Employers are hiring in Summit County, CO

By
Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Colorado Rockies Real Estate

This is the time of year when it is easy to find a job in Summit County.  Employers are hoping to fill all their job openings, and with good snow starting already, they are planning on a busy season.  Ski areas are big seasonal employers, and they encourage many students from overseas to come over on a four month visa and work from December 1 to March 31.  My cousin from New Zealand did just that, working at Vail for four months a few years ago.  We had lots of emails going back and forth as she looked for housing to rent, and I remember counseling her to be honest with the landlord and let him know just how many people were going to be living there (six in a two bedroom condo).  I think she ignored my advice.  Six kids with a party-hearty attitude in one small condo is a little much, but it happens all too often. Help wanted

Many landlords ask for three months rent up front and they know from sad experience that is what they must do.  They want a signed lease, first and last months rent plus a full month as security deposit.  Because they often are only renting during the winter months, the prices are higher than they might be for a full year.  If you are planning on staying in the area more than a year or two, sometimes it is a better option to buy a condo, as the money required up front is almost enough for a downpayment on your own place!   The other option for the young people coming here is employee housing.  Copper Mountain and Keystone each have an entire building devoted to it.  For about $235 a month at Copper,  an employee can have a bunk bed in a shared room, a bit like a college dorm. 

We have a really good free bus system in Summit County, called the Summit Stage.  It has great service and goes everywhere, so it is not really necessary to have a car. 

Summit Stage

Working at the ski area gives you a free season pass, which is a big draw, and not just for college kids.  I know many retirees that work at the ticket window, kid's ski school or the rental shop, two or three mornings a week and get paid for it too!  Volunteer positions are often available as ambassadors or greeters, and in return for the free pass, you have to "donate" about 14 days of work during the ski season.  For job openings and online applications, see the ski area's websites.  Copper Mountain has its own site and Breckenridge, Keystone, Vail and Beaver Creek are all under the Vail Resorts umbrella.  Also, check the local newspaper's classified ads. One of the best sources I have come across that covers the entire Rocky Mountain region is MountainJobs.com, where employers post job openings and job seekers post resumes.  They have job openings all the way from Lift Operators at Winter Park  to a Hand Surgeon in Missoula, Montana. 

Ski shops are gearing up for the season too, and need ski tuners and people to work the shops selling clothing and ski gear.  I happen to know that Aspen Sports/Mountain Sports Outlet is hiring, and I am guessing most other shops are too.  The factory outlet stores have recently added many new stores which will need workers, especially as the holidays draw near. 

Many people live the traditional "ski bum" irresponsible lifestyle for a season like my cousin did in Vail, or sometimes it lasts for years.   Amy at Mountainjobs.com has an interesting take on it as she says:

"As far as responsibility, it is always interesting to read the different perspectives from those looking at ski town living. Some people seem to think that you move to the mountains and all stress and responsibilities just miraculously float away into the sunset. Wouldn't that be nice? You can actually be irresponsible wherever you live and with whatever you are doing ... it is not a place or a lifestyle that makes us irresponsible in my opinion. We really do that all on our own."

Many of the people I know here in Summit County came for a season or two, and ended up staying for much longer.  The mountain lifestyle is appealing and often it can be hard to give up.

I mentioned above that housing is a big issue, and it is the reason that some ski area jobs go begging.  Finding a place to rent for the winter, especially if you have pets, can be very difficult to do after September.  You can expect to spend about $800-900 a month for a one bedroom condo, and $1200-1500 a month for a two bedroom.  Roommates can help share the expense, but many people don't know anyone until after they have been here for a while.  Renting a room from someone else can keep the cost down to $400-500 a month.  I often hear about people who are excited to have a job and then are unable to find a place to live and have to turn it down.  For those who can buy a home, there are deed restricted housing units designated specifically for people who work in the County 30 hours a week or more.  They are more reasonable in price, but certainly not cheap! 

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Rainmaker
278,755
Joeann Fossland
Advantage Solutions Group - Tucson, AZ
Master Certified Coach to Motivated Agents

Great information. Almost makes me want to go see snow :) Reminds me of the year ( a long time ago) when we lived in a teepee in Basalt because housing was so expensive in Aspen. Sounds like things haven't changed any!

