“How do I register to become a NEW member of Blizzard Ski and Board School for the current season?”
Registering is easy for a new member of the school. This is true for returning members as well. The black ribbon on the top of the website has choices for Member Registration as well as for Weekly Trip Reservation. Select “Member Registration” from the ribbon, read the paragraph at the top of the page that loads and then select the SECOND choice in the drop down box – “Member Application and Fees.” For the 2016-2017 year we are attempting to place the form on-line. If it is not yet available, please use the manual process in which you must download the pdf form, fill it out and send it to the Blizzard office for processing. Once you have sent the form in, the next automated step is that you need to Create a Web Account and Establish a User Name (email, please) and password to begin using the Weekly Trip Reservation page. You are not considered a member until you have received your membership credentials from the Blizzard Office and have an on-line web account.
“How do I create a Web Account so I can sign up for a weekly Blizzard trip?”
After you have paid your membership fees to Blizzard you can sign up for a Web Account which will enable you to sign up for the weekly trips. On the black ribbon at the top of the page click “Member Registration.” Choose the FIRST selection “Existing Members – Create a Web Account.” Please fill out the next page in its entirety including the section for each child in your family that has a membership to Blizzard. You are not done until you click the “Register” button. Now you have a web account and are ready to make a weekly trip reservation using your new log in credentials. Please remember your username (email address) and password. If you forget your password, you can have a new one sent to the email address we have on file by clicking the “Lost your Password?” button under the Member Log In.
“How do I (a member) sign up for the weekly ski trips?”
On the Black ribbon at the top of the home page, choose “Weekly Trip Reservations.” As long as you are a current Member trying to sign up for the upcoming week’s trip and it is a weekday prior to 5 PM on Thursday, you can sign up for that week’s trip online. Sign up begins on Monday at 7 AM of the week of the trip. Sign up online closes at 5 PM on Thursday, so you will not be able to sign up after that time. The Blizzard office will not take reservations by telephone after Thursday at 3 PM CST. You cannot sign up for any trip before the week of the trip.
Choose your bus location from the drop down menu on the Route Selector page. Ensure that you have the right pick up point before you proceed. The next page is the Reservations page where you can sign up any or all members (from your family) for that week’s trip. You must enter the parent’s name as well as the name of each member you wish to sign up. Please be careful to complete each page before leaving that page to start another one. Each page has a button that will return you to the previous page or back to the beginning where you can start another section. The final part of the process for sign up to the weekly ski trips links to the PayPal website for payment. You DO NOT need to have a PayPal account to use it for payment. You can choose to pay the Blizzard Ski Club with a credit card, a debit card, your bank account, an e-check or your PayPal account (if you have one.) To complete the PayPal payment you must go through all of their steps. There will be a receipt from PayPal and a button to return you to the BlizzardSkiClub.com website. Do not leave PayPal before you have completed the transaction and been returned Blizzard. You must have a receipt of completion. If you do not reach the receipt page, start over and re-register until you do.
“What happens if I miss the Thursday 5 PM deadline for sign up, can I still have my child attend?”
We have created a “No Reservation” waitlist under the Information Sidebar on the Blizzard home page. To be added to this waitlist, you must go through the payment process which adds a $15 “No Reservation” fee to your payment. There is no guarantee of seat availability and parents must stay with their child at the bus stop until a seat vacancy is determined. But, it does put you on the bus list and gives you priority over other members who might show up on the day of the trip. If there is no room on a bus and you have paid the “No Reservation” fee ahead of time, the full amount will be refunded.
While I would like to say that everyone is always welcome, we do need to have a system that helps us order the right number of buses and know how many adults to have available. This means establishing a cut-off time. Thursday at 5 PM gives us enough time to either order more buses or release buses that will not be used.
The one exception to this policy is for members whose stops are other than River Forest or Lincoln Park. The secondary stops on those routes cannot be added after the Thursday 5 PM deadline. If no other member has signed up from that secondary stop i.e. Oak Brook, Schaumburg, Lake Zurich, or Edens Plaza/Wilmette, then we cannot add that stop for a late-registering member.
“What happens if I miss a Saturday for which I have a reservation? Will my money be refunded?”
The weekly trip reservation fee less a $15 “No Show” fee will be refunded. Refunds are processed on Sunday following the missed trip. Cancellations are accepted until Thursday evening at 5 PM CST through an email to the website, or 3 PM CST with a phone call to the Blizzard office. After that time, the $15 “No Show” fee will apply regardless of the circumstances. We do not hold over monies from week to week, so all missed reservations will be reimbursed.
