Jackson Hole Mountain resort has averaged over 500 inches of snow over the last five years.
With powder like that, many people start to think about whether or not they should pick up and move to a ski resort to live full time.
Are you feeling this magnetic pull to the mountains?
Moving to a ski town can be an exciting new chapter in your life. The easy access to the great outdoors provides opportunities not found elsewhere in the world.
But it isn’t all sunshine and roses. There are significant challenges and unique aspects of living that you will need to navigate.
In this article, we will walk you through everything you need to know about moving to a ski town.
There is a reason that so many people flock to these resorts every year. You are one of the select few people who get to live in a beautiful outdoor space that thousands of people want to visit every year.
The natural beauty of ski towns is usually second to none, and other people can only dream of living in a similar locale.
Many people who first moved to a ski town with lots of natural wilderness say that it changes them. They begin to see and feel how big the world truly is. When you are surrounded by rock formations and unique vegetation that only occurs at a grand scale, you start to feel how small you really are.
The flip side of this is that you are not the only one to make these realizations. During summer and winter, you will have to deal with thousands of people all seeking the same thing you want, but only for a few days.
This often means that you have to really enjoy the mud season. These are the shoulder seasons in fall and spring where the population of the town decreases dramatically.
You may need to learn how to enjoy hiking through all this mud, not just when the temperature is warm or when there is an abundance of fresh white powder. For most outdoor enthusiasts, however, this isn’t a problem.
The mud season is also when you will be able to take more advantage of the town’s amenities. During high-volume seasons and summer and winter, the restaurants and stores in the town may be booked out, so you need to take advantage of the spring and fall.
Cost Of Living
In Jackson, the median price of a new home is over $1 million.
This signifies the incredible hike in the cost of living over the last two decades in ski towns. Jackson is one of the worst offenders in this way.
If you are looking into Lake Tahoe or Park City real estate, don’t expect the numbers to be too much lower either.
However, towns like Jackson have started to roll out housing subsidies to help bridge the gap in cost-of-living. This makes sure that the town economy does not die out during the shoulder seasons, and year-round infrastructure continues.
This way, you can continue to take advantage of common public programs like schools and healthcare. Without these subsidies, many of the employees of these systems would not be able to stay around.
Therefore, it is important to research the plans that the ski town you want to move to has in place for the future. They may or may not be anticipating a continued increase in transplants into the town. Make sure that your desired town is ahead of the curve so you can fend off the massive increase in cost-of-living and still have expected public works and amenities.
Living in An International Community
One of the great things about large ski towns is that they attract people not just from the United States, but all over the world. Because all humans have had a long-standing history with nature, people from many cultures flock to ski towns in the winter and summer. Many of them will choose to stay over the long term.
This means that you get to interact with people on a global scale every day. It can be truly incredible to have conversations about natural beauty in your area that transcend history or cultures or borders.
This also means that you may have unique opportunities to explore other cultures that have permanently rooted themselves within the town.
Some Insider Tips
Before you move to a ski town, learn from those before you. Many people who have decided it was worth it to pick up and move to a naturally beautiful resort area have a lot of advice for newcomers. Here are just a few of the best tips about moving to a ski town:
Locate Where You Want to Live First
Even if you are able to secure a job in your desired location, it may be even harder to find out where to live. Lodging is scarce and at a premium at all times. If you are hoping to rent, you need to be prepared for significant moving costs. You might have to pay first and last month’s rent as well as a security deposit up front.
The bottom line is you will need to do significant legwork to secure a solution that works for you ahead of time.
Focus on the housing before you focus on the job.
Don’t Neglect Your Responsibilities
When you first move to a ski town, it can feel like you are living in a dream.
You have access to all of the things that you truly enjoy that bring gladness into your life. With the constant temptation to go outdoors, you may be distracted from the responsibilities at hand. For most people, the reality is that you will still need to put first things first.
To secure the income you need to live in these locations, you need to have a structured routine so that you can plan your workday to allow for the fun excursions you want to go on.
Testing the Waters
It can be easy to envision yourself skiing or fishing every day in a ski town that you have never visited. You can build up grandiose visions in your head of what your day today will be like. But you truly need to try before you buy.
If you are a hardcore skier, you need to make sure that the mountain in your location has the offerings you desire. You may find that there is an emphasis on extreme skiing or on beginner runs that doesn’t fit your style.
Make sure that you enjoy skiing or riding at whatever mountain you choose. If you are going to hit the slope, the best equipment is to buy a snowboard rack for wall that can help you to store your skis and snowboards and keep them secure in a neutral position.
You also want to experience life during the high seasons. How busy does it get in the town, and how difficult will it be to go to the grocery store for a last-minute pickup? Will you be able to beat out the crowds by getting up early to do your desired activity?
You also want to see if the townspeople are friendly and fit your personality. Different mountains will create different subcultures that may or may not be right for you.
If you are single and hoping to find a short-term or long-term partner in a ski town, you need to make sure that you have an adequate understanding of the reality in that town. In most ski towns, there are many more men present than women. While this ratio favors those looking to find a male partner, they may or may not be representative of the population at large.
Many people who choose these towns have different expectations for their life than those living in major cities. This can be a great thing for your dating life or it can make dating frustrating.
It is important to visit the town and talk to the locals there about the dating scene if you are interested in finding a partner during your time in the town.
Figuring Out Your Transportation
Naturally, living in a snow-filled world means that you will need to take extra measures to get around town. You’ll need to get a four-wheel-drive vehicle or have snow tires or chains to put on your vehicle during massive snowstorms.
You also need to have a defined route to the airport in many locations. This can be easier said than done depending on the ski town. Some towns will have good and fast public transportation to the airport, whereas in others you will need to provide your own solution.
Is Living in a Ski Town Right for You?
If you are planning on moving to a ski town in the next year, we applaud your decision. This can be one of the most exciting choices you make in your life that truly changes your outlook on the world around you.
When considering which mountain resort town you want to spend the next chapter of life in, make sure to do your due diligence. You’ll need to look at the price of mountain homes or apartments, think about the cost of living and transportation, and also develop a real sense of what your social life will be like.
In the end, for most outdoor enthusiasts, the decision is clear, and moving to a ski town is totally worth it.
If you like this article about outdoor living, check out our other articles!