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Working at Big Sky - What's it like?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Me and 2 of my friends decided to work at Big Sky for the winter. I'm totally excited for it, but have a few questions...if anyone has ever worked there before, what's it like? Is the atmosphere laid back for the employees or kind of uptight? I'll be working the concierge desk. I don't mind either one, but would like to know what to expect.

Also, what is employee housing like there? The on-resort housing option says "very rustic" small dorm rooms. There are two other options that may provide a little more space, but are a few miles away from the resort...don't really know of any other options for me. Trying to keep it as cheap as possible and the lowest rent I can find for a furnished place around the area is about 1200/month for a 2 BR place. Kind of expensive for me, even when splitting b/w three people. I wouldn't imagine the employee housing options would be capable of housing three people in one room, would they? At least not comfortably..

I really appreciate any feedback, advice, suggestions, etc. Thanks guys.
post #2 of 19
I haven't worked there but skied there with a Bozeman buddy a year ago. If you don't already now, Big Sky is isolated. The peak and area are really spectacular country. The community consists of large homes and some year-round residents. The families drive their kids to Bozeman since there is no high school. I would imagine that housing options are quite limited, but you should check that out yourself. Bozeman, an hour away is where reasonable priced places to stay. I would suspect that most of the cheap housing is already taken by the MSU students in Bozeman.

Be aware that the road from Big Sky and Bozeman is dangerous in the winter, as it is in the shade most of the day along the Gallatin River drainage. Throw in bad winter drivers and lots of large wildlife, you get the picture.

I enjoyed skiing Big Sky for its huge amounts of terrain. One drawback is the fact they don't get that much snow and the gondola to the top only carries 30 people. That results in long waits for a ride to the top of Lone Peak. But if you are living and working there, mid-week sking should be sweet and uncrowded. Have fun and good luck, you should have a great winter.
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
thanks for the reply. I knew Big Sky was pretty isolated and it's a little drive to Bozeman to get what you need as far as groceries and stuff. Didn't know it was considered dangerous in the winter though...hopefully I'll survive it about once every week or two to get groceries and whatnot. thanks again.

and as I understand it Lone Peak is pretty much experts only and I definitely don't qualify as that, so no worries there!
post #4 of 19
Keep in mind that I haven't worked there since before they put the tram in (94 I think) so things may have very well changed drastically.

Employee housing was definetly "rustic". Very very small dorms that smell like stale beer and feet. And you shared a bathroom with everybody on the floor. You wore flip-flops because you didn't want your feet to acually touch the mats in the showers.

Big Sky is very remote - there are not a lot of options for housing unless you have a large trustfund. The road to Bozeman isn't too bad as far as mountain roads go, but it can get scarey if it's snowing. You should also watch out for black ice at all times.And you will want to go to Bozeman to buy any groceries 'cause the store in "town" will rape you.

That said - it ain't that bad. We got four guys together and used one room for bunks and the other for TV/everything else. Whatever you do, make sure you follow people around who know where they're going for the first month or so. That place has copius amounts of razor-sharp shale buried mere inches beneath the surface and you can totally destroy your skis in a matter of minutes.

There's an instructor here from Big Sky (who I'm pretty sure I bought a couch from) who can probably give you much more up to date info. Can't remember her username tho.
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
thanks for the input. the shale comment scares me a little though...

Had to use community bathrooms about 5 years ago for my freshman yr in college so that's no big deal.
post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jer View Post
...

There's an instructor here from Big Sky (who I'm pretty sure I bought a couch from) who can probably give you much more up to date info. Can't remember her username tho.
Little Bear.
post #7 of 19
I suppose I could contribute as I currently work at Big Sky. It's great to hear you've chosen to work here, it sounds like the applications have been really strong going into this winter, congratulations on the new job.

I grew up in Montana, so I guess my perspective on its isolation is relative, but there is plenty to do around here, I'm never bored. There is a free shuttle to and from Bozeman so that helps with occasionaly trips to Bozeman for groceries.

As far as laid back, or strict, as a company I'd say it lands in the middle, there is a strong focus with training, orientation etc. on guest service and not taking care of guests would likely introduce you to a strict environment.

