Pursue a Career in Ski Area Management with a CMC Ski Area Operations Degree

Learn the specialized technical and management skills needed at ski resorts

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 ski area management 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 management and design
  • 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

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.” Read more: Woodward Copper’s Newest Terrain Park Builder

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. Read more: Colorado ski couple work the hill, South Korean style

CMC work backbone of Leadville ski joring course

The ski area operations program at Colorado Mountain College Leadville has been helping to make Leadville Ski Joring a success for over 20 years. To create the event course, the county deposits 250 dump truck loads of snow onto Harrison Avenue. Then two CMC faculty- and student-driven snowcats cruise from the campus, along the Mineral Belt, and to the top of Capitol Hill.

Every year students in the Grooming Lab class enter a lottery to have the honor of working the event. This year’s winning ’cat drivers are Brad Holmes and Matt Davis. Read more: CMC work backbone of Leadville ski joring course