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Okay, so I've sifted through numerous posts on the forums and the old message boards; I was suggested this site by a friend I met staying on Catalina Island-he was from the midwest and had found the job on this site. I am really outdoorsy; I climb, I surf, etc. I'm looking for a national or state park job or a resort job that is more tight knit community than mainland resort (think island) that is scenic, but whose employees are maybe on the younger side (20s, 30s) and crunchy hippie types. I spent a lot of time in Arcata, and I'm looking for a similar liberal mindset and downtime activities. I hope I've revealed enough and someone can help me pick a seasonal job soon because I'm looking to head out in spring or summer.

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Three words - Signal Mountain Lodge. That fits exactly - great outdoor activities, in Grand Teton National Park right on Jackson Lake, younger employees/crunchy hippy types.
Look at the two videos on the mycoolworks homepage. 'A summer job in the Tetons' and 'a panel of experts'
They're all SML employees this summer.

Best wishes!
LOL @ the Arcata reference!

The advice about SML is good and fine... unless you like Arcata.... there won't be the same FOLIAGE if you catch my drift... and you won't be able to work there is caught with your own
Two jobs that you can only get in summer and that have high feedback are the Signal Mountain Lodge on Jackson Lake in Grand Teton National Park and Glacier Park itself.

Signal Mountain has about a 50% return rate among employees and that's tops in the field. They have lodging, a marina, a convenience store, a gift shop and a restaurant.

I think, if you can work lunch and dinner in the restaurant, you can make some money. Otherwise, you eat the scenery and have fun.

Glacier has 5 locations and they differ quite a bit. I believe the ultimate experience is the Many Glacier Hotel hard by the Canadian border and very much an end-of-the road experience.

Fortunately, the Park has numerous jobs and each has its points. The main dining room dinner is the money-maker.

An enjoyable little niche is the coffee/gift shop in the lobby. If you are a bit more staid, the main gift shop is very well run but can be hectic as can almost anything in deep season.

There's a funky little convenience/film/deli store on the lake level selling ice cream cones and popcorn and that's a good place to meet people. They are always looking to secure maids/laundry/dishwashers so apply in December to get your pick of jobs and locations.

If you are feeling independent, they hire and train drivers to drive the tortuous roads in the restored antique convertible buses, now antiques in name only. You get all over the Park and for a single season, they have a very high satisfaction rate.

The old standby, front desk clerk, is a kind of happy medium job but you either start at 7 a.m. or end at 11 p.m. so that's to be thought of. The desk ususally rises or falls in the employees' opinion, on the merits of the manager so any word-of-mouth you might get would be useful.

I haven't worked there in years so I wouldn't be of help. A niche job is night auditor.

If you are very self-directed and don't need supervision, you usually get higher pay and a better place to live and sometimes better meals. I would pick Swiftcurrent motel and cabins for that.

A nice mix of location and housing and work but as a smaller location, the actual culture this year will depend upon the management. Of the bigger locations, after Many, mabye East Glacier is the best.

It is the company headquarters so always kind of on an even keel - not so the "wilds" of Lake MacDonald maybe where renegade chefs can make like miserable with weird employee dining room hours or something like that. Anywhere is Glacier, note, time seems to go in reverse.

Another summer resort that pays no money but is lots of fun, is the Pahaska Teepee Resort at one of the entrances to Yellowstone Park. Everyone just kind of goes back to nature and the rest of the world ceases to exist. Bikers, and bonfires and hiking and movie night in Buffalo Bill's old hunting lodge.

As far as a sense of community goes, maybe the best I ever experienced other than Pahaska and Glacier was the Canyon location in Yellowstone Park. I worked for the film store, cafeteria, grocery, sport shop concession there and we would all head into the woods after work for "pow-wows", large bonfires with suds and music - no Tonight Show ever had the air and sounds of the fire crackling while we contested in a lip-synching contest for two six-packs of Molson.

Resort wide, I like Telluride first and Jackson second but they go year around and Signal Mountain and Glacier and for the most part Pahaska are summer operations and you can save Vail for the winter. The Florida Keys go summers too - kind of laid back in a way for a fairly crowded string of islands but muggy in summer and not the sense of place that, say, a Many Glacier Hotel would have.

Hippie havens are Jackson, Pahaska, Telluride and Glacier. You feel a sense of belonging to a bigger cosmos in Yellowstone where no radio or TV reaches most of the Park.

If I didn't need money at all, I'd go to Pahaska. If I needed a little money, I'd go to Signal Mountain Lodge.

If I needed real money, I'd probably look at Aspen - the Stonebridge Inn or the Hotel Jerome - and see what was available paying what and if they had housing left. A $12 an hour job at the Jerome is something if you can get into the $129 per month old motel units.

A $14 an hour at the Grand Hyatt isn't that much if all you can get is the $975 luxury employee units in the back. The formula for figuring how you'll do in a resort is hours on the clock + hours spend getting to and from work - the cost of housing = IT. You can compare IT, resort to resort and then weigh IT with how much fun you'll have or can afford!

I found for a first job that the Lodge at Vail was higher paying, higher quality and higher cost of living for an exuberant experience. I was just interested in interesting work and I found it.

One point. You can almost always find extra hours in any resort, i.e. you don't have to settle for just the straight 40 and if you can't find them at your own property, you can usually go to the next one over and get some hours there. It seems like now, it is more common than not to get a second job to have the money to shop and travel and gamble and see shows rather than just hike and ski and have some tap beers in the locals' pub.


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