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Ski Business and Area Operations at Colorado Mountain College

Put your passion to work with a degree in the snowsports industry

Imagine yourself learning about the business and operations of the sports you love. Colorado Mountain College has two unique degree programs in two of Colorado's best-loved mountain towns.

Leadville is the ultra sports mecca. Copper Mountain, Breckenridge, Keystone, Beaver Creek and Vail ski areas are all under a hour drive from the campus, and Ski Cooper is 15 minutes down the highway. The backcounty is even closer. BTW, Leadville students living on campus are eligible for a free season pass at Copper Mountain.

Study ski area operations including snowmaking, trail grooming and ski patrolling. Our graduates work all over the world (see below).

Steamboat Springs is home to both world-class corporate and boutique resort operations. The "Boat" is also home base for SmartWool, Big Agnes, Honey Stinger, Moots Cycles and other outdoor industry companies. And the slopes of the Steamboat Ski Resort and Howelsen Hill's ski jumping complex surround the town.

Study snowsports business and sales, marketing, retail management or guiding. All taught by industry veterans who love the mountains.

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Business Degree

Ski & Snowboard Business

Our unique program focuses on snowsports retail, manufacturing and marketing. Advanced electives include photography and video, guiding and international business. Partnered with SnowSports Industries America (SIA) and several equipment companies, our students intern and network on national and international levels.

Operations Degree

Ski Area Operations

Start your degree with a broad working knowledge of mountain operations. Then dive into specialties such as terrain park & half-pipe operations, snowmaking or avalanche safety. All while living in the heart of Colorado's ski county.

Degree type Ski and Snowboard Business (AAS)

Program Specific Courses
ASI 130 - Athlete Alignment & Fitting
SKB 117 - Ski & Snowboard Business Retailing & Sales
SKB 140 - Ski & Board Tuning
SKB 150 - SIA Retail Employee
SKB 151 - SIA Retail Manager
SKB 152 - SIA Marketing
SKB 153 - SIA Sales Representative
SKB 154 - SIA Wholesale & Buying
SKB 155 - SIA Promotions
SKB 210 - Ski and Board Product Design
SKB 216 - Ski & Snowboard Marketing & Media
SKB 220 - Snow Sports Retail & Wholesale
SKB 229 - Integrated Portfolio & Capstone

ASI 112 - Bicycle Mechanic II
ASI 114 - Events & Promotions
ASI 130 - Athlete Alignment & Fitting
PHO 120 - Fundamentals of Photography
FVM 130 - Introduction to Digital Video:(software)
MGD 104 - Videography I
FVM 164 - Introduction to Digital Editing
HWE 129 - Wilderness First Responder
OUT 168 - Level 1 Avalanche Training
OUT 269 - Level 2 Avalanche Training
SKB 105 - Ski History
SKB 118 - Snow Sports Promotions
SKB 119 - Product & Promotion
SKB 124 - Introduction to Ski Guiding
SKB 187 - Work Experience
SKB 216 - Ski & Snowboard Marketing & Media
SKB 221 - Introduction to International Ski & Snowboard Business
SKB 224 - Advanced Ski/Snowboard Guiding
SKB 230 - The Business of Ski Guiding
SKB 287 - Work Experience


Degree type Ski Area Operations (AAS)

Program Specific Courses
SAO 100 - Introduction to Ski Area Operations
SAO 101 - Concepts and Tools
SAO 102 - First Aid for Ski Area Operations
SAO 106 - Ropeway Operations
SAO 110 - Ski Area Risk Management
SAO 111 - Equipment Operations
SAO 131 - Trail Grooming Operations
SAO 141 - Snowmaking Operations
SAO 160 - Ski Patrol Operations
SAO 188 - Work Experience
SAO 288 - Supervised Co-Op Work Experience
SAO 187 - Cooperative Education
SAO 240 - Ski Area Planning
SAO 260 - Ski Area Operations Seminar

Slope and Trail Courses
GIS 100 - Geographic Information Systems Fundamentals
SAO 112 - Equipment Operations Lab
SAO 132 - Trail Grooming Operations Lab
SAO 133 - Terrain Park & Half-Pipe Operations
SAO 142 - Snowmaking Operations Lab
SAO 151 - Snow Vehicle Maintenance
SAO 152 - Snow Vehicle Maintenance Lab
SAO 155 - Events Management

Patrolling Courses
SAO 155 - Events Management
SAO 161 - Ski Patrol Operations Lab
EMS 145 - Basic EMT - Lecture
EMS 146 - Basic EMT - Lab
EMS 170 - EMT Clinical
HPR 125 - Outdoor Emergency Care
OUT 168 - Level 1 Avalanche Training
OUT 269 - Level 2 Avalanche Training

Ropeway Operations and Maintenance Courses
SAO 107 - Ropeway Operations Lab
SAO 210 - Ropeway Construction & Maintenance


The CMC Ski Area Operations is offered at:

  • CMC Leadville


Fueling Success

We gauge our success by our students’ success. Based on what our students accomplish following graduation, we must be doing pretty well.

Ski and Snowboard Business

"The CMC Ski Business degree completely prepared me for what I do now," says Jason. "It showed me a comprehensive view of the industry, the different aspects the job and the reality of what I'm going to working in.

"And it gave me a very clear view of what's expected and what I need to do to perform and succeed at future positions."

Jason D. Badgley
Chief Executive Officer, Phunkshun Wear
CMC Ski & Snowboard Business Graduate

Ski Area Operations

Zach Collins

“I really enjoyed the Ski Area Planning class.” says Zach, “Getting your ski area together from start to finish was both fun and challenging. Seeing something you created come together was very cool.”

Zach Collins has worked on the grooming crew for Vail Mountain, Copper Mountain, and Beaver Creek. He has traveled to Europe, South America and Russia providing event support for Prinoth and Snow Park Technologies. He’s worked on XGames, USASA Nationals, US Free-skiing Open Slopestyle, Red Bull World Record Quarter Pipe and many others. Currently, Zach is the Park Specialist and Demo Coordinator for Prinoth Snowcats. Read more: Zach Collins