What is it like to live in Snowmass, Colorado?
September 18, 2012 1:25 PM   Subscribe

I'm going to be bartending in Snowmass for at least the winter. Aside from already being acclimated, what do I need to know about living and working Snowmass and Colorado in general having only lived as an adult in Oregon and Arizona.

I've been offered a position in Snowmass Village, Colorado as a bartender at an upscale resort. I'm coming up on completing a season at Crater Lake National Park, so I'm now ok with the altitude (presently at 7,700') and the seasonal nature of this type of work. I've been to Colorado once, for a few days in the winter. I don't really have any skills in skiing or snowboarding, but wouldn't mind developing these. I'll be driving out from Oregon shortly before November 1st.

What general things, anecdotal or otherwise, should I know or read up on concerning living in this area. Currently I have no housing lined up; Snowmass Village does seem to offer subsidized housing, but only to year-round employees, which I'm not classified as. My base hourly is roughly twice the standard for tipped Colorado employees.
posted by efalk to Work & Money (7 answers total)
Living in a ski town is ridiculously expensive. I would brace yourself for sticker shock. People rent out their couches for $75/night for temporary living.

Not only are you in a tourist town, you're in a tourist town with few ways to get in or out, and those channels are sometimes closed and under 3 feet of snow.

Getting a pass to the local mountain from your employer is a pretty standard perk. You will find out there's not much else to do in the winter that's very inexpensive. Board games man, learn to love them.

I doubt altitude will be of any significance - drink water and monitor your sleep, some people get sleep apnea at ~ 10.500. Different people do deal with it differently.
posted by alex_skazat at 1:43 PM on September 18, 2012

The Aspen/Snowmass area is indeed expensive. You may want to look into living in Basalt or Carbondale, that's where a lot of the help live. Try to get used to the idea of being "the help". Aspen has a lot of residents and visitors who are incredibly wealthy or aspire to incredible wealth and have no problems treating their servants (that would be you) like shit. Compared to much of the rest of Colorado where people are pretty friendly, I find Aspen/Snowmass unpleasant to visit because of all the assholes.
posted by medusa at 2:22 PM on September 18, 2012

You might enjoy Ted Conover's book Whiteout: Lost in Aspen. It's IMHO actually not his best book, but it's a detailed and funny sort of expose of how the area functions.
posted by crabintheocean at 3:17 PM on September 18, 2012

The billionaires and mere millionaires to whom you will be slinging drinks put their pants on one leg at a time, just like you. Treat them as you would like to be treated. Expect some of them to be jerks. Others will treat you well. Metafilter's aversion to wealth notwithstanding, not all wealthy people are reprobate assholes.

Yes, Aspen is extremely expensive, etc.

Yes, there will likely be some wealthy jackass who becomes sloppy drunk at your bar and does something stupid. No, it will not help your cause if you do anything other than ignore it.

posted by dfriedman at 3:20 PM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]

The good news about places like Snowmass is that transportation is pretty decent. Snowmass is REALLY SMALL—but Aspen is near, in a Colorado sense, and it's an easy, door-to-door bus ride away, if you don't have a car and/or if you drink.

You can do pretty cheap there though, even though it's an expensive resort town. The grocery store has pretty average prices. And then there's THE STEW POT. Mmm, stew pot.

Also you'll get awesome quads from living there.

I guess I would also say that Snowmass in a couple ways is like an old New England town, with Old Families That Have Been There Forever (which, heh, because it's the west, is sometimes "all of 40 years") and it's good to get to know them. Though in this case these are Old Families That Jet In And Out.

You would wanna get your housing together pronto. That shit gets scarce.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 6:49 PM on September 18, 2012

I can recommend that you become a member at Epic Ski and post in their forums. It is a good way to find a place to live as well as potentially meeting some people before you get to town.
posted by mmascolino at 7:47 AM on September 19, 2012

Also you'll get awesome quads from living there.

Funniest response, ever.
posted by alex_skazat at 7:29 PM on September 21, 2012

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