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Old 03-20-2012, 03:19 PM
 
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It is possible to work, and possibly live, in a place such as Breckenridge. As mentioned, Summit County is one of the better choices in Colorado for those wishing to be a ski bum.

Plan on having roommates. Given the wages you can expect to earn, it is about the only feasible way to make this work economically. Spring is a fine time to secure lodging, as with the close of the season many will be leaving, and thus vacancies. Although it may not be as ideal in securing employment, with all winding down into the off season until more activity in summer. However one might secure a position then that would carry through the next season, maybe.

The better time for such things would be in the autumn, when the ski resorts are gearing up for the upcoming season. For both employment and lodging, plan on getting there early, like September. Even earlier might help in regard to the lodging, but employment secured might still entail waiting a month or two for it to begin, and you paid.

In employment, you have a number of options, with most all low-wage. Working for one of the resorts, either on the mountain, or other staff positions, is a fine idea. But one could as well work for one of the restaurants in town, or one of the other varied service positions available. If for a ski resort, then the position will surely include a free season pass; other employers might provide this as well, and worth insuring in advance, since rather the purpose of the whole exercise.

You might be able to arrange for some of this remotely, but chances are your best chance will lie in showing up ready at the right time and place.

It is an expensive proposition, and measured so in part in the sabbatical you are in effect taking from the 'real world' to pursue this dream. Even if some have a passion for such a life for a lifetime, chances are that, as with most, you will be so engaged for but a season or two. It can be a wonderful diversion, and fondly remembered in years to come, when you are more responsibly engaged elsewhere with something else. Taken on those terms, and in the work and rewards that are part of the deal, then a good chance of success, and enjoying yourself.
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Old 03-21-2012, 07:25 PM
 
Location: SE Portland, OR
1,167 posts, read 2,141,510 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Idunn View Post

It is an expensive proposition, and measured so in part in the sabbatical you are in effect taking from the 'real world' to pursue this dream. Even if some have a passion for such a life for a lifetime, chances are that, as with most, you will be so engaged for but a season or two. It can be a wonderful diversion, and fondly remembered in years to come, when you are more responsibly engaged elsewhere with something else. Taken on those terms, and in the work and rewards that are part of the deal, then a good chance of success, and enjoying yourself.
This is sage advice. I've known a few friends who have lasted a season or so, and decided they were tired of living in the super isolated mountains, with 8 months of 4 feet of snow on the ground. Most times they were sick of the resorts they worked, so didn't even bother to go skiing on days off. SKi towns are usually really small in actual "locals", so everyone knew everyone, which has its goods and bads.
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Old 03-22-2012, 12:31 AM
 
9,816 posts, read 19,014,998 times
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Originally Posted by hillyrides View Post
I know it's early to post this thread, but I wanted to get a jump start on finding some good ideas about where to stay, work,and what not. I'm considering moving to Colorado for the 2012 ski season to ski bum. I was just hoping to get some good ideas on, where to stay, where to work, and how to find someone to lodge with. I know NOTHING about how all of this works, and this will be my first time doing something like this. I went to Breck in January and loved it! It just seemed SO expensive. I was thinking there has to be somewhere a little more economical that's just as fun and easy to ski. Any ideas??
It is going to be expensive, especially compared to locally available wages. Just the way it is.

Smaller ski hills, of which many have gone out of business in Colorado over the past 50-60 years, while cheaper perhaps, usually do not have the tourist traffic and business to create a lot of jobs. It's not impossible for you to find a job at a smaller ski hill like Monarch or Wolf Creek, but harder.

Skiing has concentrated into a number of tourist/ski towns in Colorado.

We've posted many times about ski bumming and even have a dedicated thread here. Search for it as there is already a wealth of info posted.

Also what kind of job are you looking for?

I would aim for the larger ski areas as they will have the most jobs and housing.

Many larger employers will have employee housing on offer for you to rent. If not you can find housing ads in the local papers.

I would say the average monthly rental for a shared apartment/condo/house where you have your own bedroom and most likely share a bathroom is around $500-$700 a month. If you want to share a bedroom than about half that.

