by: J Yang - 27th March 2013

  • 1
  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced/Expert
  • 1All-Mtn. Terrain
  • 1Family Friendly
  • Aprés Ski
  • Terrain Park
  • Overall Value
a little cheaper than others
Worst Instructor and staff and snow condition

Full review

I started to learn to ski this season in Dec 2012, had a group lessons at Bear Valley, Heavenly, and Dodge Ridge each before I took a private lesson at Donner Ski Ranch, and also have skied at Sierra-at-Tahoe and Squaw Valley. My private lesson on March 1st at Donner Ski Ranch was the worst learning experience comparing to the group lessons I took at other ski resorts. As my lesson at Donner was a private lesson, at the beginning of the lesson I told the instructor (Chuck) what I’d done so far and asked him to teach me making good turns, not doing plows, etc. But the instructor ignored what I had asked; rather he decided to take me to all the different lift chairs and “showing me the mountains” (as he put it). The instructor told me his ear pieces were running out the battery so he cannot hear me; he also cut my 2 hours private lesson 20 minutes short as there was another lesson was waiting for him, or maybe because he can’t hear me. So at the end, I felt I didn’t learn anything. The snow condition at Donner Ski Ranch was also the worst comparing to other ski resorts; it was icy in the morning and very slushy in the afternoon. The staff was worse than other ski resorts as well, not very well organized and was not professional. Overall, it was a very bad experience. I called Donner afterward and they offered to give me a makeup lesson. So I went again – what a mistake – the second experience was not any better than the first one. The staff (Dana) was very rude, maybe because I was there to take a “makeup” lesson. The lift ticket was not discussed before or during my first hour of lesson. Once the staff learned I suppose to have two hours lesson, they did not give me my second hour and Dana was very angry and yelled at me in front of many others “go get your lift ticket”. Regardless of when should I buy the lift ticket, at that point I had enough of the rudeness and un-professionalism of the staff, I decided not to ski or take lesson there anymore -- I will not give Donner Ski Ranch one penny more of my business. By the way, I took a friend with me on my second time there, and he purchased a package including group lesson. At the end, he said he and his friends and family will never go back to Donner Ski Ranch again.
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