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Managing Winter Sports

Imagine living in Aspen or Lake Tahoe and having an exciting career doing something you love.  Perhaps it is skiing or snowboarding that makes your heart race a little faster, if that is the case working as a winter sports manager in one of these areas could be the career choice for you.  Some sports management programs offer a concentration in winter sports management, while others offer a mountain recreation management degree.  After all it isn’t winter all year round and there are many activities in the summer as well. Most students that choose to pursue this concentration have been involved in winter sports and have a passion for it.  As you can imagine most schools that offer this concentration are located close to ski resorts or mountains to enable the students to experience this world first hand. 

Some schools like the University of Maine at Fort Kent offer a business major with a concentration in winter sports management. This degree ‘is designed to prepare graduates to enter positions of responsibility within the winter sports industry’.

Lyndon State College of Vermont offers a Bachelor of Science in Mountain Recreation Management degree, with concentrations in Adventure Leadership, Natural Resource GIS Mapping and Planning, and Ski Resort and Snowsport Management. Their mission is ‘to create and maintain a caring environment in which to prepare leaders who are intellectually capable and competent in the management of recreation resources and in the delivery of leisure services’.  The Adventure Leadership concentration immerses the student in field experiences such as, climbing, paddling, backpacking, mountaineering, ice climbing, backcountry skiing/riding and challenge course facilitation, all while taking academic courses related to the fields of study. Another concentration in Ski Resort and Snowsport Management trains graduates to be leaders in the winter-sport industry.

There are many positions within this winter sports management field, from equipment managers, merchandise managers, ski and snowboard school managers, to managers and directors overseeing the entire resort.  Responsibilities include some of the following: decides on the optimum dates for having the resort opened or closed, taking into account weather predictions and situations and experiences from previous seasons.  They manage the resort and its employees, overseeing the reservations systems for guests, and all the amenities within the resort, including food services, rental equipment and merchandise stores.  Oversees the winter-sport activities; making sure ski slopes and other amenities are suitable for public use and that instructors and other staff are proper trained.  While these are just some of the responsibilities of a ski resort manager there are a lot of perks that go with the job; including access to all of the activities and amenities of the resort.

Winter sports managers make a very nice salary well, with the 2011 Career Builder Salary estimating their average annual salary at $76,738 with some making over $100,000 a year.

Activities enjoyed at winter sports facilities:

Cross-Country Skiing

Downhill Skiing

Ice Climbing

Ice Skating




Activities enjoyed at these facilities during other seasons:



Challenge Courses



Mountain Biking


White Water Rafting

Other areas of winter sports management are sports agents or managers for the athletes in this sports field.  These are athletes that gain a high profile from competing in the Olympics.  They also compete in events like the Winter X-games and the Winter Dew Tour. Just like athletes in sports such as basketball and football, they need an agent to negotiate contracts and endorsement deals for them.  Many of these management firms represent athletes in the ‘action sports arena’. 

If you are considering a sports management degree and love being active in winter sports taking sports management courses in this concentration might be a great career choice.


Comment from Course Software
Time September 4, 2012 at 6:02 pm

Thanks for sharing. You put a nice twist to it. Great job danielanaidu.

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