At many resorts, it doesn’t take long to find a member of guest services hanging around the base areas. These folks are ready to answer all your questions and provide directions to anywhere on the mountain. Breckenridge and Keystone resorts have both canceled these programs and replaced them with paid positions starting this winter season. For years, this role has been filled by guest services volunteers who donated their time in exchange for ski passes. The majority of these individuals have been retirees that simply enjoy spending time on the mountain with others.
Visitors to the resorts will likely not see a difference going forward. The new employees, known as guest service attendants will still carry out the same role as the volunteers. As the new position is full-time, there are additional responsibilities including coordinating lift lines, snow removal around base areas, monitoring for any safety/emergency situations, and contacting and assisting ski patrol when necessary.
There is some speculation as to the exact reason for the change. A notice was given stating ski patrol did not have enough time for the necessary training. According to former Breckenridge volunteer John Peterson, this training only took place on one day, and that it shouldn’t be cause to end the seemingly valuable program entirely. The transition to a paid position may be an attempt to create jobs and to create a shift in local staffing shortages.