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Friday, December 13, 2013

Helpful Answers to Ski Season questions

With the ski season upon us, I've been getting l questions from clients and friends referred to me about booking ski lessons, sharing private lessons, gratuity etiquette, etc.

So, here's a helpful overview that attempts to answer many of the most frequently asked questions.

When are you available? To help people with booking private lessons, I keep a calendar updated and online at skiwithjay.com, where you’ll also find blog postings geared toward making skiing low-stress for your family.

Where do we meet? Lessons can start in the Northstar Village, at the mid-mountain ski school or at the Ritz Carleton and are available in these configurations:

1 hour "rise and shines" from 8:30 to 9:30
3 hour morning or afternoon lessons, starting at 9:30 and 1:00pm; or
6 hour all day lessons, which start at 8:30

What do private lessons cost, and how do I book a lesson?  Pricing (not including tax or gratuities, which are greatly appreciated) is available on on the Northstar website. If you book any lessons or Northstar tickets online, I believe you get the lowest possible rates. Alternatively, you can call 530-562-3848 or 530-562-3800 to speak with a booking team member. There can be some hold time when we’re busy, so there is an option to leave a message for a call back.

Many of my clients share their lessons with another family to reduce the costs for each family. With the exception of the rise and shines, lessons can be divided between students, or up to 6 skiers of the same ability level can be taught at once. As you would expect, one on one attention delivers more rapid skill development. Another thing to remember is that private lessons, unlike group lessons, do not include lift tickets or equipment.

One more thing I do for busy guests is facilitate the scheduling process via email. Simply send me an email saying something like "We'd love to have your 9:30-12:30 slot on December XX for our 8 year old, Johnny.  We'll be staying at the Ritz and would love to start the lesson there.  Can you have the office call me at 415-XXX-XXXX to confirm the reservation?"   This most important thing in the email is your phone number, as the office will review all the details when they call you.

Happy skiing!
Coach Jay

PS: For folks who'd like more guidance around gratuities on the mountain, here's a link to an earlier blog posting specific to that topic. I'll give a shout out here to Nancy Huang, a friend and client who told me how new ski families would appreciate the guidance.

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