Mountain Living with Madison Shepard

Living and working in the Colorado Rockies is everything you can imagine it being. I live 10 minutes away from one “Colorado’s Favorite” ski resorts, Winter Park Resort. Winter Park offers over 1,700 feet in vertical drop (top to bottom) and over 3,000 skiable acres of land. We have 25 lifts and snowmaking on 26 trails. Winter Park also offers expert skiers more terrain out-of-bounds as well!

When I am not skiing, I am working and when I am not working, I am skiing.  As you can imagine, it’s pretty difficult.  I have two jobs at Winter Park: Lodging and Finance Intern and Weekend Ability Ski Coach.  I started working at the resort in January and will continue to do so until end of April.  The first half of my internship was working closely with the Lodging Department and the Village Manager.  In this position I learned a lot of customer service and what it truly takes to keep the customer and Board of Directors happy.  Lodging is a brutal, but exciting, world.

Winter Park Resort recently underwent a base revamp project.  At the base of the resort there is now a new Village that features eateries and shops for everyone in the family.  In my internship position, am I highly involved in maintaining the insurance forms for each of the commercial tenants in the Village.   I have done a lot of interacting with the commercial tenants and individual insurance agents.  To be a Lodging intern means you must be very dynamic and proactive in your daily tasks.  You never know what the next question you will be asked by a visitor.  The CEO at the resort has this saying, “As soon as you put your name-tag on, you are in the line of fire.”

I have just recently started the Finance portion of my internship here at Winter Park Resort.  I am doing a competitive analysis of the lodging rates at the resort owned properties to local properties and other resort lodging options.  This is a very tedious project because there are so many comparisons in a mountain town and so many different lodging rates for an individual property.  This “Comp Shop” will be an excellent take-away from my internship.  I will have proof of my capabilities as a Finance and Lodging intern.

Being given the opportunity to intern at a ski resort is something I am forever thankful for.  I have learned more about myself and what I want to do with my career than I could have ever imagined.  I highly recommend interning in a place as beautiful as the Rocky Mountains; it is truly an inspiring experience.

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