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Ski Club of Great Britain Chief Exec resigns

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Don't magazines make most of their revenue from advertising these days? Which in turn depends on circulation figures? Which in turn depends on number of paid up SCGB members?
snow report
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Far more than 10% of members use or have used repping/leading, many joined and remain because of repping/leading and all the Ski Club's own surveys say it is the key asset - members want their membership fees spent on this (not on head office salaries!). Freshtracks (holidays) mostly have a rep so the number of members skiing with a rep every year is considerably more than the 10% skiing with resort reps. Also the Club currently has almost no presence in France, which clearly is hugely compromising and reduces numbers, some members have stayed patient, others have left, but most want repping (of some kind) back in France. Reps are also the most active members, meet many others (so can represent their views better than someone who doesn't talk much to other members) and seem to make up the majority of those willing to be very active and volunteer to support and build the club. The majority of the few hundred that came to the last AGM were current or past reps. Council (all volunteer) is mainly time served reps for this reason, although a number are no longer active. So my view is that repping/leading is at the heart of the Club, good or bad.
snow conditions
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
This Instructor led guiding looks like a good deal, at least in Verbier, where an instructor for the day would cost you the best part of £500! They must be heavily subsidizing that or struck a great deal with New Gen.
latest report
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Good deal here in Les 2 Alpes also. Alex Armand is very good and sociable too, she also gets involved in quite a few Freshtracks holidays too. Good for here as there was never a rep before, not allowed by the resort was my understanding.
snow report
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Claude B wrote:
Good deal here in Les 2 Alpes also. Alex Armand is very good and sociable too, she also gets involved in quite a few Freshtracks holidays too. Good for here as there was never a rep before, not allowed by the resort was my understanding.


The TOs could never use leaders in LDA either.
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Just to clarify: Around 10% of members used the reps in resort service last year. In addition many more 'used' reps while on holidays with Freshtracks, which typically have one or more reps. Many more members have used the reps in the past (so perhaps a more realistic measure is members who have used a rep in a 3 year window?) and as anecdotal and survey evidence shows the service has a much bigger influence on hearts and minds (and therefor ongoing membership) than the immediate usage numbers suggest. Also a presence in resort acts as a focal point for members, for example last season I spent time with many members in Zermatt and Tignes who do not often ski with reps, but enjoy being part of a club. Members like to know the reps service is there, and might use it one year but not the next etc Val D'Isere is a special case where there is much ski club group skiing, but no (official) reps. I guess I am also influenced by my own experience - reps completely changed my view of and enjoyment of skiing which had been getting 'tired', and I continue to love this aspect of what the club can do.
ski holidays
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@pisteoff,

Is there a rep in Tignes?
I thought most of the groups in Tignes were self supporting/pere lead?
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
davidof wrote:
Claude B wrote:
Good deal here in Les 2 Alpes also. Alex Armand is very good and sociable too, she also gets involved in quite a few Freshtracks holidays too. Good for here as there was never a rep before, not allowed by the resort was my understanding.


The TOs could never use leaders in LDA either.


Except the Belgians, Ski Friends do rolling eyes
ski holidays
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Claude B wrote:
davidof wrote:
Claude B wrote:
Good deal here in Les 2 Alpes also. Alex Armand is very good and sociable too, she also gets involved in quite a few Freshtracks holidays too. Good for here as there was never a rep before, not allowed by the resort was my understanding.


The TOs could never use leaders in LDA either.


Except the Belgians, Ski Friends do rolling eyes


The Danes still do leading in Tignes. They just keep it low key and don't hand out transceivers in front of the ESF office rolling eyes
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
stewart woodward wrote:
@pisteoff,

Is there a rep in Tignes?
I thought most of the groups in Tignes were self supporting/pere lead?


I understand that is the case in Val D'Isere. My experience of the SCGB in Tignes from the so called social evening was a bunch of miserable retired dinosaur seasonaires complaining about the club and viewing holiday (ie working for a living) SCGB members with contempt. On the other hand the SCGB members I met on Tignes instructor led guiding days were a great bunch
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
BobinCH wrote:
This Instructor led guiding looks like a good deal, at least in Verbier, where an instructor for the day would cost you the best part of £500! They must be heavily subsidizing that or struck a great deal with New Gen.

