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Job in the Ski Industry

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

Hey folks,

 

I'm a "young, bright eyed" (soon to be) college graduate, strongly considering moving out west (Colorado, Utah) to find a job in the ski industry, preferably in Communications/PR/Advertising/Marketing - whether that's for a ski resort or some other ski company...

 

But at least in the near future I won't be too picky about what kind of job it is, as long as it's close to some mountains. Even if it's not working for a ski company.

 

I was wondering if you guys had any advice on finding jobs in the ski industry. For example, I'll be graduating in May 2012, and I'm wondering if I should look for a summer job out west to get settled in there and then from there look for another job for the winter? I guess it all depends on the job situation, but just some general tips, on where to look, when to start looking, etc. It seems most of the "lower end" jobs are seasonal, which I'd be fine with, but it'd also be cool to get some kind of internship or something if any of the resorts offer those (I'm doing my own research obviously, looking into this). 

 

 

 

post #2 of 24

Try PM-ing DJAK...he's done exactly what you're looking to do.

post #3 of 24
Vail Resorts and Skico (Aspen resorts) both have websites listing all kinds of available jobs, both on-snow and off, both seasonal and year-around. You might start by reviewing the kinds of jobs available and then contacting them about what might be available to you next summer, as well as the possibility of internships.

I presume the other resort operators have similar postings, but I'm only familiar with the two.
post #4 of 24
Thread Starter 

Thanks @bjohansson, will do, and thanks @kneale Brownson. Do yo guys think I should contact HR at these resorts or e-mail the media folks directly?

post #5 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by NonstopSki View Post

Thanks @bjohansson, will do, and thanks @kneale Brownson. Do yo guys think I should contact HR at these resorts or e-mail the media folks directly?

If you go to the Vail Resorts site and fill out an application, they'll give you three options for desired jobs.  

Example:

Pick three positions you are interested in starting from most desired to least:

Retail

Ticket Sales

Ski instructor

 

Then you see how it goes through the system.  It is possible to contact HR, but I'm sure that is different for each of the Vail Resorts. 4 in Colorado and 2 at Tahoe.
 

 

post #6 of 24

If PR/marketing is what you want to do, look for jobs or internships with PR firms. A lot of outdoor-specific firms that deal with skiing and other mountain sports. The ones I'm thinking of are in Bozeman or Whitefish, but I'm sure there are some others in Denver and Salt Lake. Maybe you could set yourself up for something a little more stable than a seasonal job.

 

Resort jobs typically pay crap and are seasonal. The perks are solid, but if I were a new graduate, I'd probably focus on trying to set up a real-deal mountain life. Assuming you want to stay and not just grab a season or two.

post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeUT View Post

If PR/marketing is what you want to do, look for jobs or internships with PR firms. A lot of outdoor-specific firms that deal with skiing and other mountain sports. The ones I'm thinking of are in Bozeman or Whitefish, but I'm sure there are some others in Denver and Salt Lake. Maybe you could set yourself up for something a little more stable than a seasonal job.

 

Resort jobs typically pay crap and are seasonal. The perks are solid, but if I were a new graduate, I'd probably focus on trying to set up a real-deal mountain life. Assuming you want to stay and not just grab a season or two.



Thanks! I have been starting to compile a list of PR firms that seem to focus on ski resort clients, etc. to contact them as well. Do you remember the names of any specific ones? I've got Hula Communications so far and that's it. I also wrote down Murphy Obrien, which is a firm out of LA, but they only manage The Canyons resort in PC.

post #8 of 24

Backbone Media (.net, not .com) and Outside Media are two I was thinking of. Backbone has offices in Carbondale, CO and Jackson, WY and Outside is in Columbia Falls, MT. They each have a broad outdoor focus, but include some ski/outerwear clients. Terra PR is another Jackson firm.

 

Also check out the media section of the SIA show. Many of the press kits and press releases should have the name of the PR rep that is in charge of the brand. In some cases, it's within the company and in others its an outside agency.

post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeUT View Post

Backbone Media (.net, not .com) and Outside Media are two I was thinking of. Backbone has offices in Carbondale, CO and Jackson, WY and Outside is in Columbia Falls, MT. They each have a broad outdoor focus, but include some ski/outerwear clients. Terra PR is another Jackson firm.

 

Also check out the media section of the SIA show. Many of the press kits and press releases should have the name of the PR rep that is in charge of the brand. In some cases, it's within the company and in others its an outside agency.



Thanks Joe. As always, you're a ton of help! I've been browsing the SIA site for a while now, having trouble finding any media kits with PR contacts. But just going through who was at the show and seeing if they have headquarters in SLC/PC/Ogden/Sandy/Utah in general has been helpful.

 

At this juncture I'm even looking outside the ski industry for jobs, as long as they're in Utah.

 

Does anyone know of any job list servs to get on- either related to the ski industry or for Utah?

post #10 of 24

you guys know if there are any jobs out there for a chemical engineer in the ski industry?

post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by ucunc156 View Post

you guys know if there are any jobs out there for a chemical engineer in the ski industry?


 

What fits best to your original occupation might be along the lines of the snowmaking specialist, or maybe environmental impact engineer (how to make the resorts as low impact as possible)?  Otherwise probably you will have to apply your general engineering towards something rather then ChemE.

post #12 of 24

Don't know much or anything about chemical engineering but I'd imagine that there might be something in the wax industry for you.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ucunc156 View Post

you guys know if there are any jobs out there for a chemical engineer in the ski industry?



