“Thanks Guy, Welcome Arthur”
After running the École de Ski Française (ESF – French Ski School) in Les Gets for 26 years, Guy Delavay is standing aside, with Arthur Hanse having taken over last March. The torch has been passed on at a time when mountain destinations are evolving.
What does it mean to be the director of an ESF?
Guy Delavay: It’s a role with a lot of responsibility and requiring a wide range of skills. A ski school works with self-employed instructors and supervisors, which means that the management of schedules and human relations is extremely important. We have 170 instructors in Les Gets, and sixty of them are permanent employees. This role is highly versatile, we have to manage people, finances, deal with communication and sales, showcase French know-how and the ESF spirit. We work alongside various local authorities, the tourist office, the ski area and ski lifts and the town hall. The ski school is the focal point of a ski resort.
Guy, what do you see when you look back over your time here?
Guy Delavay: 26 years of memories! I worked at the ESF in the era of pen and paper, then I saw the arrival of computers which certainly made things easier for us. When I look back, I also see the creation of the Les Gets ‘piou piou’ kids club with real expert know-how in terms of welcome and supervision services for children, as well as the introduction of the ESF Club for skiers to train throughout the season and reach the optimal level for their examinations. Managing an ESF is about understanding how society is evolving, and being able to adapt. That is how we created the ‘Ski Prestige’ offer: group lessons for 6 people maximum, for an even more personalised approach. In 26 years at the Les Gets ESF, our offers have always been in line with needs and the service has become more and more professional. I’ll also never forget some of the highlights such as organising the Étoile d’Or in 2006, the Challenge des Moniteurs with Avoriaz in 2007 and 2023, our torchlit descents and the Red Ski Show organised for holidaymakers in February. In a nutshell? 26 years working with my colleagues in red jumpers.
“The role of Director of the ESF really speaks to me, I am passionate about this profession”
Arthur, what new challenges will the ESF have to face in the future?
Arthur Hanse: I know that I am stepping into this role at a time of change, because the mountain has to adapt to new realities in terms of the climate and society. We will also need to work on 4 seasons diversification, come up with new approaches to showcase our expertise in the summer, and most likely rejuvenate some of our offers to attract new visitors. I have a challenging road ahead of me, and I certainly won’t be short of things to do! Guy has left an inspiring legacy behind and I will do my utmost to keep the family atmosphere he has created alive within this multigenerational school. I have been skiing at Les Gets since I was 3 years old, I grew up with the ESF and it’s now time for me to give something back.