Most large employers like Vail Resorts will start recruiting around August for the next ski season. I would plan on being in a ski town by October if you need to get your job and housing sorted and by November if you already got hired and have housing.
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Old 03-22-2012, 12:40 AM
 
9,816 posts, read 19,014,998 times
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Originally Posted by davemess10 View Post
This is sage advice. I've known a few friends who have lasted a season or so, and decided they were tired of living in the super isolated mountains, with 8 months of 4 feet of snow on the ground. Most times they were sick of the resorts they worked, so didn't even bother to go skiing on days off. SKi towns are usually really small in actual "locals", so everyone knew everyone, which has its goods and bads.
In my experience of 8 ski seasons and getting involved in the training and instructing the new hires(we hired 100-200 people a year) is that most people last at most 2 ski seasons. Partly because people just get skied out and got skiing and partying out of their system and partly due to real world responsibilities and desires to improve ones life. There are some 60 year olds out there in employee housing and working ski bum jobs, but they usually did something else first. No one really wants to do 40 ski seasons and ending up at 60 with $500 to their name, driving a beat up old car and living in employee housing with people a third of their age.

Personally I never skied as I was too busy working and if I did have time off, I was ready to relax.
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Old 03-22-2012, 08:31 AM
 
Location: SE Portland, OR
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Originally Posted by wanneroo View Post
It's not impossible for you to find a job at a smaller ski hill like Monarch or Wolf Creek, but harder.
What would you call SolVista, Cooper, and Powderhorn? Smallest?
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Old 03-22-2012, 10:57 AM
 
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Well I'm not really sure what to look for. I assume I'll apply at a resort online and hope for the best, like Copper mountain or something. All my work experience has been in sales (at&t) specifically, so I'm not sure what I would have to offer resort wise :-/. So what would be the best way to go about this? Apply for work first and then find housing? And where do you stay in the mean time while seeking employment? I've read online that you can apply beforehand, but obviously they want an interview, so would I fly out to interview and then come back home until the season starts? I'm thinking Dillon or Silverthorne maybe. I don't necessarily have to be in a huge ski town, it seems the smaller places are almost more appealing. Also, is it possible to live outside of employee housing, with maybe two roommates? I've heard crazy stuff about the employee housing haha. Thanks again for the advice!
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Old 03-22-2012, 03:11 PM
 
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Wink A few details

I have no idea what the situation is now, but at one time Keystone had new, and quite decent employee housing. Perhaps not to the taste of everyone, as in configuration each unit was two separate bedrooms, with two beds and occupants each, and these two rooms sharing a common bathroom situated between them, so a total of four people for one bath. But it was clean, nice enough, relatively inexpensive, and centrally located more or less across from Keystone Lodge.

When searching for lodging on a limited budget, it can seem unfair that there are so many large and beautiful houses present in these resort areas, and a good many of them vacant most of the time. Just sitting there beautifully vacant, while you pick among the meagre scraps of that actually affordable. But there you are, and it is possible to arrange for at least acceptable housing on one's own.

But, almost assuredly not without roommates, if on any kind of budget without a lot of zeros attached. That can of course always be problematic, so the happy home has at minimum roommates who not only pay their share of the rent on time, but maybe even thinking to leave the toilet seat down. The resorts, or other employers, may be able to help in this respect, as possibly knowing of other warm bodies who want shelter. Or of course one could just wing this on their own.

Dillon and Silverthorne, as well as Frisco, if in Summit County, might provide a better choice in lodging not geared to tourism, and lower prices as well, versus being directly slope-side. Do consider the possible commute. One might end up scraping ice of their windshield every morning, or perhaps no more than hopping onto an employee bus, or the quite excellent and free Summit Stage.

If determined, and lucky, one might even secure employment in their chosen line of work, and if sales maybe all the better a chance in that. But in most cases the work on offer is menial, if still possibly fun, and with a less than great paycheck. They can range from jobs on the mountain to those in restaurants and lodging, and by and large are all service type.

