Heavenly Again Leads U.S. Ski Resorts with Four Members of the PSIA-AASI National Team

02 May 2012
·         Heavenly Instructors Make Up 30 Percent of the PSIA National Alpine Team
·         Heavenly’s Four PSIA-AASI National Team Members to Lead Three-Day Ski and Ride Clinic Next Season
Heavenly Mountain Resort, Calif./Nev. – May 2, 2012 – The Professional Ski Instructors of America and the American Association of Snowboard Instructors have announced their 2012 – 2016 National Team, and Heavenly Mountain Resort is the proud home to four of those members, which is the most of any ski resort in the U.S.
“Today, everyone at Heavenly has reason to be especially proud of these four talented, dedicated individuals,” said Pete Sonntag, Heavenly’s general manager. “It’s a prestigious honor for Michael, Robin, Heidi and Seth, as well as for the entire Heavenly Ski and Ride School.”
This will be Michael Rogan’s fifth term on the PSIA National Team (breaking his own record of four for a non-coach member) and is the Alpine Team Captain. He has taught skiing for nearly 30 years and is valued by his students as much for his communication skills as he is for his incredible skiing and technical abilities. He is also the Director of Instruction for SKI Magazine and is the general manager of Ski Portillo in Portillo, Chile.
Robin Barnes is a two-time member of the PSIA National Alpine Team. She has twice earned a spot in SKI Magazine’s Top 100 Instructors and has been an instructor and trainer at Heavenly since 1989. Robin speaks fluent Spanish and Portuguese and is also the ski school director at Ski Portillo. She is an American Council on Exercise certified personal trainer.
Heidi Ettlinger is new to PSIA’s National Alpine Team but she is no stranger to the organization, having served on the PSIA-W Board of Directors and leading the annual Women’s Summit providing elite training for female ski instructors. She pursues ski instruction and instructor training year round dividing her time between Heavenly at Lake Tahoe and Mt. Hotham in Australia. Her passion for snowsports led to the development of Gearing to Go, DVDs and educational materials for the skiing trade to improve beginner retention.
Seth Johns was named to the AASI National Snowboarding Team for the first time. He has spent the last five years as a snowboard instructor and trainer at Heavenly Mountain Resort and as a snowboard coach for the Heavenly Ski & Snowboard Foundation. Seth is a competitor in the North Face Masters big mountain series and competes at several other events at both the local and national level.
The PSIA-AASI National teams represent an important component of the association’s education programs, instructor training and snowsports industry outreach.
For the guest, having PSIA-AASI instructors on staff at a particular resort translates into a higher level of education across the school as information can flow more directly from the PSIA-AASI pros to the other instructors through on-snow clinics, classroom training, informal ski-arounds and locker room conversations.
“This is definitely a case of ski schools not all being created equal,” said Mike Allen, Heavenly’s director of Skier Services. “Think of Heavenly’s ski and ride school like other institutions of higher learning like Harvard. We have the best professors, which attracts more high-level professors, which raises the bar on the overall level of education and service.”
Combined with Heavenly’s sister resort at Lake Tahoe, Northstar California Resort, seven of a possible 20 spots on the PSIA-AASI Alpine and Snowboard teams are occupied by Vail Resorts’ Lake Tahoe instructors.
“It’s pretty clear that Lake Tahoe is a hot bed for top-level ski instruction,” Allen said.
Next season, Heavenly’s PSIA-AASI National Team instructors will work with skiers and snowboarders to take their skills to the next level at the Peak Performance Academy, dates to be determined.
The Peak Performance Academy will pair participants with elite ski and snowboard instructors for an all-mountain clinic that focuses on steep and mogul techniques, video analysis, high-end riding and off-piste tactics, as well as addressing personal goals.
Registration includes lodging at the Marriott Grand Residence Club in the Heavenly Village, lift tickets, daily on-mountain lunches, hosted après party, and a dinner.

About Heavenly Ski and Ride School
With four of the National Demo Team Members and five Western Demo Team Members on staff, Heavenly Ski and Ride School offers some of the highest-credentialed instructors in North America. Whether guests are looking for the one-on-one, highly-personalized attention from an instructor in a private lesson or for the fun, interactive environment of a group lesson, the Ski and Ride School caters to each guest to help them improve their skills and reach their personal goals. Everyone should have an opportunity to experience the thrill of the mountain, which is why Heavenly offers an extensive variety of adaptive lessons for guests with various disabilities. From children to adults and for any skill level, Heavenly has a program that’s right for each guest. Check out Ski and Ride School’s page for more info.

About Heavenly
Heavenly Mountain Resort is a world-class destination offering guests a one-of-a-kind combination of scenic beauty and exhilarating on-snow experience. Heavenly is a subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc., the leading mountain resort operator in the United States.  One of the largest resorts in North America, Heavenly spans 4800 acres, climbs to Lake Tahoe’s highest elevation at 10,067 feet and features than 94 trails for every level of skier or snowboarder. For more information on Heavenly Mountain Resort, please visit www.skiheavenly.com or call 800-HEAVENLY.
About Vail Resorts
Vail Resorts, Inc., through its subsidiaries, is the leading mountain resort operator in the United States. The Company's subsidiaries operate the mountain resort properties of Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado, and Heavenly and Northstar in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada, and the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The Company's subsidiary, RockResorts, a luxury resort hotel company, manages casually elegant properties. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estate planning, development and construction subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc. Vail Resorts is a publicly held company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: MTN). The Vail Resorts company website is www.vailresorts.com and consumer website is www.snow.com.
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Sally Gunter

Senior Communications Manager
Email: sgunter@vailresorts.com
Phone: 9707543001
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