I am now working in Vail, Colorado until April 13th. I drive Transit buses and have since Oct 2008. I love it here. I am going back to Yosemite the last week in April for the summer then after that who knows.
Hi Deb - Congrats!. These types of adventures are what you make of it. Do not have ANY expectations and you will have a great time. The Lake Hotel and area is the most beautiful part of the park as far as I'm concerned, and they have about 200 employees at the hotel each summer. A whole dorm of them are usually older and bolder, Goldeneye, and they keep them away from the partying crowds. Dorms are very rustic and you share - so just go with the flow - remember you have to give up your creature comforts for an amazing adventure. You don't say what you'll be doing - EDR; dishes; server? Food Service is tough, but you will be in good company. I have a friend who has worked there 16 summers I believe and she's 78 or 79 by now. She's a hostess and loves it, despite the fact that she has bad feet. Another friend is in her late 60's and has done housekeeping there for many years. The altitude will be hard to get used to in the beginning but you'll adjust. Just be friendly and you'll make friends very soon. Its an amazing experience. You have a few months to get ready, so try walking more or doing some stair climbing to get you ready. Enjoy - I was Asst. Hotel Mgr. there two summers - some of my fondest memories because mostly of the friends I made there, and the spectacular views. Any other questions I can give you my personal email - let me know. I may see you there as I think I'm going to be offered something different with the NPS this year - not sure yet. Although I had also wanted to go to Maine; just not enough summers to cover all we want to do!!!!
Deb, sorry I didn't answer you sooner. I haven't checked "my Page" lately. Thanks for the comment about the pictures. We will be working at Signal Mtn. Lodge this summer, Christina gave you some good tips. I can add that we have been doing this for ten years now and worked Yellowstone and Colorado but keep coming back to the Tetons. Its my favorite place.
I have a health problem that I need to get resolved -- a problem that might force me to stay home through the summer. I don't want to apply for a job for which I might not be available. If I can't do it this summer, then I'll definitely want to work the next summer.
Not yet, but then the hiring manager isn't back for the Alaska job I've put in for) until Jan 12, so I'd imagine interviewing won't be starting till sometime after that. I anticipate a call soon thereafter :) And I'm sure the same goes for the other places I have applied at.....
Hey Deb - I was a hotel manager for 3 summers in Yellowstone, and before that on the front desk in Glacier and Tetons. I now work for the park service (which is harder to get into as a newby); but virtually anyone can get a job in the park lodges. The current economy aside, these operations are desperate for good reliable people, and most of them like older people just for that reason. It doesn't have to be retail. If you know computers, you can work on the front desk. Or in accounting. Or hostess. Or make sandwiches in a deli. If you've been mostly sedentary Housekeeping & F&B may be out, but an activities desk if you like people would be fun. Lodging in all of these places can be an issue. For your first job I would pick some place, like Yellowstone, or Tetons, that offers older people dorms. If its you and your husband you would have your own room; if not, you would share with another woman - the rooms are small. As an example, at Lake Hotel or Canyon Lodge (both in Yellowstone; both I've managed), they put all the older folks in one dorm so as to avoid noise and other issues. I have friends who have been going back there for 13 + years, and they're in their 60's and 70's. There are lobbies where you can read, play cards or just hang. You do have to give up most of the conveniences that you have at home - most don't have TV, and they are very rustic. But you should go there for the lifestyle, the opportunity to meet new people, and to enjoy fabulous scenery. Never be afraid to go on an adventure - that is what life is all about. By the way, in my opinion (and its only an opinion) Old Faithful is to be avoided - mostly because it is so busy and because the Lake area for example is so much prettier. It is one of my favorite places in the park. The Jackson Lake Lodge, in Tetons is a good place to work - beautiful surroundings, but you share a bath there - they're housing is more limited. Signal Mountain Lodge, although I've never worked there, offers a good opportunity I think. Write back if you need any further help. One last thing, be sure to put down 3 job choices to assure yourself you will get something you want.
Their biggest concerns will be your willingness and ability to do the job :) They've lost an awful lot of newhires to complaints about having to stand on their feet and go up and down stairs.... (which is why I included those in the info I gave you.) They absolutely love having people of long experience coming into Yellowstone to work....a lot of varied backgrounds and nationalities work in the Park. Have you thought about applying for a driver/guide job with Xanterra in Yellowstone? Or dispatch? In any case, I believe that flexibility and a good attitude are tops for Yellowstone...
Me, I don't know yet where I will be. Hoping to work in Alaska in summer 09.....
