Anyone who has always dreamed of working in a ski resort probably has one major motivator in mind: the amazing powder! For most mere mortals, skiing is an activity that can only be pursued in the holidays; those living in warmer climes, meanwhile, often have to wait until the winter season to feel the freedom of downhill skiing. Those who actually work in resorts can sometimes look forward to skiing all year round, honing their skills until their level is almost as good as a pro’s. Research will reveal, however, that proximity to snow itself is just one of many benefits of working at a resort. Some benefits you may be lucky enough to reap at your new job in the mountains include:
- A free ski pass: Depending on where you find employment, you will normally be given a free pass to ski and snowboard at one or more resorts owned by the group you are working for. If you have children, they too may be given access to these resorts at a significantly reduced cost, which is good news considering that skiing in itself can be considered an expensive sport. You might also be given free lift tickets, which can be used by yourself or your family when you are not working. Additional perks can include discounts on tuition, food, board, transport, and retail shopping. You’ll also have direct access to top notch gear such as skis, snowboars, and the best snowboard bindings. Some resorts even offer discounts on specific health procedures (such as eye surgery to correct common eye problems).
- Medical plans: If you are a full-time employee, you will probably be offered one or more comprehensive medical plans, as will your dependants. A good employer will cover the majority of the in-network costs, and preventive care will be completely covered. Many companies have their own reimbursement accounts to contribute to the initial claims you file in a year. Some also offer dental insurance, which can cover everything from regular check-ups and cleanings, to more significant procedures such as surgery, braces, etc. Also ask if the resort offers vision insurance – this will take care of issues like eye tests, glasses, contact lenses, etc., at a much reduced cost.
- Child care: Some resorts offer reduced price childcare services for employees so if you do have kids, it is well worth conducting research and finding out what each resort offers.
- Retirement plans: A good resort will match the amount you contribute to a good degree. The plan should be flexible, enabling you to take out a loan if you need to. Saving for your future is crucial so don’t look just to present benefits; also analyze how well off you will be when it is time to hang up your skis.
- Voluntary insurance: Depending on your lifestyle and needs, you may wish to purchase insurance for illnesses and injuries that will provide top coverage in the event that these should arise. Resorts will often permit you to avail of this type of coverage at a discounted group rate.
- Additional help: Your employer will normally be able to assist you in ways you may not have originally envisioned. Some resorts offer assistance with quitting smoking, nutritional plans and even personal needs such as adoption. This type of assistance goes a long way towards making you feel like an appreciated employee and remember that you may not need it now, but life circumstances do change. Therefore, look at how proactive your prospective company is in terms of catering to your needs and go with the resort that you feel will support you to the greatest extent.
- Legal aid and financial planning: To what extent is the resort you plan to work for, able to offer you help in areas like financial planning, care for elderly family members, counselling, etc.? Some resorts offer the first few advisory sessions at no cost; others will help you avail of these services at a reduced cost.
- Time off: Rest and relaxation are crucial to maintaining in good health and to performing at your best at work. Therefore, many resorts offer extra time off, paid sick leave and paid vacation time. Make sure the company you will be working for recognizes the importance of vacations, personal time to attend doctor’s appointments, taking time off when you are ill, etc.