Travel Commitment

WPSMF Ski Locker- Make your trip planning easier with a Travel Commitment policy!

Any director who has registered for their music group to attend the festival, knows about these deadlines dates:

January 17, 2020

  • the last date a director can change your group’s attendance count in any amount, without a financial penalty.
  • the date a group’s 1st 1/2 Payment of Total Festival Charges should be received by the festival office
  • the last day a group could cancel their entire festival registration, and get back any previous payments made, except the non-refundable deposit.

February 14, 2020

  • the last date a director can decrease their group’s attendance count.  An attendance change that decreases the attendance count the festival has on January 17th by more than 10% has a financial penalty.  Any request to increase a group’s attendance count, is subject to lodging availability.
  •  the date a group’s Final Payment should be received by the festival office.
  • the last last date a director can complete their online information, and their students can register online, without a penalty.

March 6, 2020

  • the last day to substitute a person with another person, with an additional $35 charge for getting travel protection plan coverage for the new person.

Hopefully, the festival’s choice of not implementing earlier, and more frequent partial payments is beneficial for you and your students. Results of fall season and holiday fundraisers, and each member’s saving for the trip should be better known in late December and after the New Year.  Since the festival is not requiring earlier payments, this could give all your students a better chance to fund raise or save throughout the fall and holiday, without automatically excluding them from the beginning.  Allowing your students and adults more time to pay you, by December and January, you should have really accurate attendance counts by the festival’s due dates listed above. 

However, the festival’s choice of not requiring payments until January and February has one major challenge: The festival has contractual deadlines to either pay or cancel arrangements with its vendors, only DAYS after our groups’ deadline dates.  So you need to plan for these now!

 Sounds easy enough right?  Almost all our music group directors have no problems meeting the deadlines we have established.  Unfortunately, some directors can unknowingly create unfavorable situations for themselves, with how they coordinate these with students. If you have not planned a student trip before, or want to avoid as many hassles as possible, take a look at these 2 topics:

1. Create and enforce a “Trip Commitment” policy with all students and adults planning to attend the festival.  Since you agreed to meet the festival’s deadlines, you must establish a policy with your students and adults to follow, so you can uphold your end of the agreement.  Plan now so you don’t get caught in the middle.  

Think about these things:

  • Explain you are implementing a trip commitment policy, so you will have an organized method of knowing exactly which persons you are planning the trip for.  This is important for planning any type of transportation, overnight lodging, and even the makeup of your own performing ensemble(s).  If some persons cannot commit to attend initially, maybe you could include them later, if it were possible, but no guarantee.  Meanwhile, you can successfully plan now, for those persons who can now commit to attend, and pay as agreed.  With a “Trip Commitment” policy in place, your task of planning  a trip will be much more manageable!
  • Think about what payment deadlines you want your students to follow.  Do not give your students and adults the same deadline as the festival’s dates!  That will have you making a late payment, incur additional charges, and possibly lose your reservations.  At a minimum, have your students and adults deadlines at least a couple weeks before each of your deadlines to pay the festival, to have time for you to prepare a check, mail it, and have the festival office receive it on time, to avoid late penalties.
  • Some directors will require all trip payments be made prior to the Christmas/ New Year’s holiday break, while some directors will require full payment immediately following the holiday break.  Why? Those directors know with 100% accuracy who’s attending or not, because it seems money speaks the loudest. This allows the director plenty of time to revise attendance counts and forward collected funds, well before any festival deadlines.   If a director allows their group members to make a final trip payment after January 17th, there is always a risk of some persons not being able to pay the remainder of what they owe.  Explain that “grown-up responsibilities” begin right now with your trip commitment policy and form.  You have a responsibility to fulfill, which also requires their responsibility.  Explain what happens, or what financial penalty occurs if anyone has to cancel for any reason. Explain that anyone who must cancel their trip, will simply lose their money paid. You can allow for them to find another substitute person, to buy them out, but that is their responsibility, not yours, if it were to occur.  A student or adult who fails to honor their trip commitment, must own up to the consequences, and you cannot be responsible for accepting everyone else’s consequences despite what challenges they may have.

On your trip commitment form, think about including these things:

  • Provide a deadline date for the trip commitment form to be returned to you, signed by both student and parent.  Require a non-refundable deposit accompany the returned form.  With this in place, you will then have a pretty accurate count of the number of students and adults to begin planning for transportation, overnight lodging arrangements , and also your own performing ensembles.
  • Provide a trip description.  Explain in detail everything the trip includes, and what it doesn’t.
  • Provide the expected total trip cost, or a trip cost range, depending on the number of persons that ultimately commit to attend (see below).
  • Explain how a full motor coach will cost each person less, when compared to the same motor coach, with fewer persons.  Some directors will limit the number of persons going on a trip to 1,2, or 3 filled bus capacities only.  Give a worst case scenario (highest possible trip cost) and best case scenario (lowest possible trip cost)
  • Provide all trip payment deadlines, and the consequences if those deadlines are not met. (For example, most directors will not refund any prior payments when a trip commitment is broken for any reason).
  • For the Winter Park Ski-Music Festival, provide a deadline all persons attending must complete their online personal registration. For us, its February 14th.  You may want to have create a deadline a week or two earlier.  You the director, can monitor these personal registrations yourself.

