Best Jobs In A Ski Town

November 28, 2014 Katie Marti

One thing about living in a ski town is that it’s awesome. Another thing about living in a ski town is that it costs money and, contrary to my wildest dreams, you can’t actually pay for things like rent and groceries with things like high fives and tales of adventure. You’re going to need a job. The good news is that not all jobs are created equal. As a matter of fact, some of the best jobs in a ski town are pretty darn sweet.

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Workin’ it Photo: Reuben Krabbe

There are a few things to consider if your primary objective is to ski as much as possible, like the flexibility of your work schedule, for example. There is quite possibly nothing more demoralizing than standing in line at the local coffee shop on a blower pow day behind a dozen pairs of ski pants while you, on the other hand, are dressed head to toe in office casual. You moved here to ride. You need a job that will let you ride. For a skier’s schedule, you really can’t beat a gig driving the groomer: it’s lonely and dark, but you can poach lines all day, work your eight hours and still be in bed before midnight. Win-win-win!

 Photo: Mike Watling
Hard at work? Photo: Mike Watling

Something else to consider is access to a season’s pass. There are always coveted jobs in a ski town whose affiliation with the hill leads to incredible perks. Take housekeeping, for example: it may be worth cleaning rooms at a lodge all winter if it means you save a grand on lift tickets. I did it my very first ski season and it was surprisingly decent. On top of getting a staff pass at the hill, I got to wear sweat pants all the time and watch a lot of terrible daytime television while I worked. Of course, actually becoming an employee at the resort itself is a guaranteed fast track to a free pass, not to mention all the foreign exchange friends and future pen pals you could ever hope to have. And if the gig includes staff accommodations, you save even more (but then spend it all on Pilsner and microwave popcorn). Understandably, these jobs are the most popular among seasonal workers, so if you do hope to land one, look for applications online up to six months before the start of ski season.

Tough day at the office Photo: Dave Silver
Tough day at the office Photo: Dave Silver

Naturally, the ultimate jobs in a ski town are those that incorporate skiing and making money at the same time. You get paid to ski. Skiing IS your job. Instructors, patrollers and guides are basically the trifecta of enviable employment. You just show up to work, live the dream, put money in the bank and call it a Tuesday. Not bad. Especially if you happen to be a heli ski guide making fresh tracks at the front of the line all day. That’s next level awesome, right there.