We are coming to Steamboat for 2 weeks in early January 2011 and were looking for suggestions on ski school options.


In particular, how does Desperados ski week compare with just the day to day ski school? 


Our kids are intermediate skiers, and looking to ski all over as well as try some bumps and jumps.


Thanks for your responses.

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Good morning, Mark. Mary, here, with Steamboat Central Reservations. Tons of information at www.Steamboat.com then choose Ski & Snowboard School in the dropdown from the Plan Your Trip tab. The schools group everyone by age and ability (even the adults -- a great way to be introduced to the mountain). For example a highly skilled 7 year old would not be in the same group as an average skilled 12 year old. Depending on ability, the kids will be all over the mountain. The details on Deparados Ski Week is also found there; essentially the same instructor is guaranteed all five days (unless, of course, of some awful situation raises its ugly head), there are some souvenirs and a special barbecue lunch on the mountain weather permitting for one of the included lunches. The regular classes are very good and include lunch each day, too. If a child gains skill or falls behind the rest of the class, the kids are moved into other sections to make sure needs are well addressed. When you make the reservations note the request for some bumps/jumps work. Have a great time in Steamboat Springs! Mary
Many thanks Mary. It doesn't sound like there is much difference between the Desperados and regular ski school.
Our kids (now ages 16 and 14) have been attending ski school for at least 6 years now. They have participated in both the Desperados week and regular ski school. They have enjoyed both. If they do the Desperados week, they should be with the same instructor for the entire week and the kids should remain the same. That's fun because they really get to know their new friends.

If they go to regular ski school, their instructor may or may not stay the same throughout the week. Perhaps the instructor might get a day off or get moved to a different level. The other kids will change based on who's skiing that week. We have found that often, the kids end up with the same teacher throughout the week and if other kids are there for the same time as you, they will stay together. Many times, when it's roughly the same kids, they form a bond with the teacher and they might "move up" together.

Either way, you can't go wrong. My kids don't need to be in ski school anymore (they actually do the teen program now) but always want to return because they know who their instructor will be (they even communicate back and forth with their teen instructor); they know the same kids might be back; and the biggest part is that they get to explore all parts of the mountain and learn all the "secret" places to ski.

My oldest just got back from skiing in New Zealand. Turns out, one of his friends from ski school had just returned from skiing in New Zealand and they communicated (by text of course) all the fun things to do in New Zealand!

Hope this helps!

Ski Mom 2
Hi there - another question from me. I saw that we can purchase say a 5 day ski school pack on line. Can we use this pack for any 5 days we are in Steamboat or does the pack need to be used on consecutive days?

i think if it is a ski week you have to use it consective days. If just a days of skiing then you should be able to pick and choose your days. Last year we bought a 3 day pack and our group took a break on the second day. Depends when on when are coming out but there should be plenty of time to call the ski school in November to answer your questions. Have fun!!
Hi Mark -- not sure to which "pack" you are referring. You may want to give Steamboat Central Reservations a call (800.922.2722) or Ski & Snowboard School 800.299.5017 (School weekdays only 'til Thanksgiving). Most of the time a lesson bundle is for consecutive days unless arranged otherwise at time of booking (not the same with the 3 Day mentioned below).
Let us know, Mary
My three children have had a very similar experience with ski weeks. They love their instructors, look forward to seeing the same friends each year, and have become amazing skiers! The kids are so connected with their classmates and instructors that our college age daughter actually made the arrangements for her teen sister to ski with their favorite instructor after we were told that there was no teen ski week the dates we were there. Mind you she arranged this with a couple of quick calls/texts from Virginia while the rest of us were actually IN Steamboat!
I am a longtime regular January visitor to Steamboat-- the last five years with kids in tow. Desperados was by far favored over regular dailies by both boys (now 10 & 8). After the product ceased being offered during January after New Year's, we have arranged to have an ad hoc Ski Week for them with their favorite instructor even though for them "school" is more about mileage and fun and less about technique. The same instructor is great but really it's having the same kids to bond with for 5 days that makes Desperados such a benefit. If it is offered when you are there, count yourself fortunate and book it!.

Our daughter did this for 6-7 years running, and she loved it. It's a great option for kids ski school when it is offered.
You may want to consider some private lessons for the kids as well as standard ski school. I have 3 and 5 yr old boys and I put my 5 yr old in a private for two days last year in Vail and it was amazing how much he improved in a weekend.
It is also important to get them good kids equipment as most kids gear is pretty old because of the kids ski free program. The kids ski free program is great but a lot of times you are getting the gear for free because it is 5 plus years old, not tuned properly, no base structure to allow ski to glide like it should, etc. Kids need good gear to perform just like adults do and most ski shops completely overlook this which is shocking to me.
I just set my kids up with new gear last night out of my store and I am taking them skiing today to get ready for the upcoming season. They can't wait and either can I. Hope this helps a little bit as I have no clue about Desperados but a private would be key for any skiers in your family.
Chad Fleiscehr
Fleischer Sport
Does your store have "better" gear for once a year kid skiers who are intermediates but need to regain skills each time out? 3 seasons ago I tried to set my then 6 & 8 year olds up with "better" performance gear from Black Tie and the skis were much too heavy and hard to improve on for kids who only have 8 days on snow a year. Both kids' instructors asked me to switch out the gear. I did and they had a much much better time. Now at age almost 11 & 9, they ski the total mountain and can manage just about anything except skied off Vertigo or runs that instill too great a fear factor in them.

Do you tailor your kids "better" category gear to the skier or just offer one better or basic version?
At my store we have jr carvers as well as jr twin tips. They are also all new which means that the binding are center mount and/or central pivot which allows the skis to bend easier for a lighter weight child vs a large flat spot under foot.
New skis and bindings are also much lioghter than the old school gear which is huge for kids.
We offer offer great kids gear both performance and kids demo type skis. I know that there is noone in town that has better gear and attention to detail than my stores gear whether adult or kids.
I ordered it all and have spent the past few weeks putting it all together for the upcoming season and I encourage you to check it out in my mag at fleischersport.com see the wall of skis (Trophy Room) to see all we carry. Come see me in the shop and your kids and you will be psyched you did.



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