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Which is the best seasonal place to work in Alaska as a waiter?

Like many have written before me, I am new to this.

I'd like to work in Alaska next summer, preferrably in or near Denali, and I'm hoping some experienced seasonal employees can help me. I'd like to work as a waiter, and I was thinking either at the Princess Wilderness Lodge, or with Aramark at McKinley Village. Of course, I'm open to other suggestions, but I've always wanted to visit Denali so I figured I should try there first.

Has anybody worked at either of these places as a server? What's it like? I'd like to find out about the basics, like how much money a good worker can make, how many hours/shifts a week do you normally work, what the living conditions are like, how friendly the staff (including managers) is. Any info would be greatly appreciated.


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Denali is a good choice.  I haven't worked as a waiter there so I cannot answer some of those questions.  I almost always suggest Princess first in Alaska...even though I have not worked for them, but have visited/used their near-by facilities in both Denali and Kenai locations.  While in those places I have had contact with people working for them even though I was with another employer.

Aramark isn't necessarily a bad choice either.  it's just an overall feel.  If you're interested in venturing into the park as the main reason as going...the Chalets might be a more easy access choice than the Village.  I have also been impressed by employees up the hill at the might want to take a look.

If it's more of a financial might have to include the Bake and Prospector's too...they might look a bit shabby but they probably do as much if not more business than the others combined.  But your living conditions will take a dive.

Your last impossible to answer by anyone.  It is generally the first question asked by most newer people.  Seasonal workers tend to be movers...even when they have enjoyed a place there is always someplace else. In any given season, half to three-quarters of the staff and managers might be new...and that's in the "good" places.  People can tell you how it was for them at a given point with a certain group...but no one can tell you what it will be like in the future.

Good answer, Keith.  It is so true that seasonals love to move around a lot.  It is part of the life.  I am lucky to be in Arizona where there have been some seasons both at the North Rim and the South Rim of the Grand Canyon and there is always Lake Powell, too, if I want to stay in AZ and not mess with taxes with more than one state and be kind of close to home, too. 

I'm hearing pretty good things about Vail Resorts and Grand Teton Lodge this season....lots of peeps I used to work with at the North Rim landed there and seem to be liking it.  About the North Rim, not so good.....But I can't say that 100%, I'm just going on what I am hearing. 

There will usually be a few core people that return season after season after season, at the North Rim we had a lady who was a server who is on her 19th season now.  The place just works for her and she's incredible at her job so it's win/win for everyone.  But most folks just want to hit the road for the next adventure and this includes much of management, too, so it's not likely to be the same season to season to season.  Which is why it is good not to burn too many bridges, as the place that didn't work for you two seasons ago may work for you now.  Always good to keep in touch with a few peeps from every place and network to find out what things are really like.

Thank you for the information, Rob. I've learned that burning bridges is never a good idea.

Thanks for the information, Keith. I was thinking of applying with Princess or Aramark. I'll keep the others you mentioned in mind.

Is it acceptable to apply at more than one place simultaneously?

While money is a consideration, it's not the most important one. The overall experience is more important to me. I'd rather be somewhere I like, working with a good crew, even if it means sacrificing some income.

Thanks again.

Aramark runs both Village and Chalets.  Chalets are right next to Denali Princess (close to entrance)  The Village is about 7-8 miles south.  Applying for more than one place is common practice, especially for the competitive waiting positions.

Hi, Keith.

Thanks for your reply. Do you happen to know if there is one reference (like a website) that lists all of the resorts/restaurants to work in Denali?


CoolWorks will have the best list...but not until Dec/Jan when they are hiring again.  There are a couple of places, like the Salmon Bake/Prospector's Pizza that I have never seen listed elsewhere since they get enough apps without advertising.  Sometimes the Kantishna Lodge deep inside the park has a listing sometimes not.  There are not a ton of places, maybe about a dozen between Healy and Talkeetna.

Hi Steve, I don't think you can go wrong by working at one of the main lodges at Denali Park,I've stayed at the one used by Holland American, I think that is the chalet, and is pretty nice. There are two restaurants in there, and a bar restaurant. I asked some questions for summer work for a grand daughter and they get their meals and housing for $15 a day our of paycheck, and these young women at the hotel desk worked 40 hrs a week. The upside is free trips into Denali Park, which is fantastic at no cost. Obviously I do not know the ins and outs of this work situation, but it does allow for college students to accumulate a little money at the end of summer work. I was also told that you had to pay for your own transportation up to Denali for the job. Sue 

Hi, Sue.

Thanks for the information and for taking the time to answer. I will check into it.

I applied to Alyaska recently. THEY PAY! Not as cold or dark around there either

The Chalet hotel is now ran by Holland America/Princess.


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