Five Minutes With … a Sunlight ski/snowboard instructor |

Five Minutes With … a Sunlight ski/snowboard instructor

Timekeeper: Pete Fowler
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Name: Joe Sims

Age: 35

Occupation: Ski and Snowboard School director

Birth place: Cincinnati, Ohio (but Glenwood Springs is his home. He’s lived here since 1981 and graduated from Glenwood Springs High School.)

When did you first get a job with Sunlight Mountain Resort? After college in the winter of ’96-’97.

What led you to it? I did a lot of racing at Sunlight when I was in high school. Then I went to college at Mesa State University and I didn’t really ski much. I moved back home and was looking at KSPN and television channels for a job ” I got a mass communications degree. When I moved back home it was fall. I noticed they were looking at hiring ski instructors and just thought, ‘Why not?’ I just kind of fell in love with the sport all over again.

What do you like about being a ski/snowboard instructor? Just the whole aspect of teaching and meeting people. There’s always something different every day.

What’s challenging or not as much fun about the job? I can give a customer almost anything they want. Personnel is a challenge sometimes ” keeping your employees happy, making sure they don’t burn out.

Anything you can do to prevent that? Usually I throw a party for the ski school just to keep the camaraderie up.

What kinds of things do you have to do to prepare for the upcoming season? Hiring. When I hire internationals I hire for the whole mountain.

How does that work? I went to Peru and Chile and did face-to-face interviews with the kids that I hired. … I’m excited about all our J-1’s this year ” a lot of them speak English as well as we do.

Where are they coming from? Peru mostly and Chile, and I have one from Argentina.

Why those countries? It fits better with our season because our visas are good for four months. They’re usually here in December and they have to stay through the end of March. What we’ve found is other countries like Brazil and Argentina ” people generally can’t stay the whole time because of their schooling.

When people think of Sunlight, an International scene probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind, but it sounds like there is one: There is. It’s amazing how many internationals know about our mountain. I get e-mails every day from internationals wanting to work for us.

How do they hear about it? Usually through an exchange company they’re working with or on the Internet. Sunlight really appeals to them because it’s a smaller mountain and they tend to like that a little bit more. They all want more interaction with guests.

What kind of things do you like to do in your spare time? I have a Jeep. I like to go up in the hills and drive my Jeep. Spend time with my family.

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