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Old 02-19-2013, 11:17 PM
 
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hey! I am an experienced snowboarder, also musician. I am 23 and looking to move to Colorado or somewhere out west in hopes of finding a nice ski town, with good music scene,good night life, (nothing too touristy) affordable housing and some good vibes all around. Ive heard crested butte is good, along with steamboat, telluride, lake tahoe and taos new mexico. ANy suggestions will be greatly appreciated!
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:40 PM
 
Location: Aurora, CO
6,523 posts, read 10,191,303 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke4life View Post
hey! I am an experienced snowboarder, also musician. I am 23 and looking to move to Colorado or somewhere out west in hopes of finding a nice ski town, with good music scene,good night life, (nothing too touristy) affordable housing and some good vibes all around. Ive heard crested butte is good, along with steamboat, telluride, lake tahoe and taos new mexico. ANy suggestions will be greatly appreciated!
Just putting this out there - unless you're independently wealthy or have a job where you make good money while working from home you're probably not going to be able to afford to live in a resort town. The cost of housing in ski towns is astronomically higher than it is in most other areas of the state.
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:56 PM
 
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. I have plenty of friends who have done it and are cutrently DOING it. I can always live outside of town as well i dont need to live RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF TOWN, but anyways thanks for your input. one must be realistic and also positive. But i am flexible and willing to adapt. PLEASE keep suggestions rolling!! I KNOW YOU SKI BUM BEEN THERE DONE THAtS ARE OUT THERE!!!

Last edited by Luke4life; 02-20-2013 at 12:48 AM..
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Old 02-20-2013, 02:39 AM
 
2,253 posts, read 6,019,284 times
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Wink For sure

No problems, dude. Plenty of good options in Colorado and elsewhere.

Crested Butte, Steamboat Springs and Telluride would all be good choices for that off the beaten track. But in season expect plenty of skiers, so not sure how you'll avoid all the tourists; they tend to be part of the package with resort areas. Although in comparison to Breckenridge, yes, surely less so. Nevertheless, do not discount the primo possibilities in Summit County. Some superb skiing at not only Copper Mountain, as said Breckenridge, but Keystone, and especially A-Basin. Not shabby when it comes to nightlife, either. There is also a local television channel (TV8) which should prove of interest, as like-minded souls with discussions, videos of the outdoors and skiing 24/7.

Other possibilities in the state would include Purgatory and Silverton Mountain in the San Juan Mountains. Both good hills, but for the small and funky Silverton may more suite you, especially (and, really, only) if into extreme skiing.

Many fine ski areas at Lake Tahoe. It is a different scene, feeling. You could go from somewhat isolated with Kirkwood (not bordering the lake) to Heavenly, with the casinos and the activities of the largest town bordering the lake, South Lake Tahoe. Squaw Valley is somewhat removed from the lake as well, but has an ample base village you may enjoy. Not to mention one great mountain good enough for the Olympics. In California expect what some locals affectionally call "train track snow," or that customarily wet and heavy. There are few real powder days as experienced in Colorado or Utah (and do not forget the possibilities in Utah with such as Snowbird). But there is no lack of snow, as the frequent storms are often measured in feet.

Taos is altogether different. There is skiing farther south at Santa Fe, as well as further south of that, but Taos Ski Valley is the only place you may wish to consider in New Mexico. A great and challenging mountain, with enough snow. The small town of Taos Ski Valley is directly at the base of the lifts, isolated and at a remove from Taos itself, being in the valley at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. One could surely find less expensive housing options in Taos, but Taos Ski Valley is the place to be for a skier.

Which brings us to the little matter of practicalities. If possible, none of this is going to be cheap. Or, plan on paying for it one way or another. Such as in a good many possibly suspect roommates to ever afford anything close to the slopes. Prospects for working towards you career are probably out the door, but with persistence you might score a lift job or some other position which gets you on the mountain, and at least with a free season pass. You may already understand many of these eventualities—and the price for really being on the slopes—and if not, then finding out really quick.