 

post #13 of 24

For those who might be interested--Sierra College in Truckee has a degree program in ski area management and a program in high tech mechanics (I'm blocking on the correct term) for people who have both the mechanical and the computer skills to maintain modern ski lifts--graduates are apparently much in demand.

post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by ucunc156 View Post

you guys know if there are any jobs out there for a chemical engineer in the ski industry?



The guy who founded racewax.com is a chemical engineer (or chemist, or something like that). The world can never have too much wax.

post #15 of 24

Keep in mind, despite the perception, there are more ski areas and more skiers in the East than in the West. More areas and more skiers = more jobs. Just sayin.

post #16 of 24

job.vailresorts.com

post #17 of 24

Start Haus will be restaffing next season. For anyone serious about the industry and wants to be a part of the two-time "Most Knowledgable Sales Staff" for next year, contact SierraJim or myself and we can discuss options. 

post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by freeski919 View Post

Keep in mind, despite the perception, there are more ski areas and more skiers in the East than in the West. More areas and more skiers = more jobs. Just sayin.



Also keep in mind the season is MUCH shorter in the East than West....... Just sayin!

post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

Start Haus will be restaffing next season. For anyone serious about the industry and wants to be a part of the two-time "Most Knowledgable Sales Staff" for next year, contact SierraJim or myself and we can discuss options. 


Let's talk!

 

post #20 of 24

Aspen, and I would assume the other major resorts, love hiring folks that are from out of the country or the other side of the country.  It both helps the resort seem worldly and exotic when a bunch of the employees are from New Zealand, Germany, Georgia, etc. 

 

The other benefit to them is that you are more likely to stay the whole season if it would be a huge pain in the ass for you to move back home.

 

What this means is that if you don't already live next to ski country, you probably have a better chance of landing a job than if you do.

 

Also, keep in mind that there are very few full-time, white collar jobs on the ad/marketing side.  A ski area probably has 200 lift, snow quality, and rental monkeys for every person that works for the PR department. These jobs also don't have a whole lot of turnover. Why would somebody leave?

 

If you're qualified for the job, by all means go after it, but I wouldn't EXPECT that you will find a job like that.

 

Denver and SLC have a lot of job opportunities, and it is pretty cheap to live in either town. If your goal is "I want to ski, but I also don't want to put my career on hold while I flip burgers in the ski-area kitchen," I'd either look for positions in those areas.

post #21 of 24

One other suggestion for the OP, since you're a communications guy, consider starting your own blog (if you haven't already) focusing on skiing or outdoors in general. Then, get yourself a (free) working media pass to either SIA (Denver), Outdoor Retailer (SLC) or both, depending upon where you decide to move/logistics of attending. Both shows give you great opportunities to network and meet people in the industry. As working media, you'll get to interact directly with PR reps from various firms and get your name and face out there. I think both industries are filled with laid back, like minded folks that make for quick friends - you might even find an internship or job directly.

post #22 of 24
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronism View Post

Aspen, and I would assume the other major resorts, love hiring folks that are from out of the country or the other side of the country.  It both helps the resort seem worldly and exotic when a bunch of the employees are from New Zealand, Germany, Georgia, etc. 

 

The other benefit to them is that you are more likely to stay the whole season if it would be a huge pain in the ass for you to move back home.

 

What this means is that if you don't already live next to ski country, you probably have a better chance of landing a job than if you do.

 

Also, keep in mind that there are very few full-time, white collar jobs on the ad/marketing side.  A ski area probably has 200 lift, snow quality, and rental monkeys for every person that works for the PR department. These jobs also don't have a whole lot of turnover. Why would somebody leave?

 

If you're qualified for the job, by all means go after it, but I wouldn't EXPECT that you will find a job like that.

 

Denver and SLC have a lot of job opportunities, and it is pretty cheap to live in either town. If your goal is "I want to ski, but I also don't want to put my career on hold while I flip burgers in the ski-area kitchen," I'd either look for positions in those areas.


Definitely understand that! I've noticed there aren't too many. I've been expanding my scope a lot, or at least trying. Perusing as many jobs sites as I can! 

 

post #23 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

Start Haus will be restaffing next season. For anyone serious about the industry and wants to be a part of the two-time "Most Knowledgable Sales Staff" for next year, contact SierraJim or myself and we can discuss options. 


The first time that I visited the Start Haus was at the social evening at the Start Haus during the Tahoe Gathering. What an impressive ski wall, the largest and most varied that I have ever seen. The huge stock of ski boots and boot fitting room was also very impressive and overall the place just says: "For the serious skier".

I'm retired, but work part time at a ski shop, and while I was at the Start Haus and having met you Phil, and Jim, the thought was in my head that this would indeed be a great shop to work at. So, for whatever it is worth, I am giving Start Haus a strong recommendation for someone in the ski shop business looking for work or someone looking to enter the ski industry.

 

post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanoT View Post


The first time that I visited the Start Haus was at the social evening at the Start Haus during the Tahoe Gathering. What an impressive ski wall, the largest and most varied that I have ever seen. The huge stock of ski boots and boot fitting room was also very impressive and overall the place just says: "For the serious skier".

I'm retired, but work part time at a ski shop, and while I was at the Start Haus and having met you Phil, and Jim, the thought was in my head that this would indeed be a great shop to work at. So, for whatever it is worth, I am giving Start Haus a strong recommendation for someone in the ski shop business looking for work or someone looking to enter the ski industry.

 

Thank you, please forward their info to me... philpug@starthaus.com. 
 

 

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