Roger Page Ski & Ride School in Saddleback has new programs and new faces.
I spoke to one of these new faces last weekend and I think the classes are a great idea for so many people I know, including myself.
Ally Kaiser from New Jersey and Maddy Murphy from Massachusetts, ski school supervisors this season, are very excited about the new season, the new programs, and are so happy to be in Maine.
Although I couldn’t chat with Murphy, I was able to meet her with Kaiser at the Mountain later in the week to take snapshots. As you can see in the photos, this is a team with a fresh face! So positive and upbeat, so very Saddleback.
Earlier that week, Kaiser got to give me a taste of what’s new this year and how she got to Saddleback.
Kaiser, a graduate of the University of Maine, Orono started skiing when she was only two years old. “I grew up in New Jersey. My parents started me golfing and then as I got older we skied a lot in the Poconos at Jack Frost. Those kind of resorts and smaller places.
Passionate about skiing and recreational sports, she studied leisure and tourism and, during her last two semesters at school, focused her Capstone project on finding clients. In preparation for her degree, she contacted some beach resorts to conduct a client search project, and Saddleback had the best pitch.
She explained to me a little what the Capstone project is. “It’s a climactic experience. I did mine on finding clients with guests from Saddleback. On the guest experience for our first year, to kind of get feedback from guests on their experience. Which parts were a little difficult, what was different, what they would like to see happen, changes, stuff like that. Some things we expected and some were a little more nuanced and things we didn’t notice because we are here every day. We do not have the point of view of the guests. So it was very interesting to see that.
So, from last November she worked at Saddleback as a Snow Reporter and also helped with ticket sales.
“I worked on my project in my spare time and did my client research and it was great fun and now I’m out of school and here all the time. I never left. Now I’m here all the time which is great.
So how does she like living in Maine?
“Oh, I love it. I love the snow and I love the cold. The only thing I don’t like is cleaning my car every day. I feel like I have to clean my car every day. But it’s worth it because the skiing here is phenomenal compared to where I grew up. It is so different.
While the season seems to have started recently, I wondered how busy the school had been so far.
“We’ve had a handful, here and there, a pinch, but looking at what our bookings are for the coming weeks, it’s really picking up for the holidays and I think that’s when we’ll see the most of our volume. “
Unlike last year, there will probably be a lot more activity in the school.
“We are really delighted to be able to do group lessons this year. This is something we weren’t able to do last season with all the Co-Vid restrictions. Which also meant that the only lessons we had were private, which tend to be much more expensive. So I think this year we’re going to see a lot more people go through the school. Quite simply because we have this much more affordable group option. So we’re really excited about it.
In addition, they offer a new program with education for preschool children.
“We have also launched our Tiny Trout program for our youngest skiers and boarders, and these are lessons specially designed for children aged 3 to 4. And they only last an hour, semi-private lessons. So there can only be two kids per lesson just to get them out because they need a smaller group and more attention. Some of these 3 year olds can barely stand on skis on their own. So that’s something we’re doing again this year, is breaking up these really young kids and getting them out in small groups, and we’re excited about that as well.
What about people like me? Is it too late at my age? Hope is not lost.
“We have a whole specific program for people who learn to ski or ride as adults.” This is called “Learn to ski / driving lesson”. The package includes the South Branch ski lift ticket, equipment rental and lesson. This way you get everything at the same time. It’s a discounted product that makes it more accessible to people who have never tried the sport before, and it lets you hang out with an instructor and a small group to review the basics and let you enjoy the sport on. the snow. Because a lot of times when people go out they’ll come and rent gear and then they’ll just love to jump on the slopes, never having done it before, and it’s not the experience that they expect and you see when. you see skiing and horseback riding. Whether it’s like the X-Games on TV, or just commercials, or you hear, or you see people doing it. It’s always like hitting the slopes effortlessly and a lot of people expect that, and then… it’s so far from the reality of their first experience because it’s hard to learn to ski or snowboard. And especially once an adult because you have these hesitations. As adults we have responsibilities, we have children and mortgages and people have things on their minds just saying “Hey, be careful.” Whereas the kids, when you put a 3 or 4 year old in there, they say, “Yeah, let’s go! “. They have no worries in the world.
Sounds like fun! I love group lessons and now that the tennis season is over I need a new exercise routine. Especially after the holiday season.
I hope I will see you all on the slopes! Happy Holidays!