Do You Need To Buy A Season Pass To Work At A Ski Resort Or Is It Included? (Resort Perks)

by Travis McCullough | Updated: October 27th, 2022 |  Skiing Articles

There are many considerations to consider when deciding whether to work at a ski resort this winter.  Resorts will also require some prerequisites before hiring a new employee, but is purchasing a season pass one of these?

No, you do not have to purchase a season pass to work at a ski resort; it is quite the opposite actually.  The vast majority of ski resorts will provide you with a free employee season pass as a perk for working there, though this usually requires you to work a certain amount of days per season.

work at ski resort

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Common Requirements To Receive An Employee Season Pass

The most common perk of working at a ski resort is getting a free season pass for being an employee.  The only caveat is that most resorts require you to work a certain number of hours or days per season to earn the pass.

If you are considering spending your next ski season working at a resort, consider how many days per week you will be working and skiing.  Some resorts will give free season passes to part-time employees, while others will require you to work full-time to receive this perk.

ski discipline

"Employees receive a free season pass providing access to skiing and snowboarding at many of the resorts in our family."

Vail Resort Careers

If your current job pays much higher than your local resort, and there is a very good chance that it does, then it might make more sense to just purchase a season pass instead of working more hours per week at a lower rate.

Sapporo Teine Ski Resort
Photo by MIKI Yoshihito under CC BY 2.0

If you are satisfied with working full-time at a ski resort, you be can be almost certain that they will provide you with a free season pass.  Keep in mind that different departments may also have different requirements to receive this pass.

Certain departments like ski school, ski patrol, and lift maintenance need to have a season pass so they can get to the top of the mountain to do their job.  Other departments like rentals, repairs, food & beverage, and guest services generally can complete their duties without getting on the snow, so they may have some extra requirements to receive a free season pass.

Working directly for the resort or a secondary company that operates at the resorts means you might be offered different perks. For example employees of these secondary companies might have access to discounted season tickets or in some cases no special treatment at all.

Warth Schröcken

What If I’m Not Sure Of The Requirements?

If you are unsure of what it takes to be eligible for an employee season pass, contact the resort that you are considering working for.  The head of each department on the mountain will be able to inform you of the base requirements that need to be fulfilled in order to receive an employee season pass.

They will also be able to inform you about all of the other perks available to part-time and full-time employees.  Though a free season pass is very enticing, it is certainly not the only perk that a resort will offer.

Ski Resort Procession
Photo by Ruth Hartnup under CC BY 2.0

What If I Already Bought A Season Pass?

If you have already purchased a season pass before becoming employed at a ski resort, contact your human resources department to discuss a refund.  This is a common occurrence for resorts, and most will have no problem crediting the amount paid back to you.

If for some reason the resort cannot or will not refund the price of the pass, maybe consider working at a different nearby resort.  This will allow you to enjoy unlimited skiing at multiple resorts instead of just one, more mountains mean more possible powder days! 


There are many advantages and drawbacks to working at a ski resort, and the on-mountain perks are a huge reason that people consider working at one.  The perks of each mountain will vary, but 99% of resorts will offer a free season pass in exchange for working a certain number of days per week or season.