Forums: Skydiving: Tandem Skydiving:
DeadBeat Dropzones; Stop Working There!

 


SpectreDriver  (D 26287)

Jan 4, 2013, 2:26 PM
Post #1 of 17 (3684 views)
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     DeadBeat Dropzones; Stop Working There!  

As a TI and DZO, I'm going to let you all in on a little secret: Dropzones DO make money! And it's not rocket-surgery to turn a profit.

If your DZO claims he has no money to pay you, he is either a Liar or an Idiot.

I get real tired of hearing these sob-stories from staff leaving for the season and being unable to eat. Stop working for these clowns and they'll go out of business.

If they're screwing you, they're screwing the customers too, which gives us all a bad name and hinders everyone's livelihood across the Industry.

Which brings me to my first DeadBeat Dropzone: Skydive Great Lakes in Goshen Indiana. I'm up to 7 staff members (and still counting) who cannot seem to get DZO Nick Kant to pay them since they closed in October. He's a master bullshitter I must say.... And plans to change the name to Skydive Wasawee (or something) in order to escape the stigma he's built.

Know a place which can't pay its staff, fuel bill, or airplane leases? List them here. It may not get you paid, but maybe so the next guy doesn't get screwed....


obelixtim  (D 84)

Jan 4, 2013, 4:56 PM
Post #2 of 17 (3551 views)
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     Re: [SpectreDriver] DeadBeat Dropzones; Stop Working There! [In reply to]  

 
I'll go with your general message. In 1990 a TM at my DZ got 50 bucks in the hand for a jump from 9000 feet which was charged out at $170, happily paid by the punter, and the TM by me for a job well done..

23 years later, under another owner, the TM gets $35 for the same jump. The punter pays $165. The TM's do more jumps in more extreme conditions.....

The Boss lives in a mansion, drives a Porche, and whinges every day about how tough life is.

The difference these days is, the boss isn't even a skydiver, and doesn't know the meaning of the word.

Its the reason, even though I don't need them, that I've given several of these DZ owners the order of the forked finger.....

Just because you love skydiving in whatever form it comes in doesn't give you the right to be ripped off. If you are good at what you do, stand up for what <ou are worth.

* TM = Tandem Master.

I've never believed this TI bullshit. A TM is NOT an instructor of anything.. An intructor is a much superior being.....

a TI is someone who gives a rating to someone who becomes a TM.....

So there......


gearless_chris  (D 29012)

Jan 5, 2013, 6:32 AM
Post #3 of 17 (3451 views)
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     Re: [SpectreDriver] DeadBeat Dropzones; Stop Working There! [In reply to]  

I don't work for you, but I'm on the list with at least 3 others that Nick owes. I'm assuming he didn't pay his rent, and that's why he got kicked off the airport. Wawasee is another little airport in the area that he started a dz at over the summer.


spencer  (D 208)

Jan 5, 2013, 7:01 AM
Post #4 of 17 (3425 views)
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     Re: [SpectreDriver] DeadBeat Dropzones; Stop Working There! [In reply to]  

I dont think its just the Skydiving industry, its the same as Skiing instructors, Scuba instructors, the list goes on.
The same wages are being payed today as 20yrs ago, as long as somebody is happy to get there board and food and beer money, the boss will not loose any sleep. I would'nt mind my boss living in a castle and driving a ferrari with a dump blonde sat by his side, as long as he payed a fare wage, which brings the million $$$$$$ question, what do you call a fare wage to do a tandem. its not like the cost of doing a tandem jump has gone up 3 fold. Bosses will always have alot more, thats why there bosses. And if he got there by hard work and looked after his staff, good luck to him.


(This post was edited by spencer on Jan 5, 2013, 7:05 AM)


davelepka  (D 21448)

Jan 5, 2013, 7:13 AM
Post #5 of 17 (3412 views)
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     Re: [spencer] DeadBeat Dropzones; Stop Working There! [In reply to]  

Quote:
its not like the cost of doing a tandem jump has gone up 3 fold

Since when? Fuel is a huge cost, and pre-9/11 and the war in Iraq, it was a fair bit less than after those events.

Gear hasn't gotten any cheaper either. It is better than it used to be, but it still costs more in the end.

Electricity, phones, internet, advertising, credit card merchant rates, airport rent, etc have all gone up as well.

One thing that hasn't gone up (much) is the price of tandems. As far back as I can remember (about 18 years), they were always right around $200 (give or take $20).