Telluride, by the way, is way out in the middle of nowhere, and the type of place where those from Hollywood may maintain some huge ski "chalet," or just jet in for a week or so. Compared to some other venues, not as easy to be a local on a budget. But in degree it has the more intimate and less "touristy" feel you are after. These different areas can be rather different in not only their respective mountains but also the overall ambience.

Good luck. With the right attitude you'll surely enjoy it.
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:05 AM
 
9,830 posts, read 19,525,426 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke4life View Post
. I have plenty of friends who have done it and are cutrently DOING it. I can always live outside of town as well i dont need to live RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF TOWN, but anyways thanks for your input. one must be realistic and also positive. But i am flexible and willing to adapt. PLEASE keep suggestions rolling!! I KNOW YOU SKI BUM BEEN THERE DONE THAtS ARE OUT THERE!!!
Yes I did 8 seasons. For starters do a search on this forum as the whole ski town living thing has been covered extensively over the years here and there is a wealth of information already posted.

The first bubble you need to pop is the affordable part. If you live in a "ski town" that is big enough to have a "music scene", they are not affordable places to live, no matter how you do it.

The cheapest option of course is to find a place to share. To live in a shared place, a bedroom runs about $400-$900 a month with the average now being in the $600-$700 range.

The problem with shared places is most of the types of people that share those places often are seasonal people, which means seasonal leases and you are constantly having to find new housing. In almost 8 years I probably moved 15-16 times or something, I don't know for sure. A lot of times that worked for me as I traveled light and didn't stay in town during the off seasons or at least for a part of the off season.

To get something more stable, you'll be on the high end of that price range.

If you want your own place at the very low end you are looking at $1000 a month, more like $1500 a month typically for something decent.

Also in the local rental market in these towns, whether you live in town or 10 miles away, it matters little. Rates are about the same.

Might not sound like a lot but if you are making $9 an hour working 30 hours a week and then not having work for 4-5 months of the year, it will be.

The other issue is all of the other expenses. People talk about the nightlife. Nightlife in these towns is not cheap. It's easy to burn through tons of money on a night on the town. These towns cater to wealthy or high income earners, not bums and they price it accordingly. Because of the high cost of real estate, businesses also charge a premium. Quotes on my car repairs were always 30-40% cheaper in Denver than Vail or Summit County for instance. Food and restaurants are also pricey.

The biggest issue of all is the fact that these are tourist towns that have 6-7 months of business a year. So that means you'll have to find work in the off seasons in towns that essentially shut up shop. And also you'll have to work your butt off in winter, working 2 jobs, just to save to make it until summer and through the rest of the year. First couple of years I worked in Vail, I made 2/3 of my yearly income in 3-4 months of winter. That meant I had to budget that out to last me the year.

I would say on average most people your age, about 90% of them or more would be gone within a year, at most 2 ski seasons. All because they failed to have rational finances. They would come the first winter, party hard, not save or blow their money and then struggle for a few more months trying to survive and then would leave town to find a "real job". Very few people were as disciplined as I was with finances and willingness to work my butt off when work was available, which is why I was able to survive for almost 8 years.

That is the Catch 22, when it's peak skiing time and all the tourists are in town and there is a "scene" happening, that's when you have to work usually. If you don't you will not last long in these towns.

I would say the "music scene" is largest in Vail and Aspen. They've got the money to bring in tons of artists and have plenty of concerts/festivals and there is always a lot going on in season.
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:09 AM
 
Location: Northern MN
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I've lived and worked in Crested Butte and your not going to make any money as a musician. ( and various other western ski towns)

How do you intend to support yourself?

CB and the rest of the resorts are touristy, that's how they make their money.
Local, established, musicians seem to get the limited giggs that these towns have to offer,on a few weekends a year.

I also lived in Glenwood springs. maybe you should try some bigger citys like Vail or Gleenwood springs, Denver and drive to the hill on the weekend.


Good luck. With the right attitude,,, you'll surely enjoy it.


Now reread
Quote:
Originally Posted by wanneroo View Post
,,,
He's telling it like it is.

But then you could be a trust fund baby and all of this is moot, as you just want a funky ski town to hang out at.
sorry," trust fund baby" is not the latest pc term, they now call them posers.

