Volunteering in Ski areas - Snowshoe
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lbotta - DCSki Supporter
October 9, 2009
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
I was a Courtesy Patrol volunteer last year at Snowshoe. After being a homeowner there for ten years, I believed that it was a way to do something to return to the community the joy, happiness and fun I've had there for a decade.

Unfortunately, this year I will pass. I just got the courtesy patrol "call" and frankly, I'm disheartened about the way volunteers are treated at the resort. Starting with discontinuing comp tickets for guests, restrictions on volunteers operating any resort-owned equipment, ineligibility of volunteers for resort coverage on workmen's comp for injuries received as a result of volunteer duties, and a host of other restrictions on volunteers. Oh yes, I can get a discount on helmets... I've already got twelve of them, one for each outfit...

Seems to be a penny-wise but dollar foolish way of treating volunteers. I don't need the employee season pass; I'm perfectly capable of paying for it myself and have done that for ten years. However, the "comp" tickets were ways in which I got a good number of people to come to Snowshoe for the first time, many of whom became repeat customers and still some of whom in turn spent thousands of dollars in equipment and services at the resort.

I wonder if anyone else volunteers in other resorts and are experiencing the same foolhardy approach to volunteers. This year they will have not only one less volunteer, but several thousand dollars less in sales.
Denis - DCSki Supporter
October 9, 2009
Member since 07/12/2004 🔗
2,198 posts
Lou, That is a shame. Penny wise and pound foolish indeed.
jimmy
October 9, 2009
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
I don't blame you Lou. I'd guess that most resort volunteers are doing it for reasons other than a free season pass, once the pool dries up they probalby won't have a Courtesy Patrol anymore.

Last year they quit comping visiting ski instructors, this year the Courtesy Patrol. You know there is a lot of nice property available in Canaan Valley, put your unit in the rental program and go north, young man, go north.
Tucker
October 9, 2009
Member since 03/14/2005 🔗
893 posts
In the late 20th century I "volunteered" at snowshoe and I was on the payroll. I worked part time on the weekends for the ski school. At that time their ski school policy was you only got paid when you where teaching and you could only use the lifts during a lesson. Lessons where given out on the snow by supervisors. The supervisors where full time and gave the lessons to there full time buddies(or hot instructors). So that left us part-timers sittin' in the cafeteria waiting for the next line up(w/ no hot instructors). One time we decided to ride anyway and we had to pay cash to ride the lift back up the mountain. Surprise, Surprise that was my last year working at the shoe...the next season I moved onto the best terrain in the mid-atlantic at Timberline.

I don't think the Shoe has the same policy, but who cares...that place is a crowded junk show. Volunteer or work at Timberline and you will feel like you own the place. Screw the shoe, ski the valley.

Jim
October 9, 2009
Member since 11/22/1999 🔗
317 posts
SnowTime Inc. has a long record of treating volunteers well. Ski patrollers, for example, receive a season's pass for themselves and their immediate family (or a season's pass and some number of comps to give to family or friends). While on shift, we have a meal allowance. Mountain Safety volunteers receive a season's pass and a comp for every shift they work. In addition, starting last year, the area purchased supplemental insurance for its patrollers (both ski patrol and mountain safety). If we are hurt while on duty, the supplement insurance will cover what our health insurance policies won't.

In turn, of course, we work. That includes recertifying all medical training (CPR/AED, Outdoor Emergency Care Technician or EMT status) before the season starts (just completed mine!), and on hill training in the fall. During the season, while on shift, we help out not just with our own duties, but where necessary. Yes, its a lot of work, but its a good feeling to help out folks and give back to the sport we all love; AND the SnowTime Inc. management makes it clear they appreciate and support our efforts.

If you are interested in signing up for next season's Ski Patrol class at any of the three areas or for Mountain Safety, contact the patrol or Mountain Safety Directors at Liberty, Roundtop or Whitetail. Motivated volunteers are always welcome to come try out (but slots are limited!).
Roger Z
October 9, 2009
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
That's pretty poor treatment on their part Lou and knowing that many local resorts read these boards, I hope your posting this got their attention. It should.
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
October 10, 2009
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
The sad part is that the Courtesy Patrol is a key helper of the National Ski Patrol and what they do. The CP works for the head of the Ski Patrol. Both the former head of the CP and the head of the Ski Patrol are outstanding people whose jobs will be much harder this year because, frankly, I can't see how they'll be attracting people. Yes, they may get some college-age person to volunteer with one pass, but if they wanted to get experienced people with seasoned management savvy who wanted to work for free, they lost them. Sad...
kwillg6
October 12, 2009
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,022 posts
I can attest to what you are saying, Lou. Tucker had it right about the shoe's, ahem.... supervisors. It's a reason I'm not at that mountain.
SCWVA
October 14, 2009
Member since 07/13/2004 🔗
1,051 posts
Originally Posted By: Tucker
In the late 20th century ............... Screw the shoe, ski the valley.


Canaan Valley - Where West Virginia is still wild & wonderful.
bousquet19 - DCSki Supporter
October 14, 2009
Member since 02/23/2006 🔗
687 posts
Originally Posted By: Jim
SnowTime Inc. has a long record of treating volunteers well. Ski patrollers, for example, receive a season's pass for themselves and their immediate family (or a season's pass and some number of comps to give to family or friends). While on shift, we have a meal allowance. Mountain Safety volunteers receive a season's pass and a comp for every shift they work. In addition, starting last year, the area purchased supplemental insurance for its patrollers (both ski patrol and mountain safety). If we are hurt while on duty, the supplement insurance will cover what our health insurance policies won't.

In turn, of course, we work. That includes recertifying all medical training (CPR/AED, Outdoor Emergency Care Technician or EMT status) before the season starts (just completed mine!), and on hill training in the fall. During the season, while on shift, we help out not just with our own duties, but where necessary. Yes, its a lot of work, but its a good feeling to help out folks and give back to the sport we all love; AND the SnowTime Inc. management makes it clear they appreciate and support our efforts.

If you are interested in signing up for next season's Ski Patrol class at any of the three areas or for Mountain Safety, contact the patrol or Mountain Safety Directors at Liberty, Roundtop or Whitetail. Motivated volunteers are always welcome to come try out (but slots are limited!).


Jim, hats off to you and to the other volunteers at Liberty, Whitetail and Roundtop. I bought my first SnowTime pass last year and signed on again for 2009-10.

Have always been treated well by ST employees and volunteers alike. Investments like those you describe help explain why.

Thanks,
Woody
DCSki Sponsor: Canaan Valley Resort

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