That said, there's no excuse not to pay any employees the agreed rate for service rendered. If that rate is fair or not is another story, but if a jumper does the work, they deserve to be paid what they're owed.


spencer  (D 208)

Jan 5, 2013, 7:48 AM
Post #6 of 17 (3381 views)
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     Re: [davelepka] DeadBeat Dropzones; Stop Working There! [In reply to]  

I agree 100%


webracer  (D 24550)

Jan 5, 2013, 8:39 AM
Post #7 of 17 (3325 views)
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     Re: [SpectreDriver] DeadBeat Dropzones; Stop Working There! [In reply to]  

He should have money since he is still selling groupon deals in the area. If you guys do get paid, let me know since he has owed PSS a large sum since late 2011. His new "DZ mgr." (JF) also owes PSS lots. Nick should be easy to find if he is where I hear he is Wink.
Ultimately you have to know you will never see a dime (as I do). In the future keep in mind that if deals seem too good to be true, they probably are. Many DZOs promise staff much more than they can deliver (although most of them pay staff for work actually done).
I have learned a lesson, as you all probably have. In the future these crooks will be easier to spot.


Andy9o8  (D License)

Jan 5, 2013, 8:53 AM
Post #8 of 17 (3308 views)
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     Re: [gearless_chris] DeadBeat Dropzones; Stop Working There! [In reply to]  

In reply to:
I don't work for you, but I'm on the list with at least 3 others that Nick owes. I'm assuming he didn't pay his rent, and that's why he got kicked off the airport. Wawasee is another little airport in the area that he started a dz at over the summer.

Why don't you guys sue his ass? Or kick his ass? Or stage a picket of his DZ for the news media, etc. ??


kristenskydiver  (B 34576)

Jan 5, 2013, 10:53 AM
Post #9 of 17 (3263 views)
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     Re: [SpectreDriver] DeadBeat Dropzones; Stop Working There! [In reply to]  

Yep. Nick Kant owes me money and won't even return a phone call.. it's sad.
We will all sue him eventually, but it's good to put out this warning so nobody else will get screwed by him..


tonyhays  (D 26336)

Jan 5, 2013, 1:08 PM
Post #10 of 17 (3181 views)
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     Re: [SpectreDriver] DeadBeat Dropzones; Stop Working There! [In reply to]  

Funny story I heard about a similar situation with a DZ in New Zealand. Owner wouldn't pay the seasonal staff their last paycheck, so the staff walked out with his tandem rigs. Paychecks were written immediately.


SpectreDriver  (D 26287)

Jan 5, 2013, 3:54 PM
Post #11 of 17 (3084 views)
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     Re: [tonyhays] DeadBeat Dropzones; Stop Working There! [In reply to]  

That probably didn't happen in this case only because he uses Strongs!


thedude911

Jan 5, 2013, 4:43 PM
Post #12 of 17 (3042 views)
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     Re: [SpectreDriver] DeadBeat Dropzones; Stop Working There! [In reply to]  

Depending on how much you are owed, small claims court. If you have any documents pertaining to your employment terms there, jump logs, etc then you already have an advantage. It's worth the effort to get your money and run a scum bag out of the community.

http://www.nolo.com/...-how-much-30031.html


Alternate solution, kick his ass.


(This post was edited by thedude911 on Jan 5, 2013, 4:45 PM)


baronn  (D 22387)

Jan 5, 2013, 7:18 PM
Post #13 of 17 (2955 views)
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     Re: [SpectreDriver] DeadBeat Dropzones; Stop Working There! [In reply to]  

I attempted to organize this 5 yrs ago and I get booted off the forum. Funny how time (and getting Fucked) by enough of these dirtbag DZO's changes things. I like the New Zealand response.


nickant  (D 30996)

Jan 5, 2013, 10:53 PM
Post #14 of 17 (2851 views)
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     Re: [baronn] DeadBeat Dropzones; Stop Working There! [In reply to]  

To all,

I will make this fairly brief but at least put everything correct. One, yes we do have some outstanding debts to instructors from the end of the 2012 season. To whomever made the comment DZOs get rich, well there may be some truth to that down the road but I assure you there is no profit to be made the opening season of a dropzone. Setup costs and initial operation costs are very high those first years. That is not in anyway meant to be an excuse nor is it a justification. Just stating we lost money on this opening year and am actually working winter jobs to help square up some company debts.