Hi Deb! Welcome to the world of 'seasonal employment'! What kind of work are you wanting to do? My 'specialty' is tour management so I am not very knowledgable about the housekeeping, hotel running, waitressing or retail management stuff. I worked on 2 riverboats, selling and managing the optional excursions then worked in Alaska for Grayline (Holland America) and was a tour director. Grayline of Alaska is taking applications and they have an informational page connected to Coolworks that can answer any questions you might have. What I like about the alaska gig (and especially Grayline) is that they hire a wide variety in ages. They give you the training at the beginning of the season so you are familiar with the places you will accompany the guests. Good luck! This is such a wonderful way of life!
Now is the time to apply, they are starting to take apps. Xanterra is where I'd try first (Gr8 company to work for, retail-wise!) but Delaware North also operates there (they handle the stand-alone General Store. Xanterra handles the in-park lodging and the gift shops that are inside the lodging (as well as guest activities). Being able to work the entire season is THE best way to get seriously looked at. The season runs from end-of-April (if you work at the Snow Lodge, it has the longest season) to November (again, the Snow Lodge). Other locations open at various times from early May to June, and close from Sept to late October. Having a good solid retail background helps! Also, being able to climb stairs (The stockrooms at everywhere but the Old Faithful Lodge have stairs involved) and stand on your feet for sometimes your whole 8 hour shift are important, as well as being able to carry stock out to the floor. Being flexible really helps as well. The gal that does the hiring is a real sweetheart! There are some teriffic managers at Old Faithful and elsewhere in the Park. I've met most of them (unless some are not returning for 2009) and worked at each of the 3 Old Faithful area stores. room and board charges come out of your paycheck. If you're looking to do an RV site, you'll want to ask them directly; I didn't do that (I lived in a dorm.) Another helpful hint to enjoying Yellowstone is: Get involved! There are many employee activities, the EDR is a good place to meet people (better yet if you are on location early in the season before everything gets fully underway) and the NPS is FANTASTIC with having ranger walks and talks that you can go on. Also, Xanterra offers a program called the Yellowstone Degree, a 3-level learning program that gives you credit (pins and a prize) for your learning about the park! (Ranger walks, hikes, book reports, YA tours etc all count towards this). I LOVED working there! Now of course things aren't all peaches and cream, but I found that having a good attitude was crucial. (The food in the EDR isn't exactly gourmet-quality, ;) if you catch my drift).
Oh, and the Old Faithful area is the BUSIEST traffic-wise, so if you like that, ask for it. (They usually ask where you'd like to be, if you apply early enough). If you'd prefer something slower, Mammoth Hot Springs is plenty slow, The town of Gardiner Montana is just 5 miles down the road and just outside the north entrance to the Park. Also Lake Lodge or Lake Hotel, those are slower as well. Roosevelt only has a wall and a counter for a "gift shop" and is only open from June to Sept so they only need a couple of people. That location almost never needs to hire in anyone new. But the other ones do. If you like geysers and lots to get involved in, Old Faithful's the way to go. If you are more water-oriented theb Lake is where you want to be. Driving (which I don't; but I had friends I could go do things with) is the best option for the most flexibility. Any other questions? Just ask! Nice to meet you! Welcome to Coolworks!
You're the first contact that I've had from Cool Works. Yes, MO stands for Missouri. My husband and I started searching opportunities for seasonal work about two years ago. We even drove out to Signal Mountail Lodge because it was spoken of so highly on Cool Works. That was two summers ago and we talked to the HR person. We just didn't want to work full time which most of the employees had to do. I also subscribed to Workamper.com last winter and used the information to consider workamping. I made up an application which they keep available for employers to look at and also look at the every two month magazine that they put out with potential jobs. What worked for us was that I put a very short add in the classified section of the magazine. We were not available until August which was kind of late. We ended up getting three inquiries. We took the opportunity in Colorado and had a fantastic time. It didn't pay but gave us site, propane, breakfast, use of facilities, friends, etc. It turned out so good that we will go back this summer.
I continue to look for opportunities. There seems to be a lot out there but from reading forums, some turn out to be iffy. It depends on how open you are and what your needs are. We took a chance and hit a home run.
Hope this helps. Thanks for asking. Let me know if I can help again.
hello Deb. I don't have a current job for the winter but I don't think I looked real hard. I am out in the Quartzsite, AZ area for the winter. I will be here until the end of March. Would love to chat with you and give you any pointers that I might have. I have subscribed to Workamper.com online verison and you should do that also. It cost less than $40. a year but I have had some good hits off it. Lets you get your resume out there also. I work off Coolworks and Workampers. So far I have enjoyed all that I have done and ready to do more. But rest it good also.
Until I get internet at the park I am at this will be hit and miss for a while.
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