2. Oops!  I didn’t read this page, and I didn’t create a Trip Commitment policy.  What should I do now?

Hopefully, you have at least established payment deadlines that allow you to meet the festival’s deadline.  If not, you need to go back to your students and adults and explain you overlooked your deadlines, and as a result, things must change for them.

The easiest method for you to establish, will be to have everything (all payments, online registrations) due immediately after the holidays. This way, prior to January 17th, you know 100% who is attending, and who’s not.  You adjust your attendance count and pay for everyone in your group that has paid.  You could possibly add more persons later, through an increased attendance count, to assist those persons who might be able to pay later.  There is a very small risk of those attendance increases not being accommodated by the festival.  But at least you have not overestimated your attendance count, and not in jeopardy of paying for persons who cannot attend.

Next best method would be to require at least a 1/2 payment due immediately after the holidays.  Make it clear with all persons who have paid 1/2, that you are going to include them within the Jan 17th attendance count, and they must commit to paying the remainder, or lose the 1/2 payment already made in your penalties to the festival.

You see, it would be best to not include any persons if there were any jeopardy of them not attending.

One more note with this scenario: Even if you mailed a payment based on particular number of persons, (for the festival to receive by Jan 17th), you can still reduce your attendance count on or before Jan 17th.

Here is a Sample Trip Commitment once prepared by a director.  The festival has several more examples to share (if  desired) in copy/editable format.

Overnight Lodging Choices and Descriptions

Snow Mountain Ranch Lodge Rooms

  • Located 12 miles from Winter Park Ski Resort in beautiful Snow Mountain Ranch (Local ski shuttle does not service Snow Mountain Ranch which requires a group’s own transportation the entire stay)
  • Lodge rooms sleep 6 persons. (3 different facilities, each with one of the following: 2 queen beds + pull out sofa, or 2 queen beds + bunk bed, or 2 bunk beds + queen bed) Each room has its own private bath and WIFI. This is a more budget friendly choice IF group chaperones can share rooms with students, or other chaperones
  • Similar to a hotel room (without kitchens) with indoor corridors from lobby. Some lodge rooms (2 queen beds + pull out sofa) have mini fridge and small microwave in each room
  • Per Person Price based on Maximum Occupancy. $30 empty bed space charge per space per night may apply for adult rooms filled with less than maximum occupancy
  • One male student and one female student lodge room allowed with no empty bed space charges
  • Enjoy the amenities of Snow Mountain Ranch: huge rec center (court games, roller skating, wall climbing & more),indoor Olympic sized pool, and laundry vending
  • Discounted bus driver lodging available for groups staying at Snow Mountain Ranch
  • Optional “All You Can Eat” buffet meals can be purchased for an additional cost
    • Breakfast – $11 per person per meal + tax
    • Lunch $13 per person per meal + tax
    • Dinner $16 per person per meal + tax

Snow Mountain Ranch Cabins

  • Located 12 miles from Winter Park Ski Resort in beautiful Snow Mountain Ranch (Local shuttle doesn’t service Snow Mountain Ranch which requires a group’s own transportation the entire stay)
  • 2 through 8-bedroom cabins that will sleep up to 42 persons- all under one roof for easy chaperoning. Larger groups can use multiple cabins
  • Living area, kitchen (prepare own meals), dining area, fireplace, cable TV, Wi-Fi, and grill for the entire group
  • Per Person Price based on Minimum Occupancy. $35 empty bed space charge per space per night may apply for cabins filled with less than minimum occupancy. Ask festival staff about cabin sizes and min/max occupancies
  • Enjoy the amenities of Snow Mountain Ranch: huge rec center (court games, roller skating, wall climbing & more), indoor Olympic sized pool, and laundry vending
  • Discounted bus driver lodging available within nearby lodge rooms for groups staying at Snow Mountain Ranch

Beaver Village Condos

  • Located near downtown Winter Park. Walk into town, ride the free ski shuttle to town, and/or ride the free shuttle to the Winter Park Ski Resort
  • Condos sleep 6+ persons within 2 bedrooms and living area. 2 baths in each condo. These multiple bedroom condos will allow chaperoning adults more private separate sleeping space in a condo with students or other adults
  • Full kitchens in each condo unit for own meal preparation. Gas fireplaces and Wi-Fi in each condo
  • Main building offers an indoor pool, hot tubs, and laundry vending
  • Walk or shuttle to local restaurants, shopping, groceries or ski rental shops
  • Per Person price based on maximum room occupancy. $55 (March) or $45 (April) empty bed space charge per space per night applies for condos filled less than maximum occupancy

  • One male student and one female student condo allowed with no empty bed space charges

