Mr. Joe Hallo, wanna-be director of his proposed Alpina Ski School, does not appear to have done his homework correctly if he thinks there is any niche for "European-style" (whatever that is) instruction at Whistler-Blackcomb. He justifies his ambitions by stating that "not everyone wants a Chevrolet, some people want to buy a Mercedes." Ouch! That is the sound of a man shoving his ski boot into his mouth if ever I heard one.
Clearly, Mr. Hallo does not realise that the Whistler-Blackcomb Ski and Snowboard School already has a large and cosmopolitan staff of instructors speaking numerous European languages. Evidently he has not absorbed our wide-ranging menu of choices on lessons, multi-day programs and lesson packages of all types, for all levels of skiers and boarders. Obviously he does not communicate with the thousands of British (and increasingly, other Europeans) who annually make the 10-hour trek from the UK to Whistler and other North American resorts because they prefer the North American product, including our outstanding ski schools and top-notch instructors and coaches.
And clearly he has not discussed this with any of the instructors teaching private lessons for the ski school (such as myself) who happily accommodate our highly-valued clients with a quality of service and professionalism that goes well beyond the ski lesson itself.
Why on earth does he think that a "European style" ski school could possibly top the quality of product already offered here? Or perhaps by "European style" he means instructors who smoke through every chairlift ride, disparage their clients skiing ability to the point of tears, abandon beginners at the top of the T-bar at the stroke of clocking-off time, and still teach their clients the "feet glued together and rotate" style popular at the time of wooden skis and leather boots, to name just a few of the horror stories about some European ski schools told to me by my European clients.
As for the Chevrolet-Mercedes remark, that is the most outrageous insult to all the hard-working, highly professional instructors who work alongside me on the mountains that I have ever heard, and I take great exception to it. Better make sure you don't run into me on the slopes Mr. Hallo or it will be "goodbye" for you with a well-aimed punch to the nose, on behalf of all my Mercedes-level colleagues. It will look good with that ski boot you have planted firmly in your mouth.
Linda M McGaw
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