Whether it is good value surely depends on the size of the group? If there are just 4 people, and you get both instructor and experienced rep for a day, then it is a good deal. If there are 12 (+2), perhaps not so good? Since pre-booking is essential I guess there is both a minimum group size, below which it will be cancelled, and a maximum.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
definition of a rep seems to be in need of clarification, repping itself does not require a certain standard of skiing, it needs a certain standard of organisational and people skills ( those interpersonal skills!) that will project the club to existing and potential members in resort
Distinction is often blurred because many club Leaders also had such skills to a degree.
As for freshtracks, well I do see any justification for "reps" that apparently just have a jolly week skiing with groups, at the expense of said groups
having reps is not a justification for Leaders where the whole flawed system has been exposed and banned
latest report
 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
snowornever wrote:
definition of a rep seems to be in need of clarification, repping itself does not require a certain standard of skiing, it needs a certain standard of organisational and people skills ( those interpersonal skills!) that will project the club to existing and potential members in resort


Hmmm. Like the Rep (young daughter of a senior SCGB rep) on one of my Freshtracks holidays. Reminded a load of senior professional guests of the need to go to the toilet before boarding the coach back to the airport, but failed to bring forward the coach departure time in view if the heavy snow forecast so we all missed our flights.
ski holidays
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
snowornever wrote:
...As for freshtracks, well I do see any justification for "reps" that apparently just have a jolly week skiing with groups, at the expense of said groups
having reps is not a justification for Leaders where the whole flawed system has been exposed and banned

Do? Or don't?
ski holidays
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Repping is more generally an archaic concept isn't it in the days of widespread English speaking, smartphones etc? Thinking more generally for TOs. It's been a while since i took a ski TO holiday but have taken my parents to Austria in the summer with them and the last one the Rep actively increased hassle and badwill -young inexperienced girl who promised she'd sort out the claim for my mother's damaged baggage with their own in house airline - only at the end of the week to attempt to wash her hands of it and involve her aggressive wikilawyer boyfriend who was a fellow rep (apparently the Geneva convention means airlines aren't responsible for damaging customers' luggage).

Now not all Reps are as poor as her, but the idea that holidaymakers would have no idea how to find things to do on their holiday, access information without the hand to hold of a rep and arrange their days to make sure they attended the royal court of the rep's half hour is an archaic throwback to the 1970s. Most hotel front desks or managers are for example better informed about their resorts than a temporary resident.
ski holidays
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@ecureuil, ILG is for a maximum of 6, minimum of 3. With an instructor but no rep, all available to see on the website if you are interested.
ski holidays
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
pisteoff wrote:
... Reps are also the most active members... The majority of the few hundred that came to the last AGM were current or past reps. Council (all volunteer) is mainly time served reps .. my view is that repping/leading is at the heart of the Club, good or bad.
[size=12]Thanks - that's very helpful. My red colouring.

Thinking a bit about that...the Durham Report[1] identified "leading" as one of five things the club did.
Other activities listed were insurance; holidays; discounts; and website[1].
The core activity is loss making[2]. The more you do the worse it gets => it's financially "bad".

The market's competitive and international, and disintermediation more likely than the opposite.
The four profitable activities are there only to subsidise the core activity, and it's hard to do something well if you don't care about it[3].

I guess there are multiple ways through that, and lots of people who want nothing to change, ever.

---
[1]Durham Report (2013, Warwick) Warwick didn't spell Méribel correctly, but that probably means the report was reasonably objective.
[2]The short "long post warning" post earlier on this thread is the current boss talking about cutting those losses.
[3]The website is sadly unloved and unlovable. This one is ugly, old and cranky, but someone here cares about it quite a lot.
ski holidays
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Tour operators in Italy certainly offer ski guiding although they make it clear it is all on piste and at the customers risk etc. Very popular it is too.
ski holidays
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On the rocks wrote:
Don't magazines make most of their revenue from advertising these days? Which in turn depends on circulation figures? Which in turn depends on number of paid up SCGB members?