Oct 23, 2007 10:08 PM #1
Rainer
83,563
Joanne Hanson
Coldwell Banker Colorado Rockies Real Estate - Frisco, CO
Summit County, Colorado Realtor
Hi Joeann, nice to see you in the rain!  I remember your story about a teepee in Basalt!  You are right in that things haven't changed much.  We have snow here now if you want to come and see some :-)
Oct 23, 2007 10:11 PM #2
Rainmaker
333,548
Thesa Chambers
Alpine Real Estate - Bend, OR
Principal Broker - Licensed in Oregon
Have you noticed how big help wanted signs are getting and how long they stay up - I know in Bend they seem to stay up a long time compared to years ago
Oct 23, 2007 11:56 PM #3
Rainer
234,312
Susie Roscoe
Signature Realty Associates - Brandon, FL
Real Estate Specialist | Brandon, FL

It's amazing how people can't find work but there ARE "Help Wanted" signs everywhere!

PS...I love the snowy picture!!  What's the temperature like in Summit County, CO about now? 

Oct 24, 2007 09:30 AM #4
Rainer
12,281
Meredith Hanson
Coldwell Banker Colorado Rockies Real Estate - Silverthorne, CO
I am getting my ski pass this season being an Ambassador at Copper Mountain.  I don't get paid except in the form of a season pass but my goal was to supplement my life not my income.  For me, getting a run or two in on my lunch hour or hitting the slopes in the afternoon because it's a beautiful day and sounds like fun is making my life better.
Oct 24, 2007 10:55 AM #5
Rainer
200,847
Mana Tulberg
805 County Real Estate - Camarillo, CA
Real Estate Agent - Camarillo CA
Joanne, Jobs are popping up every where right now. As a college student I loved to work in a place where I could use their services for free. 
Oct 24, 2007 11:02 AM #6
Rainer
83,563
Joanne Hanson
Coldwell Banker Colorado Rockies Real Estate - Frisco, CO
Summit County, Colorado Realtor

Thesa, here we have an issue with lots of new stores coming in (Target, Factory Outlet stores, and now talk of a Home Depot) but nowhere affordable for people to live.  So yes, signs go up and stay up! 

Susie, a lot of people are picky about how much they get paid ;-) but we see people with lots of education working at pretty menial jobs just so they can be here.  It is an amazing place to live.  It is warm today with the sun out and snow melting.  I am guessing the temp is 50 or so right now.  We are so close to the sun that when it is out (most of the time) we are warm and if you get too hot, you just move into the shade for a while.

Meredith, getting into the Ambassador program was a good call!  It is all about quality of life in Summit County.

Mana, many places here offer free passes if you work there.  Of course, the ski areas do, but so do sporting goods stores, clothing shops, and lots of other places.  Many people who live here have multiple jobs and that is one of the reasons for it.

Oct 24, 2007 01:40 PM #7
Rainer
17,751
Jason Adams
Coldwell Banker Colorado Rockies Real Estate - Dillon, CO
Realtor - Summit County, Colorado
If you are able to live or work in the County it just makes since to take advantage of the perks. It just adds to the Summit County "Lifestyle"!
Oct 24, 2007 04:46 PM #8
Rainer
83,563
Joanne Hanson
Coldwell Banker Colorado Rockies Real Estate - Frisco, CO
Summit County, Colorado Realtor
Lifestyle is what we are all about!  We sell more lifestyle than real estate.
Oct 24, 2007 06:21 PM #9
Rainer
120,136
Ronald Gillis
Southwest Florida Notaries (Mortgage Notary Signing Agent) - Port Charlotte, FL
CNSA Southwest Florida. Notaries, Port Charlotte, 941-7-NOTARY

Great for your area, our newspaper actually had an article about the rise in unemployment.  Although our area unemployment is still low, rising rates are not good.

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Oct 24, 2007 10:24 PM #10
Rainer
83,563
Joanne Hanson
Coldwell Banker Colorado Rockies Real Estate - Frisco, CO
Summit County, Colorado Realtor
When people can't find work, they can't do anything, so it is an underpinning of the economy.   Thanks for visitin Ronald!
Oct 24, 2007 10:41 PM #11
Rainmaker
325,147
Esko Kiuru
Bethesda, MD

Joanne,

Maybe it's time to turn into a ski bum since the market here is so slow and getting slower as we head into the middle of the winter. Get a job at one of the resorts and then enjoy the ski benefits to your heart's desire.

 

Oct 25, 2007 06:13 PM #12
Rainer
83,563
Joanne Hanson
Coldwell Banker Colorado Rockies Real Estate - Frisco, CO
Summit County, Colorado Realtor
Great idea Esko...come on up!
Oct 25, 2007 06:16 PM #13
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Joanne Hanson

Summit County, Colorado Realtor
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