The more I scope out epicski, read this thread, and do some HW, the more pumped I get about a move out there. Thanks ya'll.
I've been to a number of mountains/resorts in CO... Breck, Winter Park, Butte, Steamboat, and also to SLC, Jackson and Big Sky. From my experiences, I'm leaning towards summit county (Epic pass, relative proximity to Denver, feel of the mountains when I was there).
What are some opinions/suggestions out there?
Then here's a dose of reality. There are millions who are currently out of work in this country; many who have been looking for work for over a year. Most companies are still not hiring, and those that are are being extremely selective. If you throw away your existing job for skiing, there is a very real chance you will not find another one any time soon.
While your late teens and early 20's would be the time to take a skiing sabbatical, it is a risky thing to do in an economy where jobs are hard to come by. You don't have enough work experience to make you special, and you are talking about moving out West where your alma mater matters a whole lot less. Unless you have some really great contacts, you are going to have a tough time competing with the local talent pool who will be much better networked. All of that argues very strongly against abandoning your existing job until you obtain a new one.
In terms of working in the mountains, ski towns are also feeling the recession. Jobs have dried up here in Summit County. Here are the current classified listings: http://apps.summitdaily.com/utils/c2/app/v2/index.php?do=category&internetCode=7. Unbelievably, this is pretty representative of what we've been seeing for job openings for the last year or so (regardless of season). While I'm sure you could get a job with one of the resorts, you may find that the skiing opportunities won't be nearly as plentiful as you were hoping.
Whether you decide to move to a different city in search of a better "real" job or you decide to chase the dream of living in the mountains, do yourself a favor and have a job lined up before you quit the one you have. You don't want to end up unemployed because you quit your current job and couldn't find another.