Maybe one could secure a position in advance, and well worth checking, if only from all the more learned of the area and circumstances in consequence. But with that and lodging, one will probably just have to be on the ground at the proper time. In this regard it would surely help if one had enough savings to secure housing more or less on arrival, and probably before any position secured, or at least begun. Chances are most employers will look favorably upon someone who has made the commitment to be there at minimum through the winter, one way or another. It may not be glamorous, but one so committed is almost bound to find some type of employment, and enough to at least exist. Just do not expect to get rich; one's payment will come in a different denomination.

From a distance much of this may seem daunting, and may not be the easiest arranged from such a vantage. In just throwing a dart at the map, Summit County is not a bad choice at all. But if one can take the time to explore prior, and when the weather lovely in late summer and autumn, then other fine options with Vail, Steamboat, Crested Butte, Telluride, to name a few, and in some ways not least what was once and always Purgatory.

Begin with planning on being there, somewhere, come what may, and the rest may fall into line.
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Old 03-22-2012, 05:26 PM
 
Location: SE Portland, OR
1,167 posts, read 2,141,510 times
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I thought I remembered that there used to be a jobs fair for ski resorts? I don't know if this still exists but it would be something to look at. You might also hit up the Denver ski show in the fall, as pretty much EVERY resort in the state is there.
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Old 03-22-2012, 05:31 PM
 
Location: On the sunny side of a mountain
2,970 posts, read 6,605,182 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hillyrides View Post
Well I'm not really sure what to look for. I assume I'll apply at a resort online and hope for the best, like Copper mountain or something. All my work experience has been in sales (at&t) specifically, so I'm not sure what I would have to offer resort wise :-/. So what would be the best way to go about this? Apply for work first and then find housing? And where do you stay in the mean time while seeking employment? I've read online that you can apply beforehand, but obviously they want an interview, so would I fly out to interview and then come back home until the season starts? I'm thinking Dillon or Silverthorne maybe. I don't necessarily have to be in a huge ski town, it seems the smaller places are almost more appealing. Also, is it possible to live outside of employee housing, with maybe two roommates? I've heard crazy stuff about the employee housing haha. Thanks again for the advice!
Most of the "line" employee jobs won't bother having an in person interview. HR will screen your application, contact you if you are qualified, phone interview you and check your references. Here's a link to Vail Resorts' job site, Vail Resorts | Jobs.VailResorts.com it has job postings as well as info on housing, insurance and benefits. You're young and probably not thinking about insurance, but about 40% of my husband's employees needed to use it this past season, crashes happen. Some employee housing is newer and better, sometime private roommates and private landlords can be idiots, it's all really a crap shoot.

Since you have worked for ATT, have you considered applying for a job up here? There are some cellular sales stores and I've seen job postings for them in the past year.
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Old 03-22-2012, 06:51 PM
 
9,816 posts, read 19,014,998 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hillyrides View Post
Well I'm not really sure what to look for. I assume I'll apply at a resort online and hope for the best, like Copper mountain or something. All my work experience has been in sales (at&t) specifically, so I'm not sure what I would have to offer resort wise :-/. So what would be the best way to go about this? Apply for work first and then find housing? And where do you stay in the mean time while seeking employment? I've read online that you can apply beforehand, but obviously they want an interview, so would I fly out to interview and then come back home until the season starts? I'm thinking Dillon or Silverthorne maybe. I don't necessarily have to be in a huge ski town, it seems the smaller places are almost more appealing. Also, is it possible to live outside of employee housing, with maybe two roommates? I've heard crazy stuff about the employee housing haha. Thanks again for the advice!
There are sales and customer service jobs out there.

In many cases, large employers don't interview you in person for seasonal jobs. With low skill jobs, the prime thing they care about is that you are breathing and can pass whatever requirements necessary like drug tests, your whole life history they don't really care about.

Now if you are applying for a full time, skilled, year round job that might be a different story and you might have to interview in person.

Most large employers start thinking about ski season in July and begin recruiting around that time with the peak of that being in September, with the idea being by October they have most of the candidates they need.

Yes it is possible in many places to room with other people in private housing. You will just have to find and seek all that on your own.

I'd also have a few thousand dollars saved up to pay initial housing costs and deposits and other expenses until you get your first paycheck.
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