However, we're in the ski business, a business focused on fun, so it's not a high pressure, corporate setting, the resort understands the best employees are the ones who are enjoying all Big Sky has to offer just like its guests. As a concierge, you'll be invited to a ton of fun (and free) things besides the skiing, like trips to Yellowstone and nice dinners at surrounding restaurants.

For housing, the resort has secured and operates three different staff housing options, I've been to them all, the nicest/newest, but furthest is the Whitewater, it still operates as a hotel. The closest is the Mountain Lodge, I think they do offer a 3 person room option, but quarters are tight. A lot of people will apply for an staff housing location and then once they're here, they might find a condo to move to with others, but $1,200 for 3 rooms sounds about right, demand is high when you're arriving.

Holler back with any questions, I started here in a similar position to concierge, and 12 years later I'm still at it, with some fortunate and well-timed promotions it's been a great place for me.

Best,

Dax
post #8 of 19
I would totally agree with everything Dax said, and would only add: there's lots of bus info at http://www.skylinebus.com/
post #9 of 19
My daughter has had a couple friends that worked up at Big Sky for the winter. They ended up splitting an apartment in the Meadow Village area, which is 6 miles from the mountain & has bus shuttle service. The advantage of staying in that section is there are a couple small grocery stores and more inexpensive eating options.
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
thanks for the tip. I'll check it out, see if there's any apts for rent in my price range.
post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by dan9124 View Post
thanks for the tip. I'll check it out, see if there's any apts for rent in my price range.
You'll probably have to share. Check the employee bulletin boards and bulletin boards around the Meadows Village (there's one outside the Blue Moon Bakery, an establishment you'll need to get well acquainted with anyway) for leads on apartments to share.
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
no worries, going up there with 2 other guys anyway. thanks.
post #13 of 19
Dax - were you ever on the Big Sky RSN board like 10 years ago, Marketing Manager of Big Sky?
post #14 of 19
Sweet.
I was about to ask this myself, haha, since I am also working at Big Sky this winter. However, I will be outside as a liftie because indoor jobs in the winter do not really work for me.
post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kcordloh View Post
Sweet.
I was about to ask this myself, haha, since I am also working at Big Sky this winter. However, I will be outside as a liftie because indoor jobs in the winter do not really work for me.
Cool. Since I'm from GA I figured I'd better stay as warm as possible, outside of skiing of course...see ya out there! I'll be the guy in the UGA hat falling on his face.
post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by dan9124 View Post
Cool. Since I'm from GA I figured I'd better stay as warm as possible, outside of skiing of course...see ya out there! I'll be the guy in the UGA hat falling on his face.
Awesome! Look forward to it
post #17 of 19
Quote:
Lone Peak is pretty much experts only and I definitely don't qualify as that, so no worries there!
In that case Big Sky would not be an ideal choice to spend one season. If you're planning on settling in for a career in ski country (in which case you'll be an expert skier eventually) and you like the overall ambience, fine. But Lone Peak very much deserves its reputation for both steeps and fall consequences (the shale comment above). So it's not the best place for the aspiring intermediate IMHO.
post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post
In that case Big Sky would not be an ideal choice to spend one season. If you're planning on settling in for a career in ski country (in which case you'll be an expert skier eventually) and you like the overall ambience, fine. But Lone Peak very much deserves its reputation for both steeps and fall consequences (the shale comment above). So it's not the best place for the aspiring intermediate IMHO.
The upper portions of Lone Peak are expert only but that section of the mountain is only a portion of the total ski area. Big Sky has a large variety of beginner and intermediate terrain. It also has a lot of great places for intermediates to work on skiing bumps, steeps and powder. It is an ideal resort for an intermediate to spend a season working on getting better.
post #19 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post
In that case Big Sky would not be an ideal choice to spend one season. If you're planning on settling in for a career in ski country (in which case you'll be an expert skier eventually) and you like the overall ambience, fine. But Lone Peak very much deserves its reputation for both steeps and fall consequences (the shale comment above). So it's not the best place for the aspiring intermediate IMHO.
I think I'll manage fine. thanks.
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