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Living out west in a ski town or small one near?

post #1 of 65
Thread Starter 

I am a college student currently In NC and snow isnt great in the mtns this year but have been dying to get out west for awhile. My parents use to be huge ski people and went out there alot me and my sis have been on and off through our years but about 3 years now going up and down the east coast to places me and my friends are wantin to go out west when we graduate in the next year or so for maybe a winter and live and work and ski. The classic ski bum. I would like to know the best places to live like cheapest but not a dump. Some place that would be fun for me and another friend of mine or maybe 3 or 4 people of mine. Whats a good town since we have all been growing up in a small town outside of Charlotte. We would like something cheap but close to alot of the slopes. Dont mind driving but preffer walking distance or driving like 20 min or less. As well as how is the night light and etc. for young adults like us possibly settling down there and findin someone to be with. Snow Bunny perhaps. Ive heard all things but was wanting what yall suggest. As well as what places and how to get the jobs since being across the country.  If suggestions list top 5 or 10 and pros and cons for them thanks.

post #2 of 65

The best ski town is the one where you can find a job and a place to live.

 

If you are trying to be a ski bum someplace, I would start by applying for ski area employment. If they hire you, you should also be eligible for employee housing, which is probably your only option to find someplace affordable to stay being somebody completely new to town.

 

Otherwise, at the major ski towns, you will be fighting with all the other locals that are already part of the community for the jobs, and competing with 40 year olds for part time barista work at a coffee shop, while trying to figure out how the hell you will afford a $2,000 a month studio apartment, even with 4 other people.

 

My brother got on as a liftie at Aspen about 8 years ago. He stayed in crappy employee housing that was still much better than anything he could afford on his own, and then when he qualified for subsidized housing for the town, he got a job plowing snow and moved into a nicer studio for a somewhat reasonable rate. There is always a waiting list for affordable subsidized housing and yoy will have a very tough time getting into it your first year. Even in subsidzed housing, prepare to still be broke as shit.

 

Otherwise, You may want to look at someplace like Glenwood Springs. 1 hour from Aspen, one hour from Vail, 20 minutes to Sunlight. Or Leadville, which is over the hill to both Vail and Summit county, although you will miss plenty of powder days when the passes close.

 

There is no real roadmap for you to do this, as it takes LUCK. You will be competing with a lot of other people for the limited jobs, and then competing again for the limited housing.

 

post #3 of 65
Thread Starter 

What about other cities and states because all i hear is vail and aspen and vail i know is expensive on its self and very crowded. i read somewhere and it said that if worked at restraunt then work nights and weekends and be fine on pow days and when ever for some am and day skiing. But isnt bad to work at resort so you can ride for free but might miss good days to ride. So i was seeking for me and my friends our best options and where to start looking.

post #4 of 65

Been quite a few threads like this over the years, so searching might help, but you could also consider Salt Lake City, Reno, and Bozeman if you want at least some exposure to (small to mid) city life.  All 3 have Universities, so you might find the type of social scene you are looking for.  

 

As Anachronism said, lots of good resorts if you have a job and housing including T-ride, Crested Butte, Breckenridge (more crowded than Vail imo- why is everyone saying that Vail is the most crowded resort around?) Steamboat and Park City.  Could even consider places like Sun Valley or a few of the Montana resorts.  

 

Places like Jackson, South Lake Tahoe, Truckee, Frisco, Dillon, and Silverthorne are probably more like towns than cities, but do tend to have more amenities than normal towns due to their relative close proximity to nearby resorts.  I haven't been to Durango and Sand Point but there are a number of off the radar places like this that may or may not have the social scene you are looking for.

post #5 of 65
Thread Starter 

thanks yes i kinda wanna stay away form vail just pricey. Its good but pricey i hear and crowded. I dont mind living in small town but Im wanting something affordable if split with 2 or 3 or 4 people even possibly just one being me. Ive never been out west but parents have. I was also looking for some night life like for young adults and meet new people. I live in a small town now and outside a big city and near a mid city. So the three things i and we are looking for is good place overal in the criteria i stated. Cheap , fun  as in night life and good snow and slopes around preffer 20 min or less maybe even 30 but also how easy is it for jobs and also what do you suggest working at a bar or restraunt or the resort it self like liftie etc. How since living across country can i apply for know where to look.

