Lots of negative energy on this thread, did you guys not see the WorkHardSkiPow's last post where he said all he wanted to do was put out some good vibes and get people that love skiing to come out here and ski???
I work at this very lodge, and I can say that I've had some good and bad experiences with it, but overall my time here has been positive and has kept me coming back for six seasons. This is what I got for you guys!
-I get to ski 100+ days a season and have skied more way more pow than everyone that's bringing hate and negative energy into this thread.
-After a couple season, Ive been promoted to a management role and now make enough $$$ that I come out of the season with a decent amount of savings. This is because the only money that I spend over the Winter is on ski gear, alcohol, and on food once and awhile when I go out to eat down in SLC. I can go for weeks without spending a single dollar up here if I want to (managers do also not get charged for employee housing). All this being said, over half of my paycheck comes from tips. ALWAYS TIP YOUR BARTENDERS, ESPECIALLY THE ONES SERVING ALTA BOMBS!
-I have fully embraced the Alta community and have made a ton of lifelong friends here, which to me is priceless.
-Living with other folks that live seasonal lifestyles has allowed me to do a ton of networking amongst the outdoor community. I have worked for two summers as a glacier guide for a helicopter company in Alaska because of people that I have met at Alta. My winter coworkers referred me to this company and brought me on to work with them over the summers. I am now spending my summers working as a raft guide in Idaho, all because of the connections that I have made at Alta.
-I walk down two hallways and two sets of stairs and then I am standing in line for Collins or Wildcat lifts. (I wonder how much money some people spend on gas just to get the resort and park their vehicle, and then how many hours of time they waste sitting in the red snake at the end of the day when its time to leave)
-Living in employee housing gets old after awhile. My GF and I share a room and it sometimes feels small (On the plus side, we do have our own bathroom and a great view of Highboy and Mt. Baldy)
-The employee meals are sometimes not good, and we do not have a kitchen to make our own food. Some mangers live in rooms that have a kitchen, but most of the staff do not have this luxury.
-Even as a manager, I do not receive any benefits. No healthcare is the big one! This factor alone might be what eventually drives me to leave this place.
-As I stated earlier, a lot of the money that I make over the season comes from tips. The business does not pay people well who are employed in FOH positions. I will not state what the hourly rate for my employees is because it is laughable (I have no control over these wages). We make up for the low hourly wage we get with the tips that we make because we hustle, do a fantastic job and we are always busy. For some reason, most tourists feel like they do not need to tip their bartenders and servers, even though we're the ones making their dining experiences possible.
Living this lifestyle is not for everyone! The seasonal job / ski bum grind can be very difficult, yet very rewarding. If you are a person that prefers stability and security, then do not come to Alta to work for a season. If you are someone that is adventurous and willing to take whatever life throws at you and roll with it, then this could be a great spot for you. You will get to ski your face off and have very little responsibility while doing so. If you decide that you like it here and stick around for a few seasons, there's a good chance you will make your living situation here a little more stable, take on more responsibility, and earn more money over time. I have had a couple friends that work corporate jobs come out to Alta to visit me and I almost converted them to becoming ski bums after just a couple of good snow days on the hill. This place is magical and to be able to wake up here every morning is such a luxury that I do not take for granted!
All this being said, it is easy to not see the red flags while looking through rose colored glasses. New employees come here to have a good time and ski, which they will do! However, they may be taken advantage of by their employers. The down sides to the tourism / ski industry are alive and strong at Alta and the lodges of the canyon. Employees are over worked and underpaid, and it is a dam shame!
Thank you all for reading my rant.
12-20 inches in the forecast for tonight, stoked for a few morning laps before work tomorrow!