Faces of Ski Towns


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Kathy Ellsworth

Environmental Lawyer

Jackson, WY

Age: 29

Ski Days: 35

“People should be prepared for a modest lifestyle. Even working professionals can’t afford huge houses here. But who needs a mansion when you’re out all weekend, shooting through the North Hoback?

Kristi Arone

Registered Nurse

Steamboat, CO

Age: 37

Ski Days: 70

“I came here with a bachelor’s in physical education, but the demand for medical professionals was so high that I went to nursing school. I work long hours, but my schedule still gives me three or four days a week to ski.

Joel Heath

CEO, Untraditional Marketing

Vail, CO

Age: 33

Ski Days: 65

“I moved to Vail to ski—and to get into marketing. After a few years, I started my own company and we carved out a niche promoting outdoors events. As the boss, I impose the ‘six-inch rule’ whenever appropriate.

Robb Larson

Professor of Mechanical Engineering, MontanaState UniversityBozeman, MT

Age: 45

Ski Days: 50

“The youthful energy of this town is contagious. If I were in Detroit, I doubt I could start lectures by talking about the foot of powder we got the night before.

Mark Geller


Hood River, OR

Age: 43

Ski Days: 40

“I started out working in a firm of 100-plus lawyers in New Jersey, and this is a much better place to practice. Everyone knows everyone. It’s much more relaxing. I mostly ski on the weekends now—but can steal powder days during the week.

Burdette McLaughlin

Real Estate Agent

Truckee, CA

Age: 33

Ski Days: 100

“Sneaking in runs before work makes you forget how expensive it is to live here. Also, it’s important to find a firm whose training program gets you introduced to the local community.

Craig VanValkenburgh

Head Copywriter, Dmedia

Park City, UT

Age: 28

Ski Days: 75

“It’s not easy to work a full-time job and ski 100 days per year, but some of the guys in my office manage it. We’ll wake up at 5 a.m., hike a few hours to take one run, then show up to work around 10.

Geoffrey Stacey


Breckenridge, CO

Age: 32

Ski Days: 70

“I came here in 2000 from San Luis Obispo, California, and worked for a local CPA before going out on my own. My client list includes everyone from local shopkeepers to the resorts. Working here is a lifestyle thing; last winter, I tagged every mountain in Summit County and never missed a powder day.

Jason Segal

Construction Contractor

Aspen, CO

Age: 30

Ski Days: 75

“Aspen is hands-down the most expensive place I’ve ever been, but wages are better, too. There are plenty of rentals in town, and cheaper, quainter places to live just down the valley. The best part about Aspen is that people ski when it’s sunny, not when it snows. And the only times you see lift lines are on holidays.

Jay Bowen

Owner, Eastern Painting

Stowe, VT

Age: 46

Ski Days: 100—150

“I lived here as a kid, then moved back here in my twenties from New York almost exclusively to ski. We bulk up our staff during the summer and work weekends when the mountain is crowded to make sure we get plenty of turns every season.