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

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

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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

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