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“Old dog, new tricks”

Ski & Snowboard School at Beaver Creek
Ranked #32 of 74 things to do in Vail
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Center for cross-country ski rentals, trails and for snowshoeing equipment.
Reviewed 22 February 2014

I am 60 years old and in a moment of madness, signed up for a "Max-3" lesson (no more than three people per instructor) to ski bumps. Turns out i was the only person in the lesson.....and 3 hours later i had been transformed from "Oh hell, bumps" to "WHHOOHOO! Bumps!" Amazing, patient instructor.

2  Thank ExBeret
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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68 - 72 of 114 reviews

Reviewed 19 February 2014 via mobile

Did private lessons for my kids with Stephen brown as our instructor it was amazing. The entire operation was incredible from perfect sizing of equipment personal service and the instruction was top notch worth every dollar spent

Thank Tina W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 February 2014

It's a bit disorganized when you first get up to the school. No greeter no "Hi, let me point you in the right direction". The students look lost and confused as the instructors huddle and mingle with those they know from days past letting you stand their looking foolish for a good amount of unneeded time. Finally, once you get acknowledged and placed where you need to be you're introduce you to the group you'll be skiing with and the instructor. My husband can ski and I could not so we were separated for the day (we know this would happen so it wasn't an issue).But lunch was as we thought we'd all be going back about the same time and only one of us had the credit card!..It would be nice to know the days plans before hand. My husband wasn't even on the same mountain as I was by lunch time. So I used some pocket cash and ate light...very light!( Lunch is not cheep on the top of the Vail Mountains...but the food isn't bad) The day started well with 6 of us and the trainer was well educated and very positive. But about an hour or more into the lessons the group started to become larger and larger.. things went "Down Hill" fast!!! As a teacher, I know your group size and ability span make the difference and in this case it really did!!!!! Our new guests were placed with us so that someone could go do a "privite" which I overheard the person dropping our new members off say to our trainer. It really did bug me as studdenly we had a person who couldn't ski at all being with us who where finally just making it down the hill and back up (Not her fault and I'm not judging but they really did need to start back at where we were two hours ago which was standing and wedge so their went our trainer to help the needed and their we all were up and down the hill again no feedback not much support as one person can only do so much at once!!) I must say, I felt for our trainer who did her best but could no longer keep up with the "need" of so many new skiers all at once. And I felt for myself who spent a decent amount of money on something I didn't feel I was getting my monies worth any longer! On the next day, I went to class, looked at the group size and went right back down and canceled my lessons! I new right away it wasn't going to work it really was a shame.
My husband stated almost the same story that second night. That he was in a great group with a great trainer on day one. My husband stated, " The trainer knew his stuff and helped him really bring his skiing up a notch the day before." But just like me on day two "new members" kept being added to the group until was just too large to be productive. Skills were not matched as well as needed to be and you could see this was an issue of supply and demand. So there started to become lots of wait time being had for my husband. He became so frustrated that he didn't even bother going back for the third day of lessons even tough it was already paid for by buying the two days before!!!!
I think the trainers are great but the program could be a lot more polished and organized!! And I know every business needs to make profit but when you pay the ski trainers less then $15 hr. no matter how big the ski group (or so we were told) and you charge over $130 per personfor ski lessons you really don't need to make the groups very big to make a profit!!! The sizes they were showed HUGE GREED over QUALITY and in that I was disappointed. So overall I'd give an A to the trainers but a C- to the program's set up and care. I guess if you need to learn you need to do it but make sure it's on the weekdays as the groups are smaller.
Lastly, I prepaid lift tickets before going on the trip with my travel agent. When we went into the school to get classes they told us they would cancel our lift tickets and we'd get our $$ back. I explained I recieved the tickets thought my travel agent and asked if I needed to call them or do anything first I was assured it was done all the time and I'd be sent back the full amount of the tickets if I bought the Ski lesson tickets instead. All I'd have to do is return them on my last day before I left. Well I did what they told me and only found out then that my husband and I both had to take a $70 dollar loss EACH because of the way the tickets are sold to our travel agent!!! When I spoke to the ticket office they stated they don't usually give ANY refund for tickets pre-bought by travel agents and that I was "lucky" to get anything back!!!! As fare as I'm concerned it was BAIT and SWITCH and everyone hid behind each other...needless to say, Vail NO MORE...Aspen IT IS!!!

1  Thank Tammi T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 February 2014

I had 4 of my family in day-long ski lessons this past weekend, and the experience parallels the polarized reviews here: when it's good it's great, but when something is amiss it becomes a larger issue than it should. Also, I'd probably have lower expectations (and thus a higher rating) if the fees were lower.

In one long day, two of my kids are comfortable with simple movements on skis, while the other is comfortable with the basic movement of a snowboard. That is the bare minimum I expect of a ski/snowboard school. For my upper level lesson, "Peter" was great: friendly, good suggestions based on his observations, and easy to work with.

The foul language from my 2nd grade daughter's ski instructor has completely overshadowed his apparently good instruction skills. She can't stop telling everyone how he kept using the f-word, c-word, and s-word throughout the day. Not the kind of instruction I was looking for.

Lunch is included for the younger kids, but this was not communicated well to my snowboarding son such that he spent his emergency cash for lunch. At nearly $20 for chicken fingers and a drink, this didn't seem right. A call to the school was met with an "investigation" that concluded that somehow it was my son's fault - even though the instructors guide the students through the cafeteria and eat with them. That still makes no sense to me, but did identify another flaw: poor customer service.

Be aware that they can switch your child to another group mid-day. That's fine for older kids to better match their skill to the right group, but I'm not entirely comfortable with them handing off my younger kids like they did.

You have no choice if you want authorized ski instruction on Vail for children. Just be a helicopter parent in the morning before you hand them off, and try to set expectations as firmly as you can with the instructor initially assigned to your child. Then go have fun skiing.

1  Thank Fun6549
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 5 February 2014

Hands down...best company I've ever talked to. The staff here are problems solvers and want to make the best time for you and your family!!!! I will forever be taking my ski trips with my children to Vail and using the ski school here!!!! So pleased with them!!!

Jamie U

Thank Jamie U
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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