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Career opportunities at ski resorts, North America...

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

In many EpicSki threads about employment, the discussion usually centers around jobs in the community around the ski area or resort.  Can anyone shed some light for me on full time jobs for the properties themselves?  Sales, Marketing, PR, Food & Beverage?  Just wondering how the structure of the property operates.  Large full time staff or a small full time group that manages seasonal employees? 

post #2 of 6

If by properties you mean the resorts then:


Small full time year round staff that manages seasonals is how it works. 


Full time year round staff are those that get promoted up from full time seasonals.  Usually takes a few years of full time seasonal to get a full time year round role.  Even then it is pretty shaky.  After a while thou you learn you do better (financially) by having a winter job (at the resort) and then an unrelated summer job, like at a golf course.  If you are lucky both in the same town.

post #3 of 6

My best bud and his wife work for a large Colorado ski resort in food & beverage.  He's a chef.  At thier place at least, only the very top management is year round.  They're both trying really hard to get year round emplyment but to no avail since there are only a handfull of posisitons.

I've always kinda posed this same question in relation to the industries around the resorts. (i.e. in/near a resort town but not part of the resort)

post #4 of 6

There are many, many different kinds of structures to resorts.  I've been full-time, year-round for over a decade at various resorts and a few others part-time on the side.  Just to compare a few to give you an idea:


Copper Mountain used to be about 250 year-round, with more in other businesses that were vaguely attached to the resort, such as the real estate team and the "Village at Copper".  In the winter it swelled to around 1500 including all seasonals, but I'm not sure if that included volunteers.  Every department was represented in some form with full-time, year round staff, including F&B, rental, retail, sales, marketing, accounting, IT, HR, etc.


Vail has a structure now similar to how Intrawest changed in 2002 (roughly).  They have a large front range office in Broomfield that handles a lot of the back of the house stuff such as accounting.  The actual resorts have less people with year-round jobs now.  In part its because they can find better (and more) talent in Denver but it's also because they can pay those positions less.


Moonlight Basin has about 50 full-time, year round employees.  Not all departments have year-round coverage with the core staff holding down areas such as accounting, IT, HR, and guest services.  Several of those employees have completely different jobs in the summer than they do in the winter.  In the winter time we'll go up to about 250 employees.  


If you look at the budget of a large company, at the bottom you'll find the line items under something like "General and Administrative Expense".  Those line items are the departments where you'll generally find full-time, year-round employees.  

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the insight.  My career track is to work out west seasonally in about 4 years.  Ideally, full time employment would key but there are a lot of seasonal summertime jobs around the country, especially in my neck of the woods.  So I don't mind spending half the year back home, and have the year out west.  I'm divorced, my kids will be in college by then, and this will be my retirement from the real world so to speak.  Hard work yes, but hard work in ski country.  It's my calling.


I was an outside sales rep for 15 years but had enough.  Last year I decided to go back to school to finish my degree.  One career path has been working in all aspects of University Dining to get the F&B experience I gave up on when child number one arrived.  My second career path is a Communication Degree with an emphasis on sales, marketing and PR. 


Between the two I am hoping to be able to work out West.  My thought is why not work for the resort itself.  So thank you for your help!  I think an internship would be in order next season when I graduate, get my foot in the door someplace! 

post #6 of 6

Colorado Mountain College offers I think 2 year programs on Ski Area Management and the like.  They'd probably teach you all you need to know about such things.

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