Basically, yes. Age and declining membership are the core issues. Ten years ago the average age of a SCGB member was ten years younger than it is today (late 50s I think). In other words nothing has changed despite all the promotion and they aren't attracting ANY young people, attempts to do so have been expensive wastes of money (exhibits A and B - Line-S and launching 'youf friendly' holidays), and the other end is literally dying or just deciding they are past it. The gradual but relentless decline in membership has happened in the good times. Now I can't imagine what the level of attrition must be like and direct debits are all to easy to click and cancel. A swathe of cuts to HQ and membership benefits might steer the ship back towards break even but it's not going to stop it hitting the rocks eventually because the demographics are against it, the reasons to join or remain a member get ever more tenuous and who needs it? It needs a complete reinvention but I don't think the current board, management or membership are the people to imagine it and deliver it. So, pack it up and leave a bit of a legacy with whatever funds are left, change a few young lives. Try doing something good without f*cking it up.

Anyone look at the first digital Ski&Board? The fact nobody has mentioned it tells you everything you need to know about that.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
pisteoff wrote:
Far more than 10% of members use or have used repping/leading, many joined and remain because of repping/leading and all the Ski Club's own surveys say it is the key asset - members want their membership fees spent on this (not on head office salaries!). Freshtracks (holidays) mostly have a rep so the number of members skiing with a rep every year is considerably more than the 10% skiing with resort reps.


As far as Freshtracks is concerned it’s the other way round; Reps skiing with the paying customers
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ecureuil wrote:
snowornever wrote:
...As for freshtracks, well I do see any justification for "reps" that apparently just have a jolly week skiing with groups, at the expense of said groups
having reps is not a justification for Leaders where the whole flawed system has been exposed and banned

Do? Or don't?

Good spot mid types

DONT!!!
snow conditions
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Time for reps to breakaway maybe? Form their own Club of GB Skiers, have a faceache group and organise peer to peer skiing? Happy days except for the gravy train subs they have to force people to part with for the pleasure of their company? Maybe if its peer to peer it doesn't need to be paid benefits and thus much easier to escape the law.
snow conditions
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@Dave of the Marmottes, but how would they get their 2-3 weeks of someone else paying for their skiing if they did that???
ski holidays
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@Dave of the Marmottes, the Reps already have their own exclusive FB page so they can do that already. As for peer to peer skiing for the plebs (aka ordinary members) ; so long suckers
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
On the rocks wrote:
... the Reps already have their own exclusive FB page so they can do that already. ...
Sounds like a club within a club. Hmm.
ski holidays
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
The Ski Club's ILG does provide excellent value for money. Small group with a New Gen instructor. I skied with Chocksaway in an ILG group of just 4 IIRC. And on one occasion I skied one-on one with the instructor for a 4 hr morning session . The weather was particularly wild and the other two skiers who had booked didn't show up. Not bad for £20!
ski holidays
 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@GeorgeVII, do you not see that as being part of the problem though? The SCGB almost certainly paid a reduced rate for the guide and instructor, but £60 in total from 3 people means it is always running at a severe loss and the more people use it, the more the club loses. The ILG with a group of 4 would also result in a loss - they probably can't break even on any of them, even if 6 people turned up.