post #6 of 65

If you want cheap living, great skiing, the best inter-mountain west snow pack, and the amenities desired, try Spokane, WA/Couer D'Alene, Id (5 resorts in an hour and a half drive), the Silver Valley in Idaho (out of Kellogg, which is close to Silver Mt. and Lookout Pass), and Sandpoint, Idaho (which is right next to Schweitzer). Not only do these 3 areas offer great winter activities and destinations, but off-season is just as good...with great backpacking, kayaking, and wild areas/mountain ranges. The access is easy and there are so many places to see and enjoy. Been living in the Inland Northwest most of my life...been to most other regions for adventures, but they will never compare to what we have here....shhh...secret!

post #7 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jqhall627 View Post

thanks yes i kinda wanna stay away form vail just pricey. Its good but pricey i hear and crowded. I dont mind living in small town but Im wanting something affordable if split with 2 or 3 or 4 people even possibly just one being me. Ive never been out west but parents have. I was also looking for some night life like for young adults and meet new people. I live in a small town now and outside a big city and near a mid city. So the three things i and we are looking for is good place overal in the criteria i stated. Cheap , fun  as in night life and good snow and slopes around preffer 20 min or less maybe even 30 but also how easy is it for jobs and also what do you suggest working at a bar or restraunt or the resort it self like liftie etc. How since living across country can i apply for know where to look.



What you are basically saying is that you want to live at a place with all the trappings of a glitzy ski town (very close to slopes, nightlife, etc.), but you somehow want it to be affordable too.


It just is not very realistic. Many more people than you want to live a few minutes from the slopes, and they have more money then you to afford to pay for it, and thus, housing prices pretty much anywhere 20 minutes from the slopes will be very pricery. You just aren't going to find affordabbility around a ski town.

 

Living in Salt Lake City is probably a good comprimise, but its not going to be a 20 minute drive to the slopes from there, at least from what I hear- traffic can get very nasty.

 

You can also look at living in a town close to some of the quality smaller ski areas. Salida is a neat little town, and Monarch is great skiing about 25 minutes away. But the town goes to sleep at 9:00, and it will probably be harder to find a job their than at a true resort town. Durango has DMR nearby, and Durango is certainly cheaper than Aspen, but is still pretty pricey to live there. Gunnison is cheaper than living in Crested Butte, but still pretty close. Nederland is pretty close to Eldora.

 

But, again, the sleepier town that you can afford to live in is the town further away from the slopes and doesn't have a lot of job opportunities for a ski bum. The closer towns will be more expensive. There isn't some magical place where this isn't the case, your best bet is to throw a whole ton of job applications out at the ski areas and get a job (which hopefully opens you up to some housing) before you go.

 

Another protip: Resorts like Aspen and Vail like to act exotic and hire folks from outside Colorado.  Aspen puts where everybody is from on their nametags, so it seems more exotic to guests when the person serving you at the reastaurant is from New Zealand.  The other advantage is you are less likely to leave mid-season if you would have to move back across the country. My brother grew up in Colorado, and spent years applying to everywhere in Colorado, never got a response. He moves to Georgia, decides he wants to come back, starts applying, and Aspen hires him right off.  Having a mailing address in NC when you apply is not a bad thing.

 

 

 

 

 

post #8 of 65

I soon as I saw the title I thought Glenwood.  Sand Point, Whitefish, Girdwood, Huntsville and a bunch of others would all be good.  Don't wait, just go.  Even if you have to go alone. 

post #9 of 65

If you search here on a phrase like - ski bum advice - you should get some useful threads such as:  http://www.epicski.com/t/103800/in-search-of-a-lot-of-ski-bum-advice

 

Possible candidates:  besides all the big name resorts like Park City, Whistler, Aspen, Vail, Jackson Hole, Steamboat, etc, some other towns you could look at are South Lake Tahoe, CA near Heavenly, Frisco, CO near Copper Mtn & Breckenridge, or Whitefish, MT near Big Mtn/Whitefish.

post #10 of 65
Thread Starter 

thanks guys just i know it will be pricey but just tryin to make some money and meet some people and ski. live the dream.

post #11 of 65
Thread Starter 

Anything about park city better there then aspen/or vail

post #12 of 65
Thread Starter 

Anything about park city better there then aspen/or vail

post #13 of 65

It's a lot cheaper, at least for real estate. I'd assume rentals are cheaper too. Also, it has three resorts within minutes of each other and the rest of Utah's major resorts within an hour or so. Also, it's 45 minutes from a major international airport.

