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The Benefits of Working at a Ski Resort

There are dozens of ways to finagle a free ski pass. So, why should you work for a ski resort? The answer is BENEFITS.

By the time the average visitor has taken their last run for the day and headed for the hot tub, they've plunked down hundreds of dollars, while local skiers have escaped with minimal damage. Full-time ski resort employees often enjoy free parking (which can run as high as $20.00 a day), a free season pass, discounted meals on the mountain, deals on equipment and apparel and sometimes a free place to stash their gear at the base of the mountain - all in addition to their regular salary.

Season ski passes at large winter resorts can run as much as $1,600.00 a year. That's a lot of money. Add that to the cost of parking and food, a single day's skiing can run as high as $200.00.

Resort employees typically enjoy season passes that are good for the entire season with no blackout days. Blackout days are peak periods when locals are not allowed to ski. At most ski resorts, employees also receive significant discounts on food and beverages in restaurants owned by the ski corporation. Without discounts, a no-frills lunch can run as high as $25.00 at Aspen, Vail or Telluride. But, probably the best benefit enjoyed by ski patrolmen, ski instructors and other ski professionals is professional discounts on ski equipment.

Pro deals on equipment can usually save a skier or boarder 30-50% off retail prices for skis, boots, bindings, poles and snowboards. With ski/binding packages running as much as $1,300.00 these days, that's a huge savings! By belonging to professional organizations such as the Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) or the American Association of Snowboard Instructors (AASI) snow pros can also get discounts on winter apparel, goggles, sunglasses and other skiing/riding accessories.

At many resorts, full-time ski and snowboard employees can also get season passes for their significant others and all of their kids. In addition, many resorts issue a small number of free lift tickets that can be given to friends and family visiting the resort. Want to ski at another area? Active members of PSIA or AASI receive free or discounted lift tickets at most other American resorts simply by presenting their membership card and season pass at the ticket window.

And finally, at some of the larger ski resorts full-time and part-time employees receive free ski and snowboard lessons for the entire season. Want to spend a day brushing up on your technique? Provided there's space in the class, you can sit in on an all day class, free of charge.

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