Last edited by snofarmer; 02-20-2013 at 09:20 AM..
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:16 AM
 
Location: 5280 above liquid
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Know plenty of ski junkies / worker bees that work the bar/restaurant/tune shop at Loveland and live in Georgetown or Idaho Springs.
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:34 AM
 
Location: Western Colorado
11,049 posts, read 12,398,038 times
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From the people I know who work in Telluride, they live in Ridgway, Norwood, Montrose and commute (there's a work bus). Most tell me they make a LOT in tips, insane amounts in tips. I would suggest you come visit the ski resorts you are looking at. Good luck.
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Old 02-20-2013, 12:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jim9251 View Post
From the people I know who work in Telluride, they live in Ridgway, Norwood, Montrose and commute (there's a work bus). Most tell me they make a LOT in tips, insane amounts in tips. I would suggest you come visit the ski resorts you are looking at. Good luck.
The jobs to have are ones where you can earn tips. A part of my income came from tips/gratuities and I did very well. But it is a customer service position, so one has to keep that in mind. There were people I worked with that didn't take that onboard and as such didn't do well and some that did pretty poorly. I was very professional and skilled with my job and was knowledgeable(tourists always have lots of questions or are looking for a locals advice on where to eat, shop, sleep, etc.).

At one point in our training classes for new hires(9-12 days long) I taught a class on customer service and how to get good tips.

The only thing I would caution to those that work in these ski towns is that it is highly variable as even in ski season business goes up and down. So you might make a fortune at Christmas only for it to be dry as a bone in January. So again like I said and I will emphasize it, you have to see the big year long picture if one wants to survive long term in these towns.

Every year we would always have seasonal employees that had big plans for the off season to travel the world or whatever and they got sucked into the "nightlife" and literally whizzed away all of their earnings via all the alcohol they drank and would end up out of work in April with $20 to their name. It's not hard at all to blow $200 or more in one night in a ski town. Those people would almost never be back again because financially reality would force them into a "real job".

In regards to commuting, all depends what your end game is. I moved to Colorado to live in a ski town, not live in the high desert 40 miles away. There are some people that do that and I understand why. But you can't be really involved in town being 20-50 miles away. So I say go all in or not at all.
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Old 02-20-2013, 12:21 PM
 
Location: Northern MN
3,869 posts, read 13,044,988 times
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Start to looking for summer work in FEB.
Try to fine done that is not dependent on the number of tourists in town like a bar, restaurant or hotel work.
It gets hard to find stable employment in a small ski town.
In the winter I worked for CBMR, then in the summer I worked for Poma installing lifts or on a local ranch for cash under the table while collecting UI when things were slow.


Quote:
Originally Posted by wanneroo View Post
The only thing I would caution to those that work in these ski towns is that it is highly variable as even in ski season business goes up and down. So you might make a fortune at Christmas only for it to be dry as a bone in January. So again like I said and I will emphasize it, you have to see the big year long picture if one wants to survive long term in these towns.

I've done that, spent Mud Season relaxing in the cannon lands collecting unemployment.
But I had summer work lined up.

What's a real job?
Most ski bums have no idea what that is.


Quote:
Originally Posted by wanneroo View Post
Every year we would always have seasonal employees that had big plans for the off season to travel the world or whatever and they got sucked into the "nightlife" and literally whizzed away all of their earnings via all the alcohol they drank and would end up out of work in April with $20 to their name. It's not hard at all to blow $200 or more in one night in a ski town. Those people would almost never be back again because financially reality would force them into a "real job".

I lived just out side of Gunnison Co my first year, took the bus 33mi to the hill (CB) and home every day.
You sure felt disconnected from the ski area.
The bus would stop at the liquor store in town on the way home.

The next year I lived just out of town in CB south, then the next I moved to a place up on the MT.(ski in with a short hike to the lifts.)
At 3 years in, with stable summer & winter employment it was much more enjoyable.
We also moved every 6mo to a year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wanneroo View Post
In regards to commuting, all depends what your end game is. I moved to Colorado to live in a ski town, not live in the high desert 40 miles away. There are some people that do that and I understand why. But you can't be really involved in town being 20-50 miles away. So I say go all in or not at all.

Again good posts.
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