 

Utah is your best bet for affordable standard of living + easy access to many resorts. Unlike in other ski states, you can live in the city or suburbs (read: cheap) and be within ~20 or 30 minutes of the mountains.

post #14 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jqhall627 View Post

Anything about park city better there then aspen/or vail


There are a lot of old condos on the free Park City bus route that might offer reasonable living arrangments.
 

 

post #15 of 65

Problem with PC, the ski resorts aren't linked by a common pass.  So your stuck skiing one marginal hill or your driving almost an hour to get to a good one?

post #16 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

Problem with PC, the ski resorts aren't linked by a common pass.  So your stuck skiing one marginal hill or your driving almost an hour to get to a good one?


 

I wouldn't say Park City is marginal. It's not the pride of Utah, but it can compete with anything in Summit/Eagle County and other places.

post #17 of 65

Pick a place and get out there. It's that simple. Just go. You'll find a way to work it out 

post #18 of 65
Thread Starter 

What would be the best jobs at restraunt or bar or on the mtn somewhere the ski shop rentals etc. I read some good review bout living in steamboat anyone on steamboat anyone?

post #19 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

Problem with PC, the ski resorts aren't linked by a common pass.  So your stuck skiing one marginal hill or your driving almost an hour to get to a good one?


Out of curiosity, does anyone know what sort of reciprocity there is for employees of the 3 PC areas, the rest of Utah and places like Tahoe?  1 nice thing about working at say Copper Mountain or almost any of the non-Vail CO resorts, is that you get the "Real Deal" and can get comped day passes to all the other resorts that participate by being an employee at any of them.

 

post #20 of 65
Thread Starter 

anyone know about steamboat co? i was thinkin there or like park city area and do they have good night life?

post #21 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jqhall627 View Post

What would be the best jobs at restraunt or bar or on the mtn somewhere the ski shop rentals etc. I read some good review bout living in steamboat anyone on steamboat anyone?



 I just made my first visit to Steamboat earlier this month.  Even though I did not see it with its best snow coverage it has a very nice mix of resort activites and real town life.  It stands alone as kind of an independent community and I got a comfort factor there that was rather unique in the 70+ US ski areas I have visited in 45 yrs of skiing.

post #22 of 65

Hotels need bellhops, the tips are pretty good.  Eateries and gear shops do offer employee discounts, but a good hotel feeds their staff.  Snow shoveling can get lucrative, but you will be working as the shredders eat up the precious pow.  Guide services for snowmobile tours, horsie rides, or other outings is a fine job too.  Look up the local radio station, and community bulletin board for cheap rentals, have your references ready.  And meet the folks around, our Elks lodge has turkey bingo, a traditional rite of passage that makes it easy to meet influential locals who can make life better.

 

I also recommend Mountain Gazette, It may not have hot tips on places to rent, jobs, or powder stashes, but it does have a lot of good stories.

 

As far as opposite sex action, good luck.

 

The ladies have the numbers advantage, but alas for them the odds may be good, but the goods are odd.

 

There is nothing to stop you, no matter how hungry you get, threadbare your cloths, nor how much it is a struggle to get by, you would still be doing these things in NC if you move out from the parents house, but you will be doing this where 95% of the population only fantasizes about living.

 

PS Frisco is off the interstate, with the Utah desert hours west, and the Summit resorts surrounding home.  Whitefish is fine if isolated, Glacier NP is next door, but the locals tend to see fun involving triggers, throttles, and fishing rods.  Sand Point is very nice indeed, the people are super nice, the drivers are courteous, and fast, Both WF and SP are a stones throw from the Canadian areas too.

 

Don't know much about the Cali areas, but I bet they are nice.

 

Don't forget about Jackson, it is very cold if that is an issue.

post #23 of 65
Thread Starter 

yes i come from a small town with some life but also have some big stuff near us so just looking for great pow good place to work since never been out there and just go out west see what they got. havent heard anything but great things. i was leaning toward park city or steamboat. what would be the best jobs on the mtn or in town doing something and do they have employee housing?

