Tales From The Lodge – Part 3: Who needs a love life when you’ve got all that snow?
Ever wanted to leave city life behind and head for the mountains? Mark has done exactly that, joining Venture Ski (a ChaletManager client) as a Resort Manager. In this series of blogs we’ll be taking a “behind the scenes” look at what it takes to run a chalet… from keeping the guests smiling to getting out on the slopes.
Well, isn’t this nice? Two dozen staff, approximately 50/50 male to female ratio, everyone has ‘coupled-up’ apart from… you guessed it, me! It took some of them all of two hours to start snogging each other at the welcome party, however, apart from a momentary flirtatious glance at (yet another) seasonnaires party last week – okay, she was wasted and I think she thought I was someone else – my love life is left wanting.
Never mind, luckily for me it’s the best season (in terms of snow on the ground and sun in the sky) in over ten years according to the locals and I’ve met loads of new friends. My French isn’t too shabby either! I’ve been up the mountain and skiing most days and have to admit that it never fails to take my breath away – literally. It’s impossible to describe the experiences you have when you do a full winter season in the Alps, they’ll certainly stay with you for a lifetime, that’s for sure. But the powder snow (typical of a legendary resort like Sainte Foy) is simply epic. I learned that the sheltered nature of this mountain means very little wind blows, therefore the snow falls vertically and settles naturally. This means, if you know where to look, you can find virgin powder trails weeks after the last snowfall – it’s true, I’ve just done it!
It wasn’t long after Christmas that I felt like I was promoted. I was asked to volunteer to host some guests around nearby Les Arcs for the day (this is something we can’t do now due to fact that French authorities have just won a court ruling in Albertville against another British Tour Operator, banning ski hosting in France!)
If you don’t know what ski hosting is (sorry, was) I’ll tell you; no money changes hand, you don’t teach the guests how to ski and you never take them off-piste – you simply accompany them around the mountain, make sure they ski pistes that they are comfortable with and don’t get lost (some people cannot read a piste map to save their lives!). You basically make sure they have a great day out.
My first (and one of my only) days ski hosting was a triumph. I took Julia, Jonathan and their two teenage kids down only two blue runs and then Jon said “it’s lunch time”! They ate a massive ‘plate du jour’, sampled the local vin rouge and eventually navigated the green run back to our waiting minibus. I’ll never forget Jonathan’s words to me that evening: “Mark, that was the best day skiing I’ve ever had”. Excellent, another happy customer, piece of cake!
Venture Ski are based in the French ski resort of St Foy and offer bespoke ski chalet holidays for families, couples, singles or groups. They use ChaletManager to manage their bookings system, a complete application that gives you full control of your chalet business.