Located along the shores of Georgian Bay in Ontario, Canada, and approximately 90 minutes’ drive north-west of Toronto, Blue Mountain Ski Resort is the largest in its area. Close town centers Blue Mountain Village (base of mountain), Collingwood (15 minutes’ drive), and Meaford (30 minutes’ drive) each offer a variety of retail shops and restaurants, and après-ski entertainment. Additional shopping locations Georgian Mall, Kozlov Centre, and Bayfield Mall are located in Barrie; approximately one hour from the resort.
Photo: Blue Mountain village
Season opening and closing dates are weather dependent, but the winter season will generally span from early December to mid-March, while the summer season will run from approximately May-September. Between 110-140 days of skiing can reasonably be expected each winter.
Summerbound Ontario offers a shuttle bus service from Toronto’s Pearson International Airport to the Blue Mountain Resort area. Once you’ve arrived, the local bus services various local areas including Collingwood. Monthly bus passes are available, and a bus schedule can be found online for the Collingwood-Blue Mountains route. For those who prefer to fly, the Collingwood Regional Airport is nearby.
Blue Mountain has 300 acres of terrain, including 42 ski and snowboard trails, of which six trails and 64 acres were added throughout winter 2013-2014 as part of a terrain expansion. Blue has the largest snowmaking system in Canada, at an impressive 14,000 gallons per minute. There is 720 feet of vertical.
Photo: The runs at Blue Mountain
The terrain is among the best in Ontario and has a few good steeps on the Toronto Ski Club and Collingwood Ski Club side, in addition to some good cruisers on the other side of the mountain.
15 chairlifts service Blue Mountain’s terrain, including 5 high-speed, six-person express chairlifts.
The Badlands Terrain Park, the home base for Blue Mountain’s freestyle community, is the resort’s largest park, with features for every level of rider.
As many of the people who ski at Blue come up from Toronto at the weekend, the week-day crowd is pretty small and you can make the most of the mountain during lunch breaks at work.
How to Apply
You will generally hear back on the status of your application, regardless of outcome. Jobs can only be applied for once they have been posted online (or at the Human Resources office). If you have an interest that is not currently posted, the resort will keep résumés on file for future opportunities.
There are also over 10 businesses at Blue Mountain village, including restaurants and retail stores, which look for seasonal staff each year. The job postings can be found under “Village Current Jobs” at bluemountain.ca/employment.
Photo: Ice-skating at Blue Mountain
Blue Mountain has part-time, full-time, seasonal, year-round, and core jobs, including roles in hospitality, food and beverage, summer and winter recreation, grounds, engineering, patrol, events, guest services, retail, sales and marketing. Pay ranges from minimum wage upwards dependent on the position applied for. Minimum wage in Ontario is $11 an hour.
While most staff hail from the Blue Mountains or Collingwood area, plenty of other staff are otherwise based around the Greater Toronto Area and other provinces, as well as internationally.
Blue Mountain Resort accepts international applications. However, letters of offer cannot be provided to international applicants who require such an offer as part of their Canadian visa application. As such, all International Applicants interested in working for Blue Mountain must have a valid Canadian Holiday Working Visa or Work Permit. See Work a Snow Season in Canada for further information on getting a visa to work in Canada.
Face to face interviews are preferred. Where that is not possible, a Skype interview is preferred over a telephone interview.
All new employees receive job-specific training prior to commencement, though certain jobs require that applicants already have a certain skill/ability level and relevant certifications. Ski and Snowboard instructors must have a minimum level one CSIA certification in order to apply for a job.
Blue Mountain staff members enjoy discounts at select restaurants, food kiosks and shops, and receive a free winter season lift pass. Staff often get out to ski or snowboard on lunch breaks. Since Blue Mountain is partially owned by Intrawest, Blue has reciprocal pass-holder agreements with other Intrawest resorts (including Mont Tremblant) at which you are able to ride free.
Limited staff housing is available at the Blue Mountain village. Shared accommodation is located approximately 10-15 minutes from, or within walking distance of, the resort. Rent varies based on accommodation. Blue Mountain also runs a Staff Accommodations Connection program, collating several listings of rooms/condos/homes in the area that residents in the area make the resort aware of. Employees can borrow a booklet of listings, or can request it be sent to them via email.
Most of the apartments and condos in Collingwood range from $600 - $1000/monthly, and approximately 50% of Blue's employees live in Collingwood. Blue Mountain Resort’s HR department can provide employees with more options; the average employee pays from $390 to $475 per month for accommodation.
The Blue Bulletin, which is sent out weekly to all Blue Mountain and Westin employees, contains a classified section with lower cost apartment options. Other local papers such as the Collingwood Enterprise Bulletin and The Meaford Independent will contain classified ads as well.
Blue is a lively mountain environment, with the village located at the base of the mountain. Blue Mountain village includes just over 25 shops, restaurants, and bars in total, of which there are nine Après bars and restaurants.
Staff events are held throughout the year. Weekly events, including concerts, festivals and more, take place in the village – see this year’s calendar here.
Collingwood is the major town in the area and, with a population of around 20,000, it has a number of bars and restaurants to check out during the season. In Collingwood, The Tremont Café and The Huron Club are popular restaurants/bars. In Thornbury, which is also a close distance to the mountain, Sisi Trattoria and Bruce Wine Bar are popular.