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

Learn specialized technical and management skills to launch your career at a ski resort

Put your passion to work with a degree in Ski Area Operations at Colorado Mountain College. Our program is the most comprehensive training program of its kind in the nation, and the only one in the heart of Rocky Mountain ski country. Choose between our residential program in Leadville, or our low-residency program for working professionals available at all CMC campuses.

CMC Ski Area Operations graduates are distinguished by their blend of technical and hands-on training.

Prepare for a job in:

  • Ski area management and design
  • Lift maintenance
  • Mountain operations
  • Ski area risk management

Ski Area Operations Residential Track

Based at CMC’s Leadville Campus, the Ski Area Operations Residential Track is the classic residential college experience.

Five major mountain resorts, including Copper, Ski Cooper and Vail, are only an hour from campus.

SAO Residential Track

Ski Area Operations Low Residency Track

This hybrid program allows working professionals to take the program from their home community while working and learning at their local ski mountain.

Students will travel to Leadville for brief, intensive residential sessions to use the campus’s state of the art equipment.

SAO Low Residency Track

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

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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

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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

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