 

post #24 of 65

Steamboat is a GREAT town (great people) don't know about the cost of living, but a TRUE ski town.      Anywhere in summit county would be great (great people), but if you want to live cheap an don't mind driving 45 min to all the I70 resorts, then you may want to check out Idaho springs, colorado (some great people, some not so great and not really a ski town, more of a mining town...).  It's about mid way between Denver and the ski areas (depending on which ski area).    You may also want to check out Winterpark, a friend of mine lived outside of winterpark at a small town (if you can call it that)  called tabernash, or check out Fraser, which is even closer to winterpark, but may be more $.      Also check out Crested butte, Telluride areas. 

post #25 of 65
Thread Starter 

yes i come from a small town with some life but also have some big stuff near us so just looking for great pow good place to work since never been out there and just go out west see what they got. havent heard anything but great things. i was leaning toward park city or steamboat. what would be the best jobs on the mtn or in town doing something and do they have employee housing?

 

post #26 of 65
Thread Starter 

thanks im guessin park city area best bet

 

post #27 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jqhall627 View Post

yes i come from a small town with some life but also have some big stuff near us so just looking for great pow good place to work since never been out there and just go out west see what they got. havent heard anything but great things. i was leaning toward park city or steamboat. what would be the best jobs on the mtn or in town doing something and do they have employee housing?

 


I like skiing in Utah, but other than that.... 

 

post #28 of 65

I like skiing in Utah, but other than that....

 

...it has a bunch of advantages over every other ski state in the US. Not that I'm partial or anythingbiggrin.gif

post #29 of 65

Sure, we have hunters, it's hard to get a house built in the fall.  And we certainly have a fair number of ski bums making their summer income by being fishing guides, but frankly, you can live here for NINE YEARS and not run into any of these people on a regular basis if that's not your bag.  (Just don't read the Daily Interlake....  That might drive you to want to shoot the editor...)  People here have a wide range of interests and you can find meth heads, people with butlers and six houses, ski bums, retired golfers, physical therapists, all here.  But it is NOT THE BACK OF BEYOND WHERE EVERYONE IS SOMEONE ELSE'S KISSING COUSIN.  Clearly you came here and didn't pay an ounce of attention.  You saw some deer heads hanging up somewhere or something and assumed that we all run around shooting everything that moves and has four legs.  But not everyone hunts to the exclusion of other interests.  More than half of the people in Whitefish, if not more, are transports from elsewhere.  Most are quite friendly and not Ted Kaczynski.  We may be 2.5 hours from the nearest Interstate, but we have an airport, you don't need a dog sled to get here.  We actually have internet access, believe it or not.  Great restaurants, a theater, an involved community that cares what it becomes going forward.  And at least we are a REAL TOWN and not some glorified shopping mall like most resorts!!!
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buttinski View Post

 

 

  Whitefish is fine if isolated, Glacier NP is next door, but the locals tend to see fun involving triggers, throttles, and fishing rods.  



 

post #30 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

Sure, we have hunters, it's hard to get a house built in the fall.  And we certainly have a fair number of ski bums making their summer income by being fishing guides, but frankly, you can live here for NINE YEARS and not run into any of these people on a regular basis if that's not your bag.  (Just don't read the Daily Interlake....  That might drive you to want to shoot the editor...)  People here have a wide range of interests and you can find meth heads, people with butlers and six houses, ski bums, retired golfers, physical therapists, all here.  But it is NOT THE BACK OF BEYOND WHERE EVERYONE IS SOMEONE ELSE'S KISSING COUSIN.  Clearly you came here and didn't pay an ounce of attention.  You saw some deer heads hanging up somewhere or something and assumed that we all run around shooting everything that moves and has four legs.  But not everyone hunts to the exclusion of other interests.  More than half of the people in Whitefish, if not more, are transports from elsewhere.  Most are quite friendly and not Ted Kaczynski.  We may be 2.5 hours from the nearest Interstate, but we have an airport, you don't need a dog sled to get here.  We actually have internet access, believe it or not.  Great restaurants, a theater, an involved community that cares what it becomes going forward.  And at least we are a REAL TOWN and not some glorified shopping mall like most resorts!!!
 



 


It's funny how quickly people make sweeping ill-informed presumptions and generalizations based on their one band camp trip.

 

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