The 8,000-medal man.

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Intro

He coordinates 250 ski instructors. His ski school chalks up over 200,000 hours of lessons each winter. Whenever a problem arises, he is quickly on hand to sort it out. His reward is seeing the smiles on the faces of 8,000 happy children, each of whom he presents personally with a medal. Noldi Heiz is the head of Switzerland’s largest ski school.

Arosa

Situated at the far end of the Schanfigg valley at 1,800 metres above sea level, Arosa is one of the oldest winter sports resorts in Switzerland. Now linked with Lenzerheide, the ski region boasts 225 kilometres of pistes.

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Overview
Arosa
Graubünden
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Arosa, Skischule_13

Pulling out all the stops for guests and Arosa

Noldi Heiz (58) hails from Flawil in Toggenburg (St. Gallen). At the helm of the Arosa Ski School for the last 22 years, he sees himself as a service provider for the guests and sits on both the board of directors for Arosa Tourism and the organisational committee for the Ski Cross World Cup.

Arosa, Skischule_7
Our philosophy: we are Arosa’s official hosts.
Noldi Heiz

Hard at work behind the scenes

While Arosa slowly awakes and most of the holiday guests are still asleep, Noldi Heiz is already up and about. The head of the ski school visits all the ski school locations in the village before coming into the office – and with the size of Arosa that takes quite some time. After that, he can be found at the heart of the action: Is everything running smoothly at the desk? How is the ski instructors’ workload looking? Where is the bear costume? Is the equipment for the ski race ready? Where can grandparents pick up their grandchildren after the lessons? Whenever there is a problem in the day-to-day running of the ski school, Noldi Heiz is the man to sort it out. 

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A constant stream of new ideas

From opening the ski school’s own crèche, offering hotel accommodation with complimentary ski tuition and designing customised refresher lessons, through to digitalising the booking system, including the launch of an app for the ski instructors, Noldi Heiz is constantly introducing new innovations to take the ski school into the future. All the while ensuring that guests receive a quality product and great service to make their winter holiday one to remember.

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200,000 hours of lessons per winter

The area where the ski pupils gathered until just a short time ago now resembles an anthill. On peak days, up to 200 instructors are out on the slopes giving lessons. The Arosa Ski School is one of the largest in Switzerland. The place is teeming with children all looking for their ski class, while parents left carrying ski poles and helmets follow behind. Ski instructors offer kind words to encourage the shy youngsters and joke with the cheekier ones. And at the heart of all the action is Noldi Heiz, helping the last children find their class and conferring with the instructors.

  • Four offices are managed by the ski school – the same as the number of children’s ski areas.
  • 250 ski instructors are on duty in Arosa each winter season.
  • 8,000 medals are presented at the children’s ski races each winter.
  • 220,000 hours of teaching are delivered by the Arosa ski instructors each season.
Arosa, Skischule_8

The highlight for all: the ski race at the end of the week

Start hut, stop watches, speakers. Slalom poles, spectators lining the route. Everything in the traditional end-of-week children’s ski race is set up just like “the real thing”. This is the moment that the children, ski instructors and parents have all been waiting for. The highlight of the week. Over the course of the week, the class has grown into a really close-knit team. All the children want to show off their newly learned skills – to each other, to their ski instructor and to their parents.

Seeing the children’s eyes light up when they receive their medal is the best feedback we can receive.
Noldi Heiz

Presenting the medals is the head’s job.

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The children’s ski race is the personal highlight of the week for the head of the ski school too. Whatever the weather is doing outside and regardless of how many tasks are sitting waiting for him on his desk, he makes sure he is out there presenting the medals. He has a little story ready for each class, encourages the ski instructors to say a few words and jokes with the parents. 

Graubuenden, winter, mountain, skiing (Alpine skiing), snowshoeing, snowboarding, chair lift, ski lift, cable car

Noldi Heiz enjoys these moments of close contact with his ski instructors, the children and their parents, and senses that he and his team are doing a good job. When he bumps into children still wearing their medal at a restaurant in the evening, he knows that it will serve as a lasting reminder of their winter holiday in Arosa. And that they are very likely to come back.

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Experiences