The year was 1995, the same year the Creekside Gondola took its first passengers up Whistler's historic Dave Murray downhill and when you could buy a WB lift pass for $40! But more importantly, it was the year a community called 'YES' was born. PJ O'Heany, a ski bum from Torquay, Australia started the YES brand in the growing ski town of Whistler, Canada. He was keen, personable and a bloody good skier, it was a recipe for success!
With a vision of offering the snow sports market a fresh alternative, PJ and his small team set out with determination to build a business renowned for providing a professional personalized services, developing a high level of training for both instructor and improvement clientele and multi week options for the whole ski season. Fast-forward 20 years and it’s these same principles which have given YES the slogan 'often imitated, never equaled' …it just works!
YES offers Improvement programs in four countries around the world with PJ still at the helm as Managing Director. YES boasts a successful recipe for the ultimate improvement training, offering clients not only world-class instruction but also an impressive off-snow social atmosphere. YES has grown to become the largest and longest operating training company in the world. Our clients travel to different corners of the globe each year just to ski with the YES team. A week on the YES program and you’re not only a stronger, more confident skier, you’re also leaving with a bunch of new snow friends. It’s the YES way.
With programs offered in Canada, New Zealand, Japan and Europe the YES team is always on the move. With over 30 possible ski weeks annually with YES, there is certainly ample opportunity to get out on snow with the team.
Counting just our Instructor course participants alone, YES has certified over 3,500 guests to gain their CSIA (Canadian ski Instructor Alliance) or CASI (Canadian Association of Snowboard Instructors) instructor Level 1 and 2 certifications, along with numerous other qualification courses including Avalanche awareness AST 1 & 2, CADS (Canadian association for disabled skiers), CSCF (Canadian Ski Coaches Federation) course and Park Training. Having the flexibility to cater to the GAP year market as well as the career breakers, what ever your style, YES has the expertise to cater to all desires.
PJ attributes the company’s success to a number of things, but there’s one which stands alone as the cornerstone. Our people. “The passion of our people is amazing. Their commitment to being the best at what they do every year, even after two decades, continues to impress me on a daily basis”.
Most of the YES team have been with the company for over a decade. The instructors are dedicated to the YES program and clients. Their knowledge and teaching practices is what sets them apart from the others. Anyone can ski around with a group of people, but can you see the changes needed in just one run? Well the YES pros can. Their number one mission is to improve our clients’ skiing or snowboarding in a fun and relaxing atmosphere, whilst building confidence when needed. Breaking into the appropriate ability level is key, from intermediate to advanced, there is always something to learn with YES. The ultimate reward for the pros is to have someone tackle terrain by the end of the week that they never thought possible. Powder, steeps, bumps, chutes, where you see obstacles, all YES sees is opportunity.
Belinda Grant, Sales and Marketing Manager for YES joined back in 2008. "I am continuously blown away by the wonderful culture that PJ has built around YES. Clients come year after year to ski with PJ and his team. The whole YES experience offers a chance for our clients to continue to grow in a sport that they love, whilst reuniting with old friends and new, year after year. It’s really like a big family."
YES is always looking at ways to evolve. The instructor programs are always changing with new courses being added to give YES the extra edge. In 2012 YES became the first operator in North America to offer the BASI (British Association of Ski Instructors) certification, fulfilling a dream of PJ's for many years. He wanted to offer the students the chance to become well-rounded, internationally qualified instructors and to experience the teaching methodology of both the Canadian and the British techniques. This increases the instructors’ overall knowledge and teaching capabilities.
It’s with great excitement that we celebrate 20 years of business and thank everyone who has been involved with YES. We would like to thank every client, employee and partner for making YES the success it is. We look forward to making more memorable moments over the coming years with our clients, and promise to continue to deliver on YES’s founding principles. Cheers to 20 years!
YES isn't just a company, it’s a community.