Getting a ski resort open for the winter season isn’t a matter of pushing a few buttons, having the chairlifts turn and people hitting the slopes. There are a slew of seasonal staff members to be trained in a wide variety of positions, carpets to be cleaned, snow to be made with snowguns then pushed and groomed with snowcats, sales contracts to be fulfilled, kitchens to be stocked, vehicles (from trucks to snowmobiles) to be tuned up, chairlifts and towers to be padded and on and on.

This season has presented an even greater challenge than usual because, due to an unusually warm and dry Fall, the resorts are opening quite a bit slower than planned. There aren’t as many skier and riders on the hill generating revenue, but it also means that many people are not able to start their seasonal jobs as quickly as planned. In addition, this work slowdown is found not only at ski resorts but also at the many hotels, restaurants and shops throughout Park City.

I saw the effects of this earlier tonight when I met a friend for a beer, and the bartender (another friend) mentioned to me that she would love to baby sit for my daughter this Friday night as she was about flat broke (she’s always wanted to babysit for us as well). While I know that its not atypical for many people to be short of cash in resort towns this time of year, I feel better knowing that we’ll inject a few dollars into our town by giving my friend some cash for babysitting and spend some more money at the restaurant that we’ll be dining at.

Here’s hoping for snow soon, to get the mountains open and for everyone that’s waiting to get to work – let it snow!

Photo credit: Me (Snowcat at PCMR November 2008)