Decent work environment but not much money.
Pros: skiing, good people, and beautiful environment
Cons: difficult guests, low pay
Vail Resorts is the biggest name in the Ski industry today. They pride themselves on excellent guest service and providing "an experience of a lifetime". Most VR employees have two jobs, one for the summer and one for the winter, the company refers to them as "full time seasonal". As a full time seasonal employee I worked on Vail mountain during the winter and Red Sky Ranch Golf Club in the summer. As you can assume it's not your typical office environment, mostly for the better but like all jobs it has its shortcomings.
I worked for the Mountain Safety Dept. Which is a division of the Ski Patrol. We focused on enforcing the rules on the mountain to ensure the safety and wellness of our guests. We were responsible for maintaining speed and crowd control on the mountain as well as assisting the guests in any capacity. On the more congested runs we would make our presence known by putting up large slow signs (we called them baffles) and talking to anyone that was skiing too fast or out of control. If we came into contact with an individual who fell into those categories we would educate and document the interaction by taking the information from their ski pass. We also assisted the Ski Patrol who were responsible for the medical issues on the mountain. All of us were trained in CPR and basic first aid so in a pinch we were able to help a member of the patrol if it was needed. We also located lost equipment, helped lost guests (Vail is the third biggest ski resort in North America), and provided local area information.
The management was pretty decent. The department had one – more... director and four managers for thirty employees (a bit much). The managers were all pretty good to us, they were flexible when it came to personal and familial issues and were always willing to work with us. However, having that many managers made it difficult to get promoted within the department. So there was not much room for growth.
My coworkers were really a good group of people. We came from all over the country and were very supportive of each other. There were some issues that arose from time to time but it was never serious. We forged strong friendships and still keep in touch to this day.
The most difficult part of the job was dealing with some of the unhappy guests. If we stopped to speak to someone they would either be very cooperative (more than half the time) or they would get defensive and start a difficult dialog. I have been called every unpleasant name under the sun, spit on, and threatened with bodily harm. Still this is in the minority but it happened more than once but you have to keep your calm. So I am well versed in difficult conversations.
The best part of the job was being able to ski for your job with good people. It truly was a great experience but I had to move on because I was living paycheck to paycheck and Vail is an incredibly expensive place to live. – less