Now Hiring: Alta, Utah

Put your anthropology degree to use.

Lunch Break at Alta.

One of the only good decisions I ever made was to move to Alta, Utah. I got the idea from former pro Matt Collins. I had interviewed him for a story for as an intern here. He talked about the dorm-style living at The Goldminer’s Daughter. It seemed like an extension of college (an all male one, but still), except they skied all day instead of studying. They even called it the University of Alta. I wanted that. A year later, after receiving my real degree, I enrolled.

Alta’s Goldminer’s Daughter, Peruvian Lodge, Alta House, and Rustler Lodge are all hiring right now. You could start in three months. Your front door could be a snowball’s throw from the lift. You could ski every day. Bellhop, line cook, concierge, or server might not be the job title you expected out of your liberal arts degree, but the work is not really the point.

It snowed 700 inches the winter I lived in Alta. Two of our responsibilities included clearing our room’s basement window of snow and making sure our parked cars were visible along the bank across the highway so snowplows wouldn’t clip them. We’d use our backcountry shovels to locate the right Subaru, lost in white mounds, then dig until we could pull out of the space and back into it.

I remember waking up one morning exhausted from 67 straight days of skiing, and digging, and working on my feet every night. The room was dark, which meant the basement window was yet again covered by at least two feet of fresh snow. I remember wishing that it would stop snowing, just for a day. I’ll never forgive myself for that.

I lived in the hotel room on the G-Floor, the basement of the legendary GMD lodge, just down the hall from the sauna, hot tub, and game room. Sometimes we’d mix it up with the guests, but usually we’d wait until they’d gone to bed, and then congregate in the game room, which we found to have the most noise insulation. We’d play drinking games. Things would get weird. We’d wake up and go skiing.

I worked in the kitchen, six days a week, from 3:00 to 11:00. I figured out the last chair I could ride in order to have enough time to sprint to my room, ditch my ski coat for a chef’s jacket, and run up the stairs to the kitchen. I learned how to properly wield a kitchen knife, present tiramisu, make Asian lettuce wraps, hide burnt things, and drink beer on the clock.

I made $250 a month with minimal tips. I also walked the Alta Medical Clinic doctor’s dog, Zevon, a bear-sized Lab/Rottweiler mix. With the extra cash I had enough to regularly buy beer, the only reason we ever had to go to the Valley. We didn’t have access to refrigerators so we’d stash the beer on the windowsill, next to the frost.

I only lived in Alta for five months. But when you share chairlifts, living space, women, hot tubs, and beers, you get to know people pretty well. I count some of the people I met there as the best friends I have. Collins was on to something.

Apply now.

Posted In: Opinion, Places, Stories

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  • Caz

    You made $550 before taxes a month with minimal tips, but the experience and location are priceless!

    Thanks for the shout-out Davies!

  • Brent


    My favorite memory from the kitchen that winter. What was that, three, four 700 inch winters ago?

  • Bro

    IF you decide to go work at alta there are some places to steer clear of!!! example Alta Ski Shop, run by a bunch or NY “raft guides” who dont know how to stock or run a ski shop. Year after year they are ordering aver $30,000 in race equipment for Alta, UT????? while they time and time again run out of powder boards to demo for customers, If you are looking for a terrible work environment shitty pay and managers who have no clue what their talking about this is the place for you, did i also menchin ski time is just a privilege (apparently you dont get the job to ski there you get the job because it is what you want to do in life) this means no skiing on pow days, what a great place to work!!!!! so note to self if you decide to come to the greatest place DO NOT GO WORK AT THE ALTA SKI SHOP!

  • Emily

    Living it up in Alta isn’t only for dudes, although clearly the ratio isn’t balanced. As they say, ladies, the odds are good but the goods are odd!

  • Chas

    I believe you mistakenly called the Alta Lodge the Alta House…that is by far the best place to work.

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