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TR Big SNOW American Dream, indoor slope in NJ, 2021

MissySki

Angel Diva
Ha that's a good idea! I don't recall seeing that previously either. I DO recall seeing people sliding on their butts down and frozen on the regular slope. @newboots helped one of those people at our weekend meetup.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Yeah, $200 seemed a bit steep to me.. I'm not sure why though, that is comparatively priced to mountains for private lessons. I guess with every other part of the experience being so cheap it makes it a little off-putting? Especially when you know this money isn't all going to the instructors. Unless they have a different model of payment than mountains do.
Comes out $100 per hour. That's in the middle for the cost of a private lesson at a resort. I assume it's intended for people who want a premium experience for whatever reason. For everyone else, the roaming instructors seem to do a pretty good job.

I watched a group of four--adults and teens--get started with an instructor. It was like a semi-private lesson since they were obviously together. There was a man in sandals (yes, sandals) who taking pictures who must have bought a Spectator ticket.
 

MissySki

Angel Diva
Here's Sunday River pricing from last season, it's completely the same pretty much. I'd definitely need to know what the credentials of the instructors there are.

1630002448202.png
 

newboots

Angel Diva
No word about the qualifications of the instructors that I could see.
Got the announcement about private lessons at Big SNOW today. $199 for 2 hours, $99 for additional people, max 4.


Didn't remember seeing the warning sign before that the chairlift is not for beginners

Oh yes, that's been there. It needs to be a bigger sign! At the top, it's certainly a non-beginner trail!
 

skinnyfootskis

Angel Diva
Had a good time at Big SNOW earlier this week meeting up with a couple Divas. I brought my own boots and skis this time. Definitely like how DPS Phantom performs on manmade snow.

The doors to the changing rooms look like decoration. They are pretty nice.
View attachment 16418

Summer Sleds are a new option. They are not traditional sleds at all, but look like fun. Have to have your own warm jacket and snow pants.
View attachment 16416

Didn't remember seeing the warning sign before that the chairlift is not for beginners
View attachment 16417
thank you for the post/picts
 

MissySki

Angel Diva
I just called Big Snow to get more details on the qualifications of their instructors. Apparently they have PSIA levels 1-3, I was a little surprised they'd have up to level 3. The only bummer is it doesn't seem you can request someone in particular right now, so you might just end up with whoever is there and available at the time you visit.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
I just called Big Snow to get more details on the qualifications of their instructors. Apparently they have PSIA levels 1-3, I was a little surprised they'd have up to level 3. The only bummer is it doesn't seem you can request someone in particular right now, so you might just end up with whoever is there and available at the time you visit.
It helps to have at least a few L3 instructors to help teach brand new instructors or to mentor L1/L2 instructors. Big SNOW needs a lot of instructors. Presumably they are willing to hire people with no experience and train them to teach beginners.

Most of the people who take lessons at Massanutten (home ski resort) are beginners, with some intermediates. There is only 75 acres and very little ungroomed terrain. What makes the Massanutten ski school so good is that there are 6+ L3 Alpine ski instructors plus a few L3 Snowboard instructors. That means there are lot of opportunities for instructors to learn from clinics without having to go anywhere else.
 

MissySki

Angel Diva
It helps to have at least a few L3 instructors to help teach brand new instructors or to mentor L1/L2 instructors. Big SNOW needs a lot of instructors. Presumably they are willing to hire people with no experience and train them to teach beginners.

Most of the people who take lessons at Massanutten (home ski resort) are beginners, with some intermediates. There is only 75 acres and very little ungroomed terrain. What makes the Massanutten ski school so good is that there are 6+ L3 Alpine ski instructors plus a few L3 Snowboard instructors. That means there are lot of opportunities for instructors to learn from clinics without having to go anywhere else.

What are your thoughts on inexperienced instructors teaching never ever adults who are scared?

I keep going back and forth on whether or not it matters too much. Then I think of like a college kid new instructor trying to teach my nervous significant other and just think that would not go over great. lol This weekend I brought up that they were doing lessons now and he still seemed interested. I have no idea why this seems less intimidating than the mountain, but I kind of want to capitalize on it and then another part of me is thinking it may still NOT be the best intro I could arrange.. I'm torn.
 

santacruz skier

Angel Diva
Doesn't Sunday River have a full on beginner area for never evers? I would think a week of am or pm lessons at the beginning of the ski season would be perfect for your SO. I know nothing about Big Snow but I know when my BF started skiing, he loved being outdoors in the mountains and that was part of the draw.
 

MissySki

Angel Diva
Doesn't Sunday River have a full on beginner area for never evers? I would think a week of am or pm lessons at the beginning of the ski season would be perfect for your SO. I know nothing about Big Snow but I know when my BF started skiing, he loved being outdoors in the mountains and that was part of the draw.

Sunday River has a magic carpet area where they have put in terrain based learning a couple of years ago now. That area doesn't open right away, nor do the lessons. So I had thought it'd be nice to do something at Big Snow this summer or fall and then build off of that, hopefully confidence building experience, more when the season gets going. I guess I'm just worried about not hopping on the train if there is enthusiasm to do something right now lol.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
What are your thoughts on inexperienced instructors teaching never ever adults who are scared?