That said, all and I mean ALL of the instructors we are indebted to I have insured I will take care of. While that is not exceptable to my terms either, it is the situation that came about as the season ended. The rumors concerning the airport are completely incorrect, there is no debt owed to the municipality. Nor any back debt for fuel. Also, there was no "being kicked off" the airport as we are still there now as we speak, except it's winter in the midwest and we are not open. It is true we do not have a lease there for 2013 but that is because we already had locked down a different location down the road. There were two owners at the location in question and that was a serious cause of many issues. Also on a complete side note, the new location is near a beautiful lake versus farm fields. Not exactly a hard choice.
But back to the issues at hand, yes I openly acknowledge there is outstanding debts from late last season. We are working to correct those issues and continue on, companies will fall behind from time to time and it does require immediate attention which it is receiving. Anyone whom knows me throughout my skydiving career should know I have always stood by my word. This is no different, a situation got out of control, it was caught, corrected. Unfortunately the season came to an end which makes squaring up losses with profit a bit complicated.
I have worked for some deadbeat DZOs myself and vowed never to get in that situation. My last DZO promised a salary then as the season came to a slow point took away that salary but expected me to stay on for free. So I get both sides of the stick. Our operation, in hindsight, did make some errors but this is all part of a very steep learning curve in an industry where "as the prop turns" equates to money being burned. In conclusion, this issue is not being ignored nor left to the side. But there is not an overnight cure. One thing to keep in mind though, for all of the instructors whom want to put there opinions in without facts, the quality of staff and their work ethic make or break our profit margins. Just as a lessoned learned, if you are one of the guys who stand around and don't want to jump because there are 12 knot winds or there is a broken layer at 5000 and we (owners/ managers) are forced to fly light because of that, you do not in any way help the situation. I have heard from numerous TIs that they want a small staff so they can work more, so I give in to that request, just to have half of them sit out in marginal conditions. Guess what guys (and girls) it's called a job for a reason. Non of this justifies us getting behind, but when your staff doesn't want to work cause the weather isn't perfect but want to stand around and complain cause checks took and extra day or two, well you need to rethink your career choice. And before someone asks the obvious, no we were not at all behind with payroll when the instructors didnt want to work, so they cannot say that. So to everyone who wants to jump on the bandwagon and attack a dz who ran into some financial issues at the end of the season, be my guest. I know that these debts are in the process of being settled and for the most part the people involved have all been kept in the loop whenever they ask. As I said from the get go, I'm not happy or proud to be stuck in this situation, but all I can do moving forward is fix the mistakes, learn our lessons, square are debts and move forward. Feel free to email me directly if you feel the need to voice your opinion, our company is not going anywhere and respects all imput you can provide.

Nick Kant
nick@skydivegreatlakes.com


SpectreDriver  (D 26287)

Jan 5, 2013, 11:13 PM
Post #15 of 17 (2849 views)
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     Re: [nickant] DeadBeat Dropzones; Stop Working There! [In reply to]  

Good speech. Start paying some folks and the portion of this thread with your name in it will be deleted.

Running a dz is pretty damn simple: money comes in (actually it pours in). Money goes out to the resources which make it happen. (yes it often pours in that direction too). Whatever's left over is yours. But it happens in that order. Otherwise you fall into one of the 2 categories previously mentioned.


SEREJumper  (D 29555)

Jan 5, 2013, 11:29 PM
Post #16 of 17 (2841 views)
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     Re: [nickant] DeadBeat Dropzones; Stop Working There! [In reply to]  

Quote:
I know that these debts are in the process of being settled and for the most part the people involved have all been kept in the loop whenever they ask.

It sounds like you have a communication problem. If you owe money to someone, keep them up to date on the situation and your progress/plan/timeline to repay them. Keeping all the info to yourself, making THEM call you or not returning their calls is what started this thread in the first place and makes you look like (or actually are) a thief.


Premier slotperfect  (D 13014)

Jan 6, 2013, 10:13 AM
Post #17 of 17 (2684 views)
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     Re: [SpectreDriver] DeadBeat Dropzones; Stop Working There! [In reply to]  

We normally frown on DZ politics here.

On occasion it is beneficial to warn all skydivers of an individual or business entity that has a history of dishonest business practices to prevent further pain, but in this case that purpose is not served because the business is now closed.

The fundamental point made about skydiving instructors being paid what they are worth is a good one, so the thread stays. Both sides of this issue have had a chance to chime in here, so we are going to call it a conversation and lock the thread.



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