrol where people consign their equipment, which is a great option for you as well. You could get some great equipment for a lot less.
SAM: Well, that all sounds perfect.
Staff: Yeah, so you could buy a pass now and then check out our ski swap and consignment event before you decide on equipment.
SAM: Well thanks so much, I really appreciate your help.
Staff: Sure, that’s awesome, glad to hear he wants to get into it. Thanks for calling!

Rating: 10
Comment: Outlined the best deals with a huge amount of patience.

Identity Revealed: Perfect North Slopes