Work A Ski Season at Stratton
Discover information on working a ski season at Stratton Resort and browse winter jobs.Stratton Mountain USA
Stratton Mountain Ski Resort is located in Vermont, USA, on the east coast. It is around 10 minutes drive from the mountain town of Bondville. There is also a small resort town at the base of the hill. Stratton is just under four hours from NYC, three hours from Boston, two hours from Burlington, Vermont and about four hours from Montreal. Stratton was established in 1961, and is one of Vermont’s largest ski resorts. Stratton sits at 3,875 feet and offers a beautiful view over the Green Mountains.
The Terrain at Stratton Mountain
Stratton’s ski area covers 624 acres and includes 94 ski trails. There are snow guns on 93% of the mountain to back up the natural snow. Stratton is a great beginner mountain with less terrain for truly advanced riders. The woods are the best part of Stratton. Stratton is located pretty close to many other mountains though so it’s easy to go for day trips to check out what other mountains have to offer.
If you’re really into parks, Stratton is about 40 minutes from Carinthia at Mount Snow, which is known for some pretty amazing features. Other local mountains include Magic (steep, small, never crowded, and has that old-school feel), Bromley, Okemo, and Killington/Pico.
- Elevation at the summit: 1,181 meters / 3,875 feet
- Vertical drop: 611 meters / 2,003 feet
- Number of trails: 94
- Average annual snowfall: 460 cm / 180 inches
Working for Stratton Mountain Ski Resort
For instructors, Stratton expects higher level instructors to have their certificates at the time of hire. Entry level instructors are offered some training, but mostly are geared towards guest service. Your ride time will depend on your job, even if it’s just a few runs at lunch, or cutting out an hour early on powder days.
The best thing about working at a ski resort is that your days off fall on week days, when the mountain’s pretty much just employees and locals. It’s awesome and not uncommon to find yourself on a trail all by yourself or just with the friends you’re riding with.
Stratton has people from all over the country. Most seasonal workers are in their mid 20s to mid 30s.
How to Get a Job at Stratton Mountain?
Apply online at stratton.com/jobs. Just apply for one job, and mention in your cover letter that you’re open to other jobs also. Creativity and humor is a good idea, especially as they look at hundreds of applications, but keep it professional. Include a work reference or two.
Stratton does a combination of phone, Skype, and in person interviews, but does not hire people on J1 visas nor sponsor applicants for H2B visas except outside a specialized program.
Minimum wage in Vermont is $10 per hour and most entry-level jobs pay around this.
When to Apply for a Job?
Stratton starts posting jobs for the winter season in late summer. Jobs are advertising through early fall and into December. Most jobs are filled by Thanksgiving. Some jobs remain posted throughout the season, so there is always a chance to get a job mid-season.
There are a few hiring events throughout September and October. These dates are posted on the Stratton Mountain website as the hiring season approaches.
Finding Accommodation for the Season
Stratton offers employee housing but it is very limited and not guaranteed.There is a separate application process to get in- and references will be checked. It can be challenging to find housing in the area – and can be expensive, so plan ahead.
Craigslist is a good online resource to use to find a place to rent. Local newspapers are The Manchester Journal, The Message, and The VT Newsguide.
Being a rural area, a lot of it is word of mouth and people still post ads on bulletin boards in the grocery store. If you have a place to stay for a few days to get acquainted with the area, that’s usually the best way to meet people and hear about openings.
Towns to look for that are within a reasonable driving distance are: Bondville, Winhall, Manchester, Jamaica, Rawsonville, Townshend, Newfane, Londonderry, South Londonderry, Chester, and Peru. There are plenty of seasonal rooms and houses to rent for the winter in these towns.
Along with a free season pass, perks to choose from are sports center and golf memberships, vouchers for friends and family, and ski passes for dependents.
Full time Stratton employees get free day tickets to Magic and Bromley Mountains (within 30 minutes of Stratton), and receive industry rates at all other ski areas (except for weekends and holidays).
Full time employees are also eligible to receive 5 free consecutive days and lodging discounts at other Intrawest resorts: Steamboat, Winter Park, Tremblant, and Snowshoe. All employees get retail and food and beverage discounts at most locations on the mountain.
What to Bring to Work a Season?
The right clothing: Be sure to ask your new manager/supervisor about dress code or recommended clothing/footwear for the job you will be doing, especially if you’re working outdoors. Proper footwear is really important! Keep in mind that Vermont winters can be unpredictable. A day could start out sunny and warm and by the end of your shift, it may be snowing.
Transportation: This part of southern Vermont does not have public transportation. The village of Stratton is at the very top of a long and winding access road, so we recommend that you bring your own transportation or make arrangements with friends or family for rides to and from work. If you do have your own vehicle, be sure to invest in some good snow tires, and make sure you have an emergency kit in your car at all times in case you get stuck somewhere.
Money: Bring enough to live on for a few weeks. Depending on when you arrive and start working, you may not get paid for at least three weeks because of how the payroll cycles work. If you don’t have a vehicle, it can be hard to find your way to a bank. It is recommended that you set up direct deposit when you arrive. Make sure you have a little bit of a cushion until you are fully settled.
Night life and Outside Work
Winter brings parties and races, snowshoe hikes, snowmobile tours, snow tubing, fireworks, the 24 Hours of Stratton, plus snowboard and freestyle events and boarder-cross camps.
Most employees head to Grizzly’s when the mountain closes, and from there to the Green Door Pub for live music, DJs, pool tournaments and all around good vibes. Some popular events during the winter are the TorchLight parade (think skiing/riding down the mountain at night with all your friends holding torches…) and the Annual Pond Skim. The best day is Employee Ski Day – the day after the mountain officially closes, where the lifts are open for employees only. There is a huge feast and drinks are super cheap. People also BBQ at spots all over the mountain and it’s an awesome way to end the season.
Summer and fall events include free concerts, live music in the Village, brewfest and chili cook-off, Wanderlust music and yoga, a Farm to Table Food Festival, kayaking, and hiking. Off the mountain, most people just chill with friends at home. But there are a lot of local bars and restaurants in the area. One of the most popular spots is an Irish pub called The Red Fox, with nightly (cheap) food specials and some pretty cool bands.