Skico addresses wage complaints
Dear Editor:As managing director of the Ski & Snowboard Schools of Aspen/Snowmass, I would like to take a moment to express my pride in the school and recognize the quality and excellence of the pros that make up our team. As many of you may have read, one of our pros is making statements to the press about our pay levels. These statements only present a portion of the overall picture and are misleading. Here are the facts:• The average hourly rate paid to pros during the 2009-10 season for all products combined was more than twice the industry average, per the National Ski Area Association Survey. • Our analysis shows that we have the best total compensation package for pros, including pay and benefits, in the entire industry. • Competitive analysis shows that several resorts charge higher prices for virtually all lesson types, particularly all-day privates. • Every season, more than 55 percent of sales collected in ski/snowboard lessons go to pro payroll and benefits. We charge less and pay more than our key competitors. • The Apprentice 1 pros referred to in prior letters to the editor are entry-level pros with no prior teaching experience or certification. The actual average hourly rate of pay for Apprentice 1 pros during the 2009-10 season was $14.38/hour. In the ’09-10 season a total of 0.2 percent of the total lesson hours taught were paid at Apprentice 1 hourly rates.While it is unfortunate that this unhappy employee has undertaken a campaign to unfairly try to embarrass us and damage the reputation of the school and Aspen Skiing Co., our research has led me to realize that we have stayed true to our vision and goals that have been established and nurtured by a diverse and dedicated group of pros. I and my colleagues are as committed as we have always been to these ideals. Katie Ertlmanaging director, Ski & Snowboard Schools of Aspen/Snowmass
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