Far better would be to bulk-buy guiding and then sell it to members at cost price - if a guide can lead a group of 6 and their daily rate has been negotiated down from €450 to €390, the benefit of being a member is you get access to that discount, and instead of paying €75 you get your guide for €65 instead and you also get a guide who has been recommended by a trusted partner which is arguably a bigger plus. Woohoo - now you just have to work out how to spend the €10 of wealth you've retained - shouldn't be difficult in France, it might just get you a coffee. NehNeh
ski holidays
 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@ousekjarr, My example is taken from a purely selfish punter point of view. Prices did increase last season to £50 full day/ £30 half day. One issue with trying to buy in bulk upfront is the weather variable. After the downpours and mild weather of early February there was little or no demand to go off piste for quite a while.
ski holidays
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@GeorgeVII, I understand that - but you go into the negotiations on the basis of using a minimum of say 50 days of guiding, and that gets the price down to €400 per day. At 60 days, the price drops to €390, and at 70 days to €375. In a season of about 100 days, you may have some days with enough demand to need 2 guides, but I doubt that happens very often. If the SCGB was consistently turning up with 30 people and taking 5 guides for the day, the deals on offer would be considerable. When the weather doesn't play nicely, you still have a willing punter - rearrange for another day, or refund. If there's an extended period when it's not an option, that's the risk that the guiding company take.
snow report
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@ousekjarr, isn’t the point that if they use their resources to provide value added services to customers they can retain / grow membership. If they fritter it away on non value added stuff they will die. It is hard to self-organize a group of 3-6 skiers. Many guides/companies avoid it due to the challenge of different skier levels. If SCGB can provide this service, they add value to their members. Clearly they could price this higher in some locations and still provide a great offer.
ski holidays
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@BobinCH, exactly - if they were offering something which isn't available elsewhere (verified guide, UK only group, verified skier ability, guaranteed transceiver/shovel/probe per person, comprehensive off-piste insurance), then the people wanting that would join. But that's not 20000 members, and may not even be 1000.

Maybe as many as 10000 (or as few as 4000) of those members want someone to ski with occasionally who will answer the question of where to go, where to have lunch, and when to stop for a coffee. Maybe another 5000-6000 remain members despite giving up skiing due to old age or health problems or both, and many of the rest were signed up as family members under 24 because it was effectively free to do so even if they'd never be seen dead with the people their parents ski with.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
ousekjarr wrote:
... If the SCGB was consistently turning up with 30 people and taking 5 guides for the day, the deals on offer would be considerable.

BobinCH wrote:
It is hard to self-organize a group of 3-6 skiers. Many guides/companies avoid it due to the challenge of different skier levels. If SCGB can provide this service, they add value to their members.

Sounds like a sort of "group on" for guiding.

Sounds like a dating-type application to enable groups of like-minded like-skilled people to form a group to get a lower unit price.

Having built some of the technology you'd need for that (for helis), one problem would be self-assessed "skiing standard", which is a minefield.
You could build up some history, or even do "peer review" (kind of like StackOverflow).

I guess people could use this site or various Facebook groups to do something like that today for free.
You could generate benefit simply by providing an "introduction service", even at retail cost.
If you were to negotiate better rates that'd help, but then you'd likely need to guarantee a certainly amount of usage.

---
This is a radically different approach from scgb though, which is fixed-cost heavy as they have
dedicated people on site, I think.

How are "guiding services" structured in Europe? Is there one guiding company per resort,
or some different structure? I'm just thinking there may be an opportunity here wink
snow report
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@philwig, might be helpful if you looked at the SCGB site where most of that detail is available for anyone to see.

If by on site you mean people in resort organising ILG the answer is no. It is all done on line.
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philwig wrote:
ousekjarr wrote:
... If the SCGB was consistently turning up with 30 people and taking 5 guides for the day, the deals on offer would be considerable.

BobinCH wrote:
It is hard to self-organize a group of 3-6 skiers. Many guides/companies avoid it due to the challenge of different skier levels. If SCGB can provide this service, they add value to their members.

Sounds like a sort of "group on" for guiding.

Sounds like a dating-type application to enable groups of like-minded like-skilled people to form a group to get a lower unit price.

Having built some of the technology you'd need for that (for helis), one problem would be self-assessed "skiing standard", which is a minefield.
You could build up some history, or even do "peer review" (kind of like StackOverflow).

I guess people could use this site or various Facebook groups to do something like that today for free.
You could generate benefit simply by providing an "introduction service", even at retail cost.
If you were to negotiate better rates that'd help, but then you'd likely need to guarantee a certainly amount of usage.

---
This is a radically different approach from scgb though, which is fixed-cost heavy as they have
dedicated people on site, I think.