The Vintage Hotel at Winter Park Resort

  • A ski in/out property located just above the ski resort with a quick two- minute, free gondola ride away from Winter Park Ski Resort base, slopes and Resort Village.
  • Studios sleep 4 persons. Two double beds with no separate bedrooms
  • Each studio condo has a gas fireplace, cable TV and Wi-Fi
  • Kitchenette (convection microwave, 2 burner stove, undercounter fridge & dish washer) for preparing meals

  • Ski rentals from ski resort with convenient overnight storage at the ski base
  • Outdoor pool, hot tub, game room and workout facility
  • Conference/meeting rooms possibly available
  • Ski shuttle service available to and from town of Winter Park for shopping and groceries
  • Per Person price based on maximum room occupancy. $53 (March) or $40 (April) empty bed space charge per space per night applies for all condos filled less than maximum occupancy

Fraser Crossing/Founders Point Condos at Winter Park Resort 

  • A ski-in/out property located directly across the street from Winter Park Resort base- just a short walk to the lifts
  • Most condos are either studio or one-bedroom condos that sleep 4 persons. A very limited number of two bedrooms (sleep 6) are available
  • All condos have either kitchenettes or full kitchens for preparing meals
  • Outdoor hot tubs, gas fireplaces, cable TV and Wi-Fi
  • Ski rentals from ski resort with convenient overnight storage at the ski base

  • Ski shuttle service available to and from town of Winter Park for shopping and groceries
  • Per Person price based on maximum room occupancy. $70 (March) or $50 (April) empty bed space charge per space per night applies for all condos filled less than maximum occupancy

Zephyr Mountain Lodge Condos at Winter Park Resort

  • A ski-in/out property located directly within the Winter Park Ski Resort Village at the base lifts
  • Most condos are one-bedroom condos that sleep 4 persons. A very limited number of two bedrooms (sleep 6) are available
  • All condos have full kitchens for meal preparation
  • Outdoor hot tubs, gas fireplaces, cable TV and Wi-Fi
  • Ski rentals from ski resort with convenient overnight storage at the ski base

  • Ski shuttle service available to and from town of Winter Park for shopping and groceries

  • Per Person price based on maximum room occupancy. $80 (March) or $60 (April) empty bed space charge per space per night applies for all condos filled less than maximum occupancy

Overnight Lodging Damage Deposits

Every group must place a credit card damage deposit for the entire group during lodging check-in. The amount is $10 per person, up to a $500 maximum deposit. The damage deposit required at check-in is not included within any payments the festival collects from a group prior to attending the festival. If no lodging damages are incurred, this deposit is refunded, or held funds released.

Lodging

Now offering seven different lodging options for your group to choose from. We offer cabins, lodge rooms, and condos in order to fit any travel budget and need.

Recreation

Every package includes a choice between one recreation activity: skiing, snowboarding, downhill tubing, gondola rides, snowcat tours, or snowshoe tours.

Performance

Groups compete against same school size, ensemble type and level. Comments and ratings are provided by 3 recognized and experienced adjudicators.

Awards and Street Dance

Each festival week concludes with an exciting outdoors awards ceremony and DJ’d Street Dance at the base of Winter Park Resort.

Packages Include

Overnight lodging

Groups can choose to stay 2,3, or 4 nights with seven different lodging options. Plan to arrive and depart on days your travel schedule allows, providing you with the utmost amount of travel flexibility.

Participation in performance

Groups will compete each week with institutions of similar size and performance skill. A panel of three respected adjudicators will provide constructive feedback and score the competing groups. Each festival week ends with a highly energetic awards ceremony and DJ’d street dance.

Choice of ONE recreation activity

Every registered participant will choose between 4 days of skiing or snowboarding (including lift card, equipment rental & beginner lesson) or the ability to trade in vouchers to participate in one of our non-ski activities: downhill tubing, gondola rides, snowcat tours, and snowshoe tours.

Travel protection plan

WPSMF will purchase on behalf of every registered participant, a limited benefit, “Post Departure Travel Protection Plan.” Additional trip cancelation/protection insurance can be secured through a third-party supplier.

Resources for Registered Groups

Ski Locker

Is a website dedicated specifically for the directors of our registered groups. This online resource contains all the festival information regarding their trip. For example, you can view trip information reports, adjust attendance counts and build group rooming lists. Ski Locker also allows Directors to monitor the progress of their student’s individual online registration in Start Gate.

Learn More

Start Gate

Is the online portal for all students and adults registered to attend the festival. Participants can learn more about their recreation options, suggested clothing/items to pack and helpful information to prevent altitude sickness. All attending students and adults will be required to read WPSMF Start Gate topics and individually registering through this portal.

Learn More

WPSMF App

We have teamed up with guidebook to create an app accessible by all registered directors during their time with us at festival. The WPSMF App will allow directors to access all the pertinent information provided on Ski Locker via their smart phone while on the mountain and stay in the know. Important updates and notification to groups will be sent via the app during the festival.

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“The Winter Park Ski-Music Festival has  consistently been one of the favorite  destinations for my students. The value is  incredible, the customer service outstanding, and the musical and social experience for the students is truly exceptional.”

Thomas Rinn, Head Director
Colleyville Heritage High School Choir

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