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Short term work in a ski resort area?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Getting too old and established to be a ski bum for a whole season but would still like to burn some mass amounts of vacation time up in the mountains.

Is there a way to live in a ski area for four to six weeks, work part time, and ski in your off time (days off and a couple hours a day)? I don't have any special skiing skills like teaching or patroling but I am pretty versaitle otherwise.

Has anyone ever done this? Where at? What did you do? Got any ideas or suggestion?

Ty
post #2 of 13
Hi Ty,
Start teaching part time and get your PSIA level 1. Then you can "fill in" on the busy weeks, cash in your "return" lift tickets the next week.
Two busy weeks at Killington, VT (and some other eastern areas) are the week before Presidents week (Brittish Invasion) and then of course Presidents week. The third week would be a good one to just ski. This will only pay enough to cover a bunk room lodging and cover your lift tickets. Meals and beers are gonna be on your own. Without a doubt teaching gives you the most time on skiis.
post #3 of 13
Check the adds at most ski areas out west, they are looking for people all the time to fill meaningless slots (restaraunt, lift service, etc.) People get bored and drop out, so sometimes they even have things available mid season. If you start mid season (february) you will only have six weeks to work.

Try to buy your own lift pass though. If you get bored and/or drop out, your pass usually goes with the job.
post #4 of 13
Forgot to add that most employees live in on area dorm rooms, two to a room. Given that the housing is free, you can't be too picky about your roomate. But be ready for bizarre behavior and/or smells. Skiers and boarders tend to be an ecentric lot to say the least.
post #5 of 13
Viking Kaj is dead on. People sign on for working a whole season, get the pass and the dorm room, and then split when they realize they actually have to bus tables and their season pass is just for their commute to the mid-mountain cocoa stand. People vanish all the time.

It's never that hard to get a job at a ski resort, unless you are picky about the job.
post #6 of 13
Forgot to add that the trick with one of these positions is to figure out how to work the bare minimum. If you can get by with part time and still get them to let you into the dorm, this would be the ticket. Otherwise you can trade shifts to double up, but you also have to watch your time with things like lift attendant positions. I think there are some state requirements on how many hours in a row you can work in one of these positions. The alternative is that you work the regular shifts, and get a few hours in a day during lunch and break time.
post #7 of 13
Check the adds at most ski areas out west, they are looking for people all the time to fill meaningless slots (restaraunt, lift service, etc.)


If that is how your ski area of choice views is frontline employees, I would ski elsewhere. You guest service must really suck.
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the ideas so far... Keep them coming.

Ty
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by bunion View Post
Check the adds at most ski areas out west, they are looking for people all the time to fill meaningless slots (restaraunt, lift service, etc.)


If that is how your ski area of choice views is frontline employees, I would ski elsewhere. You guest service must really suck.
I'm actually very fond of the service I recieve at Copper, which is where I generally ski, even though many others on this site have issues with intrawest. I spend a fair amount of time talking to "lifties", patrollers, cafe workers, etc. There are a lot of very interesting people that take these jobs, often from foreign countries, so you can usually learn a lot from them. I also have great deal of respect for working people regardless of the position they are in. I haven't been a "lifty" before, but I have worked as a prep cook in a restaraunt, so I've walked a mile in the shoes.

When I said "meaningless" what I meant was they most people do not view these slots as a full time career option (although I bet more than a few ski area operations managers got their start as "lifties"). Rather, these are the kinds of jobs that are occupied by seasonal employees who are more interested in riding than in working their way up in the organization. I think that's what TW was looking for in his original post, but I could be wrong.
post #10 of 13
Back in 1981 (I think) I was living in SoCal working as a yacht rigger. Things got pretty slow that winter and I answered an ad for lift-ops, cafeteriea workers, etc. ant Mammoth. So I made the call, hopped in the truck and spent about 6-weeks there in Feb-March. I was about 24 and was rooming with an 18-year old kid, but we all had a good time. They put us up in an Inn they had right across from the main lodge. Only problem was they wanted you to work 5-days a week. I recieved a call from the beach and went back to being a boat bum just as spring was beginning.
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Any specific properties that hire short term? Hotels, resorts, condos?

How about restaurants, pubs, clubs, or such venues?

Ty
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ty Webb View Post
Any specific properties that hire short term? Hotels, resorts, condos?
possibly

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ty Webb View Post
How about restaurants, pubs, clubs, or such venues?
haha, GOOD LUCK. These jobs are the most cut-throat jobs in ski areas/resort towns typically.

Your best bet would be to look into the jobs with the area or properties that either they or partners own. In terms of housing, employee housing is not always free, its not here in the Boat and you do not get privacy (4 people in a 2 bedroom, plus its like $350 a month per head - not really a bargain).

Your best bet to ski a bunch too, would be to look at the areas, and do not limit yourself to instruction or patroling, often times there are other departments that can use the help. Lifties quit a lot, race/adaptive programs usually need people, ambassador programs sometimes need people, etc. There are a lot of jobs on the snow, just look around (and most should either have comp skiing while you're there or have a ratio like a day of work=the pay + 1 day skiing pass).
post #13 of 13
I think lifties are for the most expected to have a degree of expertise, and hope that the mountainwould appreciate what they do. Most days I'll meet only a handful of people working there, the guy pointing you to parking and the lifties and always thank them when I make last chair.The other services are on as needed like snowmaking, grooming customer support, lodging food & beverage. I think they don't get a square deal since they are tied down to a short mountain season, too infrequently having much more than any guest with a strong will to rack-up days.
I'm sure it'd be possible to be a casual transient and do this, I'd think more of us would give it a try if it were mapped out for us. Perhaps you can figure out something to improvise that you could take to a smattering of places to allow you that portability. i.e. a house painter could be in demand and might get the keys to some place that needs a fresh coat while they're away, somebody then lifts this thing up by creating a referral service and network it into a way of moving a bunch of painting ski bums with references in some type of rotation. If you can't stay where you paint find a ski house or hostel. plan your moves
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