GREAT FALLS — Ski season in is still about a month away and that means ski areas are looking for seasonal help. Many companies in various industries were struggling to hire, so what about ski areas?
Showdown Montana Ski Area hosted a job fair on November 13 and says it was a success.
"We had a pretty good turnout. Some solid instructors came in,” said Rickey Nash, Showdown Engagement Director and Special Events Coordinator.
While the free beer and pizza offered at the job fair may have helped, Nash was confident Showdown would have the necessary staff on hand by the start of the season.
"We're scheduling and doing interviews every day right now. We've had some amazing applicants come through and we're super excited about all our new hires,” said Nash.
If there ever is a staff shortage, however, that shouldn't be too much of a problem: "We're all jack-of-all-trades, so we always hire people that can do five jobs at once,” Nash said.
The season has to get started first, though.
"Every snowfall that's come through, we've gotten a couple inches,” said Showdown owner Katie Boedecker.
Boedecker said there needs to be about 20 inches of snow on the ground to open the mountain.
Opening day is tentatively scheduled for December 10 and, as of Wednesday, it's still too early to say if the minimal snowfall and mild weather so far this fall will push that back.
"Our mountain manager has been here 48 years and he knows how to work with the snow that we get and make the most of it,” Boedecker explained.
Showdown has never made snow in its 85 years of operation, and Boedecker said there were no plans to make any for the 2021-2022 season.
Showdown will have a canned food drive on opening day to benefit the Great Falls Community Food Bank? For 15 cans of food, you can get a lift ticket for $15.
We also tried to contact Great Divide Ski Area northwest of Helena to find out about hiring and staffing there, but have not yet received a response.