How are "guiding services" structured in Europe? Is there one guiding company per resort,
or some different structure? I'm just thinking there may be an opportunity here wink


Guides office representing independent guides and ski schools. In CH (at least Verbier) the guides don’t seem to offer « public » groups. Ski schools do, but usually multi-day courses, and their prices are much higher than those SCGB rates.
snow conditions
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
philwig wrote:
ousekjarr wrote:
... If the SCGB was consistently turning up with 30 people and taking 5 guides for the day, the deals on offer would be considerable.

BobinCH wrote:
It is hard to self-organize a group of 3-6 skiers. Many guides/companies avoid it due to the challenge of different skier levels. If SCGB can provide this service, they add value to their members.

Sounds like a sort of "group on" for guiding.

Sounds like a dating-type application to enable groups of like-minded like-skilled people to form a group to get a lower unit price.

Having built some of the technology you'd need for that (for helis), one problem would be self-assessed "skiing standard", which is a minefield.
You could build up some history, or even do "peer review" (kind of like StackOverflow).

I guess people could use this site or various Facebook groups to do something like that today for free.
You could generate benefit simply by providing an "introduction service", even at retail cost.
If you were to negotiate better rates that'd help, but then you'd likely need to guarantee a certainly amount of usage.

---
This is a radically different approach from scgb though, which is fixed-cost heavy as they have
dedicated people on site, I think.

How are "guiding services" structured in Europe? Is there one guiding company per resort,
or some different structure? I'm just thinking there may be an opportunity here wink


I think the SCGB's structure, while seemingly cumbersome and overly formal does provide them with an advantage here. While the idea of chasing coloured ribbon status seems anachronistic to many skiers, at least in theory everyone who has skied with reps/leaders should be graded to some extent. Which gives them some headstart in ability to form groups of similar standards. Of course standard on the day one was assessed is only one variable and other factors may come into play such as conditions, suitability of equipment, fitness, ambition (some people like to stay within their bounds of ability/ others don't mind sideslipping down a couloir to say they've done it) and degree of douchebaggery etc etc.

So personally while I find the idea attractive of being able to rock up in a unfamiliar resort and find a similar standard good value guided group to have a good day with, and that sounds a compelling offer, I also think the likelihood probably only holds for certain resorts in certain weeks. And maybe that's fine - make it the Espace Killy/Paradiski/3V ski club.
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@Dave of the Marmottes, You are right about the grading in putting like groups together. But for those, like me, who have never been graded the ILG pages have a very detailed description of standards which IF people are honest then it works. The only thing they lack, on which I have lobbied, is a level of expertise with the trilogy of safety equipment. On the whole it does seem to work, though there have been days where mismatches, again down to honesty. But then as a chalet manager who fitted skis said: blokes generally overestimate their ability, ladies under estimate their weight!
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@chocksaway, Yep honesty and self-awareness and the whole macho/ego thing. I've skied with women who were excellent technical skiers but much less ambitious and aggressive than their lower skilled male partners. That could lead to two very different experiences depending on the group formed.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
chocksaway wrote:
@Dave of the Marmottes, You are right about the grading in putting like groups together. But for those, like me, who have never been graded the ILG pages have a very detailed description of standards which IF people are honest then it works. The only thing they lack, on which I have lobbied, is a level of expertise with the trilogy of safety equipment. On the whole it does seem to work, though there have been days where mismatches, again down to honesty. But then as a chalet manager who fitted skis said: blokes generally overestimate their ability, ladies under estimate their weight!

Very good point about the knowledge of safety equipment. I have an "official" grading from a leader of silver on and off piste. The off piste was based on my technical ability to ski in powder, but I'd never even touched a transceiver.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@sugarmoma666, @Dave of the Marmottes, And the next challenge is grading for touring as you have to take into both fitness (for want of a better word) and off piste techniques.

That's caused a lot of debate at the social nights in Tignes, amongst the off piste fraternity not the grumpy old men referred to the other day!
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
To be fair 50% of them were women, especially those guarding the canapés from Scgb mere holiday skiers
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