“Does Blizzard ever Cancel a Saturday Trip?”
Blizzard weekly trips are seldom canceled. At the beginning of the season and the end of the season we have canceled for lack of snow, but we have never canceled for rain or snow storms during the height of the season. If we should cancel or you have a question as to whether we are canceling a trip please check the website on the morning of the trip.
“Why do I have to pay extra for a late reservation if you know you have room on the bus?”
The key is that we didn’t know we had room on the bus. At 5 PM on Thursday we calculate how many people have reserved seats. Only then do we know how many buses to order. If we are close to the number of seats for two buses, it is not in our best financial interest to order a third bus. Since we have to pre-order the buses we have to establish a cutoff date and time that enables us to accommodate all those who have registered within the guidelines. Once the ability to reserve a seat closes, we are now into a waitlist scenario. The numbers ebb and flow with the number of “no shows” the number of “no reservations.” There have been weeks when I have stood the entire way to Wilmot and back to accommodate the excess number of attendees. Luckily we have never been in a situation where we could fit everyone on two buses when we had ordered three. So, out of fairness, we treat everyone equally. The rule is, you log on and make a reservation by 5 PM on Thursday. If you do not show up nor have canceled prior to that time, you pay a “no show fee.” If you show up without a reservation, you pay a “no reservation” fee. And I am not exempt, I have paid “no show” fees when my daughter decided at the last minute that she was not going because of homework, or friends, or she just didn’t feel like it – at 8 PM on Friday night.
“I lost my Blizzard tag, how do I replace it (and why is it important to have it?)”
The Blizzard tag documents that you are a member of the Blizzard Ski and Snowboard Club. It has detailed information about you and your ability on the slopes. In case of an injury, it lets the Ski Patrol immediately identify you as a member of Blizzard, your age, your ability level and most importantly, your insurance information. Emergency contact information is also on the card. This is equivalent to your driver’s license if you were older than 16. We require that each member have the tag with them at all times and be able to produce it to any member of the Blizzard or Wilmot staff upon request.
At lesson time this card is used to ensure that you are assigned to the appropriate group and is used to track attendance at lessons. Blizzard uses special non-commercial punches on the cards to show progress through the levels and attendance each week at lessons. Parents can check the cards for lesson attendance information.
To replace a lost or destroyed card, you must alert a Supervisor at the Blizzard desk (or call during the week) who will request a replacement on your behalf. As the cards are manually produced we will only replace them once for a $10 charge. The best way to NOT lose a card (or leave it at home) is to place it in your ski or board boot at the end of each Saturday so it will be ready for the following week. During the day, the safest place is around your neck.
“I sponsored a new member. How do I use my credit?”
Congratulations on referring a new member to Blizzard. We appreciate your word-of-mouth endorsement of the club. Please bring the signed Credit Memo with you on a Blizzard trip and give it to your Bus Supervisor. You will be credited back the amount of the memo through your recent PayPal transaction. It is that simple.
“What happened to the ability to Bring Guests?”
After years of allowing guests to attend with members on two Blizzard Saturdays, we suspended guests starting with the 2011-2012 and future seasons while we try to come up with a better way to accommodate our growing membership. To insure an individual guest for any given Saturday involves a great deal of time and effort in the back office. An Insurance Waiver needs to be submitted and logged and we need to calculate the number of available seats prior to ordering the buses. We have accepted guests only to have angry members who were denied the ability to go due to lack of seats. In the past few weeks we have sold out of capacity even for our larger membership which would have caused us to decline guests anyway, so we decided not to have any and alleviate that particular problem. Maybe we will resume in the future, but for now, NO GUESTS.
“What’s an EPIC Pass?”
As a part of the Vail corporation, Wilmot now falls under their pass system. Vail purchased Wilmot to create an enthusiasm for winter sports in the more urban regions and draw skiers and boarders to the Rockies (and their resorts.) There are multiple ways you can pre-purchase lift tickets for all the Vail Resorts through the EPIC pass system. Having an Epic Local Pass, which so far is the same price as a season pass for Wilmot, means you can also go to all the other resorts (as long as you avoid their blackout days) for the same low price. We will be accommodating those members who purchase a full Epic Pass or an Epic Local pass with a separate weekly fee structure. We cannot do the same for any multi-day pass purchases. It makes sense to purchase an Epic Local Pass if you are intending to ski with Blizzard more than 9 times. Look for the pass from this link: Epic Season Passes