Ski Area Operations at Colorado Mountain College

Earn a college degree in Ski Area Operations from Colorado Mountain College

Put your passion to work with a degree in Ski Area Operations at Colorado Mountain College — our program is one of two offered in the entire country!

With five major mountain resorts, including Breckenridge and Vail, about an hour from campus, the Ski Area Operations program keeps you close to the sport you love and well-versed on the latest industry trends.

The Ski Area Operations degree at Colorado Mountain College is the most comprehensive training program of its kind in the nation, and the only one in the heart of Rocky Mountain ski country.

CMC Ski Area Operations graduates are distinguished by their blend of technical and hands-on training. From home base in Leadville, they take their skills to work in mountain resorts all over the world.

Prepare for a job in:

  • Lift installation
  • Ski area design and management
  • Mountain operations
  • Safety management

In addition to an Associate of Applied Science: Ski Area Operations, you can earn certificates in:

Get real experience at world-class Colorado ski resorts

The best way to learn Ski Area Management is to experience it first-hand. Drive a snow groomer. Help build a new ski trail. Repair a gondola. Colorado Mountain College's epic locale and hands-on philosophy give you the chance to actively work on some of the most notable slopes in the nation.

Hands-on opportunities to:

  • Work on major ski competitions such as the World Cup races
  • Be involved in large-scale international events
  • Network with high-level ski and snowboard professionals
  • Intern at any winter resort in the world
  • Learn about the wide range of mountain conditions
  • Use state-of-the-art equipment and cutting-edge technology

Required internships take students to their choice of any winter resort in the world. As an intern you are paid regular wages and can expect guidance and supervision from both ski area management personnel and your Colorado Mountain College Ski Area Operations instructors. Many students make contacts during their internships that lead directly to employment.

Program News

Ski area operations education launched emergency medical career

Ski Area Operations Education Launched Emergency Medical Career By Heather McGregor Reed Clawson had his mind set on being a professional ski patroller. He never expected to be working as a flight paramedic with a helicopter team. “I wanted to make ski patrolling as viable a career as I could. But all these doors opened because of the training and schooling, and led me in the direction I went,” said Clawson, 34, of New Castle, a 2012 graduate of Colorado Mountain College. Since April 2016, Clawson has served aboard Classic Air Medical’s Bell 407 helicopter, based at Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs. In 17 months, he has worked more than 150 medical flights. “I like taking care of people. I also love that it’s not normal, not mundane. Every day, every flight is different,” he said. The flight team includes a pilot, a nurse and a paramedic. Classic Air’s Glenwood Springs crew members – four pilots, four nurses and three paramedics – work rotating shifts. “Our primary job is to care for and transport critically sick or injured patients,” Clawson said. Some flights transfer patients to or from Valley View Hospital; others are backcountry rescues where the flight team is often the first responder. “Our goal is to get the person to definitive care as fast as possible,” he said. “You can really see the benefit of the helicopter. We can get to Denver in one hour, or to Grand Junction in about 35 minutes.” The Glenwood Springs team also supports Classic Air’s helicopter and airplane teams in Steamboat Springs, Craig and Moab. The company serves Colorado, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Wyoming and Idaho. Learning new skills leads to career change Clawson arrived at this vital position, responsible for people’s lives and futures every day, after making a pivot […]

Woodward Copper’s Newest Terrain Park Builder

Steve Nicosia, a 25 year-old student from East Aurora, NY has been enrolled since fall 2017. One year into the two-year program, and he’s landed a position as a Snowcat Operator and Terrain Park Builder for Woodward Copper.

“I definitely believe that CMC helped me get this position,” says Steve, who is expected to graduate next spring, “Before coming to school, I had no snowcat operating experience with minimal heavy equipment practice. Going to CMC gave me experience in a dozer, back-hoe, and a snowcat.”

Colorado ski couple work the hill, South Korean style

South Korea is over 6,000 miles away from Colorado, but when it comes to the ski industry, it’s surprisingly close.

Nobody knows that better than Allison Kohn Marriner and her husband, Geoff “Salty” Marriner, both alumni of Colorado Mountain College Leadville’s ski area operations program. The couple was hired 15 months ago to join an international team of seasoned professionals producing the 2018 Winter Olympics and the XII Paralympic Winter Games at Jeongseon Alpine Centre in Pyeongchang, South Korea.