I keep going back and forth on whether or not it matters too much. Then I think of like a college kid new instructor trying to teach my nervous significant other and just think that would not go over great. lol This weekend I brought up that they were doing lessons now and he still seemed interested. I have no idea why this seems less intimidating than the mountain, but I kind of want to capitalize on it and then another part of me is thinking it may still NOT be the best intro I could arrange.. I'm torn.
Really depends on the personality of the instructor more than how many times they have taught a never-ever. My daughter's BF is not really adventurous type. The young man who worked with him was patient and knew more than enough to get him started. I didn't have the sense that he's been teaching that long. He seemed to be a snowboarder who has learned enough to teach beginner skiers.

The management of Big SNOW spent years coming up with Terrain Based Learning. They are very attuned to what contributes to a good impression for beginners, especially never-evers. There is very limited terrain that is geared to beginners. Most of the people there aren't very good skiers. To me, it's a great place to get started.

I have no idea if BF will remember much of what the instructor told him. It doesn't really matter. He got to the point that I could see he liked sliding on snow and was trying to go faster instead of slower. Bottom line is that he had a pretty good time, didn't fall much, and is willing to go skiing again.
 

santacruz skier

Angel Diva
Sunday River has a magic carpet area where they have put in terrain based learning a couple of years ago now. That area doesn't open right away, nor do the lessons. So I had thought it'd be nice to do something at Big Snow this summer or fall and then build off of that, hopefully confidence building experience, more when the season gets going. I guess I'm just worried about not hopping on the train if there is enthusiasm to do something right now lol.
Ah so he doesn't change his mind ! Well I know nothing of the experience of skiing at Big Snow but ambiance doesn't sound like the draw....... but to get the ball rolling so to speak early, maybe a really good idea.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Sunday River has a magic carpet area where they have put in terrain based learning a couple of years ago now. That area doesn't open right away, nor do the lessons. So I had thought it'd be nice to do something at Big Snow this summer or fall and then build off of that, hopefully confidence building experience, more when the season gets going. I guess I'm just worried about not hopping on the train if there is enthusiasm to do something right now lol.
Could it be that your SO would rather see how he likes skiing before actually getting on snow at Sunday River? I tried to get DD's BF on snow in NC, but always was hearing excuses about how they were too busy. He only lasted about an hour that day at Big SNOW because we were on a tight schedule and they hadn't had breakfast but it was definitely worth squeezing in the experience in his case.

An advantage of making the trek to Big SNOW is that he's unlikely to back out of a 2-hour session. As opposed to deciding at Sunday River that he would rather just stay in the condo the day the lesson is scheduled. Especially if the weather doesn't cooperate. The rental process at Big SNOW is designed to be as easy and efficient as possible, even if a never-ever isn't with someone who knows how to put on ski boots and step into bindings. I've helped never-evers at Massanutten, both teens and adults. It was a lot easier to let someone else take care of the basics.

But obviously you know him a lot better than I do. :smile:
 

santacruz skier

Angel Diva
@marzNC is right... you know him best. That's why I said my BF loves the mountains and the outdoors, also very fit and athletic, so knew he would take to it especially with week long lessons.
 

diymom

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I've never met your BF, so just speculating here. Perhaps Sunday River is more your familiar stomping grounds, and therefore he might see it as more intimidating. You know other people around there. You find the blacks easy, so what does that say about him if he is slower to take to the beginner area? He's likely heard you comment on snow conditions and how that changes the feel of everything. Going for a "beginner ski trip" takes on different connotations when you compare Sunday River to Big Snow. Big snow is a small commitment, neutral territory, predictable conditions, and the potential to turn it into more than just a ski trip. NY city is right there. Get a hotel and plan on a nice meal and a visit to the Strand book store after a little time on snow. Take some back roads on the way home the next day to search out a nice thick chocolate malt. Have the first ski day be about more than just skiing. Maybe just go with the basic free pointers from the on-hill instructors instead of the full on private lesson. As @marzNC pointed out, that could potentially turn into a very low-key private lesson anyways. And with any luck the wonderful memories of his "first time" ski trip will translate into asking about lessons at SR this winter :smile:
 

BlueSkies

Angel Diva
Perhaps Sunday River is more your familiar stomping grounds, and therefore he might see it as more intimidating. You know other people around there. You find the blacks easy, so what does that say about him if he is slower to take to the beginner area? He's likely heard you comment on snow conditions and how that changes the feel of everything. Going for a "beginner ski trip" takes on different connotations when you compare Sunday River to Big Snow. Big snow is a small commitment, neutral territory, predictable conditions,
In a similar situation, my daughter told her BF when they first started dating that he wouldn't see her in winter if he didn't learn to ski. He didn't want to make the trek to Jay just to spend time in the beginner area (in probable frigid conditions) so he took lessons at the much smaller 'mighty' Yawgoo (310 ft). They've been married 4 yrs now and he is an excellent skier too.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
The blurb about private lessons in the email I got recently from Big SNOW says:

"We’re proud to offer beginner private & small group lessons. If you’re looking for the best way to improve your skills on the slopes, look no further. Getting one-on-one attention is the fastest way to learn. Let our team of instructors tailor a lesson just for you."
 

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