Work A Ski Season at Bolton Valley
Discover information on working a ski season at Bolton Valley and browse winter jobs.USA
Bolton Valley is a family ski area in the Green Mountains of Vermont. Working a winter season at Bolton means a relaxed season working in an alpine environment, with seasonal workers just as likely to hit the Nordic ski trails, or take on snowshoeing in the woods through the 100km of trails, as they are to hit the downhill slopes.
Location and Getting There
Bolton Valley is located in Vermont, USA. It is about a 30-minute drive from Burlington, Vermont, which is the nearest major town. The closest other towns are Richmond and Waterbury, both of which are around a 20-minute drive away. There are no shuttle or bus services to Bolton Valley, so you’ll need to either hitch a ride or take your own car to get there.
Overall, Bolton Valley is a solid beginner and intermediate mountain. It is a bit smaller than some of the neighbouring mountains but, on the other hand, it is also less commercial and has a really nice, local vibe to it.
The town is fairly small and quaint, with a strong family vibe and an emphasis on all sorts of alpine activities such as snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in addition to the downhill riding. There is not much in the way of nightlife. The James Moore Tavern is where staff often frequent after work which is a cozy little hang-out.
If you’re looking for more nightlife, Burlington is the place to go. It is a college town – The University of Vermont is located in Burlington, as well as a few smaller colleges – so it has a great atmosphere and there are always heaps of events and parties on. It also has deep cultural heritage, with local buildings dating back to the late 18th century.
Terrain at Bolton
Bolton Valley has 71 trails and glades for Alpine skiing and riding and 100km of Nordic and backcountry trails. There are around 300 acres of skiable terrain in total. In addition, there are three terrain parks, including a small learning park, a rail and box park, and a larger, more advanced park. There is no halfpipe though.
The resort also has 100km of Nordic skiing, 15km of which is groomed with the rest being through the backcountry. The Nordic skiing section is within walking distance from the base lodge.
The resort also has a number of reciprocal lift ticket deals with other mountains, so you can try out the surrounding ski areas.
There is night skiing Tuesday through Saturday until 10pm on 10 runs which means plenty of opportunities to get onto the mountain even if working the day shift.
The snow at Bolton is good for Vermont, with the highest base elevation of the Vermont resorts. The snow isn’t Rockies snow, but each year Bolton Valley receives an average of 312 inches (792 cm) of snow. Powder days can be excellent and you can typically find powder in the trees, woods and backcountry several days after a storm.
- Trails: 71
- Glades: 13
- Terrain Parks: 3
- Lifts: 6 (1 Surface, 3 Double, 2 Quad)
- Skiable Acres: 300
- Vertical Drop: 1,704ft
- Snowmaking Acres: 100
- Average Annual Snowfall: 312 inches
- Terrain: 100km
- Tracked Terrain: 15km
- Skating Terrain: 15km
Finding a Job
Applications and job listings are located on the resort’s website at www.boltonvalley.com. The best time to apply is in the Fall (October/November), which is when winter seasonal hiring begins.
The season lasts from mid-December to mid-April.
All types of jobs are available, including food and beverage staff, housekeepers, reception clerks, lift operators, ski instructors and snowmakers.
Full-time positions are usually filled by the end of December, although part-time jobs as lift operators or food and beverage staff are often available all season.
Interviews are usually face-to-face, but can also be done through Skype if necessary.
International applicants are accepted, but bear in mind you will need a valid American working visa to get a job. See Work a Winter Season in the USA for further information on visas. Bolton Valley also offers the USE program from South America.
Most seasonal positions are minimum wage ($10 per hour in Vermont), although supervisors and managers typically earn more.
Staff perks include a free season pass, and free season passes for your dependents. Staff also get full access to the sports center (pool, hot tub, gym, basketball courts), as well as discounts on food, equipment rentals, and retail items.
Training is provided to all new employees, and the resort will reimburse part of the cost of obtaining a certificate for ski and snowboard instructors.
Finding Accommodation for the Season
Bolton Valley does not provide staff lodging. However, finding seasonal accommodation is fairly straightforward, as lots of places are available for rent in the surrounding towns, such as Burlington, Waterbury and Richmond.
Finding shared rental properties can be done through local newspapers and classifieds such as Craigslist or Burlington Free Press.
Rent in the area is around $800-$1100 a month, depending on the location and size of the property.
Nightlife in Bolton Valley is limited mostly to the James Moore Tavern, although the resort holds a number of staff events, including a holiday mixer and an end-of-season party. For entertainment outside of skiing, Burlington is the best place to go. As a college town it offers heaps of things to do and places to go.
The Farmhouse Tap & Grill is worth a visit for good food and beer, and if you’re in the mood for dancing then Club Metronome and Venue Nightclub are the most popular places to go.