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Ski Area Employment

Los

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Has anyone ever worked part time at a ski area in order to defray the cost of a season pass or to receive any other benefits? With four kids, I'm trying to figure out how to make skiing more affordable... I'd be willing to sacrifice my skiing time to keep them on the slopes and in seasonal programs, but I'm wondering what if any benefits a ski area might extend to me and/or my family members.

Does anyone have any experience with this? Any advice?

Thanks in advance!
 

Jully

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I've never done it, but you do get pretty good benefits at some resorts. Volunteering in something like the ski patrol would also be a good way to defray costs.
 

Smellytele

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Different areas give different benefits. They are not equal across the board at any individual ski area either. Some jobs have better benies (also some people get better ones than others in the same jobs)
 

Edd

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I've gotten free season passes in the past because my wife has worked full time at Cranmore and Gunstock. That's the kind of benefit possible if you're a full time year round employee.

If you're a part-timer, you can expect a pass for yourself at that mountain, obviously, but you'll also get the benefit of letters you can take to other mountains for a free or discounted lift ticket for you, which is nothing to sneeze at. I keep pondering the idea myself.
 

bvibert

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I work part time at our local mountain. I really enjoy working there, but it actually eats into my skiing time. As mentioned above the benefits are going to vary from area to area and even from job function to job function. Where I am the benefits depend on how many hours you work. To get passes for you and additional family members you'd have to work near full time hours. If I were going to look for a position at a ski area purely to get skiing benefits for my family I'd start by looking at volunteer positions (ski patrol, mountain ambassador, etc..).
 

Los

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Thanks all, I really appreciate it. I'll let you know what I find out...
 

prsboogie

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I haven't worked for one but when I was looking into the Ranger program at Wachusett you got free skiing for the entire family for the season and dramatically discounted rates for their DEV team.


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wtcobb

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I volunteer with the adaptive program at Cannon. I volunteer for the whole season, 8 weeks of lessons. In addition to it being an *awesome* program with a great group of people, I get a free season pass. Single day volunteers get a ticket for the rest of the day if they can't make the commitment for the full day/full season.
 

Edd

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I volunteer with the adaptive program at Cannon. I volunteer for the whole season, 8 weeks of lessons. In addition to it being an *awesome* program with a great group of people, I get a free season pass. Single day volunteers get a ticket for the rest of the day if they can't make the commitment for the full day/full season.

That's fantastic that you volunteer your time for that. It seems like the most worthwhile way to spend time at a ski area.
 

wtcobb

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That's fantastic that you volunteer your time for that. It seems like the most worthwhile way to spend time at a ski area.

Thanks Edd! It's a great program to be a part of, and I've gotten to know many more people at the mountain through it. Definitely a good way to connect and be a part of the place while helping others succeed.
 

4aprice

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My daughter works in the industry. In her case it is a weekend job but she has been there many years and has some seniority. She has worked for Camelback and Killington. In her case, the employee is offered a choice of a "Dependent Pass" to an (not sure if its 2) immediate family member or an allotted amount of half price tickets. The dependent pass has restrictions placed on it as the mountain desires and no 1st Tracks at CBK. We never took the pass option because its her job and her benefits. We did take advantage of 1/2 price tickets every so often @ Killington. She is very dedicated, and enjoys what she's doing cause I don't know why she puts up with what she puts up with.

Alex

Lake Hopatcong, NJ
 

ss20

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This will be my third year as a part-time ski instructor at my local hill. Got my Level 1 PSIA last year and really want to continue on the certification path as long as my time permits.

Three benefits I'd look at if I were you: Industry benefits, ski time, money

Ski/snowboard instructors accredited with PSIA are gonna get the most benefits of ski area employees. If you're not an instructor most mountains offer an "industry rate" that is really good at some places and not-so-good at other places. With PSIA I get free tickets to Catamount and Berkshire East, but most of the "destination" resorts simply pass on the industry rate.

You have the potential to do a lot more skiing working at a hill, or a lot less. Find a hill with night skiing. Then you're guaranteed to get in some runs after work...or work at night and get your skiing in during the day. I could not imagine working at a 9am-4pm hill- it really wouldn't be worth it to me if I could not ski after work (and my hill has like 8 lit trails at night...that's saying something).

You're going to make very little money. Minimum wage is standard. If you can work the holiday's it's worth it but if your real job only permits you to work weekends you're out of luck. However, it is very easy to rack up seniority in an industry where employee retention rates are low. Stick with it and you could make some cash.

If you have young kids that are still growing working in a ski shop may be your best bet. Gear discounts and you'll get to learn how to tune skis. You'll still get time on the hill if you work nights. Same minimum wage job in a much easier environment.

Personally, if I weren't a ski instructor I'd love to try snowmaking for a season. It doesn't get much more unpredictable scheduling wise, but you can get overtime if there's a week of cold temps. It can be hard for mountains to get enough of a crew so you will most likely get whatever hours you want.

Final thoughts- do it! Working in the industry is as good as it gets if you're looking for a job you can have fun at! It's not always easy, not always fun, not much money to be made, and lot's of physical work involved- but oh so rewarding at the end of the day!
 

dlague

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Worked one year as a ski instructor. I have been thinking of volunteer ski patrol, volunteer adaptive guide or working as a volunteer ambassador.

Ski instruction was cool but it was at Pats Peak and got bored with it fast during non lesson periods. Plus the commitment of one weekend per month, some night time lessons and school vacation weeks seemed to eat onto our desire as a family to other places. First year a season pass and minimum wage per lesson unless you recruit your customers.

Each additional year an additional seasons pass.

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Newpylong

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Has anyone ever worked part time at a ski area in order to defray the cost of a season pass or to receive any other benefits? With four kids, I'm trying to figure out how to make skiing more affordable... I'd be willing to sacrifice my skiing time to keep them on the slopes and in seasonal programs, but I'm wondering what if any benefits a ski area might extend to me and/or my family members.

Does anyone have any experience with this? Any advice?

Thanks in advance!

Send me a PM.
 

tumbler

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Ambassador is the way to go. No special skill needed except to smile and say Hi and point towards the ticket window.
 

Abominable

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Have worked it a few ways. Instructor is a good one. Ambassador is a good one, especially out west, seems like lots of retired folks do that.

The best deals for me have always been driving or "guiding" - out west I drove 10 people vans from the coast to Tahoe; back east "tour guide" on one of the buses from the city. Best part about this is that once you're done with your "job" of getting people to the mountains, you can ski. Down side was some really long days. At any rate, with a family involved, seems like that's not an option.

When I was an instructor, seemed like I was always working on powder days. But tips (cash) was good.

Probably, at the end of the day, the most effective way to use your time to offset skiing costs is going to be to work harder at your current job, or take on more jobs, and make more money. That's what I'd do but I'm lazy, so I just search for deals on the "Skiing on the Cheap" thread.
 

Tin

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After reading this thread I'm tempted to throw my research papers around the department, fail my students, and quit to go make snow for a living.
 
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