Interview with Sarah Weir - our longest serving staff member
5th January 2021
I’m Sarah and before I started my journey at Snozone I worked part time in a bar as a waitress, before that I’d worked for an advertising company. I had a child so went back part time and then needed something that worked better for me with a child than working in a bar late at night so I joined Snozone
What was your position here when you started?
When I started at Snozone I worked part time on reception I just did a Friday night and Saturday daytime and just served customers, checked people in, helped them get onto their lessons, gave them their tickets. We didn’t do clothing hire at that point, that was run separately by the shop next door.
How long have you been here now?
19 years I’ve been here, so I am the longest serving staff member.
How has your career progressed over the years?
From being a part time receptionist, when I had my second son I went to work in the call centre. I did 2 days rather than evenings and from there started becoming more of a supervisor rather than just a team member. I then had the opportunity to become a full time team leader which tied in with my youngest son starting school, so I became full time, working with a lovely lady called Tracy who mentored me and guided me to take more control over my career here rather than just thinking I was just a mum working part time. From there I became the customer service manager, so I was promoted and did that for 2-3 years and from there became the programme manager which is my job role now. I build the lesson programme and analyse what works, what doesn’t work, what we need more of and advise the business accordingly.
What’s changed in Snozone as a business over the last 19-20 years?
When I first started it was a very niche market, so you either skied or snowboarded, because we didn’t have many indoor ski slopes – the first one was Tamworth. So over the years we’ve seen a lot more people get involved in Snowsports than we would have if Snozone hadn’t been built. I think we attract a wide demographic of people, a lot of families now come in whereas before it was maybe people at the richer end of the scale who came to use us before their holidays, or the younger generation who came in for the freestyle nights and we’re now much more of a family market. So Snowsports are much more inclusive now, they’re more affordable and accessible to so many more people, because of places like Snozone.
What do you love about working at Snozone?
It has to be the people, the people who come in, you’re meeting different people all of the time, and obviously the staff, I’ve worked with some lovely people over the years. So it’s the people who come in, the staff, and the company; Snozone is a great company to work for.
You mentioned you have children, how has it been workwise as a working mum?
It’s been difficult at times obviously having young children and working in a business which is open 7 days a week and 364 days a year, it’s been a juggle but every working mum has to juggle with their kids. But luckily for me in school holidays, once my children were old enough they could come here and join our children’s camp, so I could bring them in to work with me, they’d go out on the slopes for the day and I would pick them up at the end of the day when I finished, so that was a great help because it meant I didn’t have to find alternative childcare for them. It also meant they learnt to ski and snowboard so they’re brilliant skiers and snowboarders which is a bonus for me in that they got to do that. The company have been very understanding and when I’ve needed to take time off they’ve allowed me to do that.
My eldest son is a ski coach now, he’s 19 he was born in 2000, the year we opened. He’s gone from running around climbing in lockers to being out on the slopes teaching the future generation of skiers and snowboarders and assisting them on their Snowsports journey, and so he’s continuing his. I also have a dad who’s a ski coach. My mum and dad both work here, mum works in the call centre, it’s a real family business, and dad works out on the slopes. When my youngest gets to that age I’m pretty sure he’ll join in as well.
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From 8th September 2021, face coverings at Snozone’s UK venues will no longer be compulsory, however, we still encourage all our members and guests to use them, for the general safety and well being of everyone.
We further request that guests and members respectfully retain social distancing measures as before, although again, this will no longer be stipulated by signage.
Whilst we acknowledge the steps taken to re-establish pre-COVID practices, we also recognise that the pandemic is still very much with us and the health, safety and well-being of our team, members and guests is and will continue to be of paramount importance.