Work A Ski Season at Swain Resort
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Swain Ski Resort is situated in beautiful Allegany county, approximately 60 miles south of Rochester, New York, USA, and approximately 70 miles southeast of Buffalo, NY. Tucked away in the town of Grove, Swain Ski Resort is the ideal destination for nature-lovers and a great place for those looking to get a job for the winter season at a quiet resort. Swain is close to numerous snowmobile and hiking trails as well as the “Grand Canyon of the East”, Letchworth State Park. www.swain.com
Jobs at Swain Ski Resort
Jobs are available each season in food services, lift operation, the ski shop, guest services, and the terrain park (experience required). Swain is currently looking for chefs. Swain looks for food and beverage servers/cashiers in particular during the season. This is the perfect place to work if you love seeing families have a great time together. The pay scale is generally commensurate with experience and/or certifications.
Swain Resort does train potential instructors and also offers ski patrol courses. This means that you are able to apply for these roles without having yet obtained official certification.
If you apply for a job, you are able to conduct the interview over the phone rather than having to travel a long distance to do a face-to-face interview.
Since Swain is a smaller resort, employees mingle with locals and get to know the out-of-towners who become regulars. Employees are encouraged to establish friendships and take a run or two while on break as well as after work hours.
Free season tickets come with the job. Some staff ski or snowboard every day of the season. Swain employees can also take advantage of the same reciprocal benefits as season passholders, which means getting free and discounted lift tickets to:
- Kissing Bridge
- Holiday Valley
- Hunt Hollow
- Ski Denton, and
- Ski Sawmill
Additionally, when Swain employees go to other mountains, they can get a letter of recommendation asking other mountains to offer employee discounts.
Swain does accept international applicants, but does not hire using any of the J-1 visa exchange programs. See Work a Snow Season in the USA for further information on getting a visa to work in the USA over winter.
The Terrain at Swain
- Mountain Base Elevation: 1,320 Feet.
- Summit Elevation: 1,970 Feet.
- Vertical Drop: 650 Feet.
- Skiing Terrain: 100 Acres.
- Number of Trails: 30.
- Longest Run: 5,280 Feet.
- Annual Snowfall: 130 Inches.
- Snowmaking: 97%.
- Lifts: 6 (three quads, one double, one tubing hill and one magic carpet)
There are gentle hills and moguls as well as racing hills and terrain parks for novices and experts.
Swain has features and parks on several of the runs on the mountain:
- On Zero Gravity: Battleship, Single Barrels, Flat Rails, Double Barrel Cannons, Rainbow, Butter Box and a Double Stair Rail set up.
- On Old Main: Table tops and jumps
- On Lower Brewer: A Progression Park with culverts, flat rails and single barrels
- Mile Sweep has a progression park, with culverts and other low features to learn the skills to excel in the other areas
- The Black Forest: Located on Promenade, which has been widened and lights added, The Black Forest is a unique natural wood park created from rough-cut lumber and logs. Features include a wall ride, log beams, log steps, tree stall, a teeter totter and a ski-over lean-to.
Accommodation for the Season
Apartments and houses can be rented in Swain as well as in surrounding towns by checking the Swain website and the local papers. Staff at Swain tend to live in the area, and rent is approximately $600/month.
When not working, winter workers can ski or ride the mountain, enjoy the night life of Rochester and Buffalo (each about 60 miles north and west of the resort), participate in a multitude of outdoor activities such as cross country skiing or snowshoeing and hiking.
As the day winds down, you can find staff relaxing in front of the of the fireplace viewing the slopes while dining in the resort’s restaurant. Swain is the hub of town entertainment, and everyone gathers to listen to bands and enjoy camaraderie.
Beautiful Letchworth State Park (aka the “Grand Canyon of the East”) is right nearby. There is a bowling alley in nearby Portageville. Alfred, State University of New York Geneseo and Houghton College are each about ½ hr away. Grove itself is a quiet mountain town, and more of the night life will be found in Rochester and Buffalo. However, this provides the perfect opportunity to escape the crowds of large tourist resorts and enjoy mountain living for a winter season.