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

Graduate: Grooming Around the World

While Karen Bruce Gilliot was growing up in Belle Vernon, a little borough outside Pittsburgh, she skied at Seven Springs. It’s a Pennsylvania ski area that tops out at just less than 3,000 feet, and is about an hour drive from the Bruce family house.

Today, Gilliot lives, skis and works as a snowcat groomer in Les Arcs, a collection of four resorts in the midst of the French Alps. Surrounded by 10,000-foot peaks and with a view of Mont Blanc, Les Arcs hosted speed skiing at the 1992 Winter Olympics. The resort has more than 150 lifts and covers over 260 miles of runs. Read more: Graduate: Grooming Around the World

Ski Area Operations: Groomed for Success

In the last twelve years, Zach Collins, a 2007 graduate of the Ski Area Operations program has built an impressive ski industry resume. He’s worked on the grooming crew for Vail Mountain, Copper Mountain, and Beaver Creek, but his experience isn’t limited to Colorado mountains. Read more: Ski Area Operations: Groomed for Success