Ski Resort Operations and Management - Diploma
Based in Nelson, BC, you will be at the centre of epic mountain culture and have easy access to world-class ski resorts where you can sharpen your ski, snowboard and networking skills. Covering all aspects of ski resort operations, our program gives you a unique blend of management skills and industry knowledge to prepare you for lasting leadership roles. This curriculum contains articulated business and tourism courses transferable towards any college and university in BC; as well as specific industry course content not available at other post-secondary educational institutions.
Staying Ahead in a Changing Industry
The Ski Resort Operations and Management Program is reviewed annually by an advisory committee of senior ski industry representatives to ensure that content is current and that graduates are equipped with the latest useful knowledge and skills.
The aim of this program is to accelerate the movement of graduates into supervisory and management level positions. The program relies heavily on the ski industry to provide direct exposure to virtually all aspects of indoor and outdoor operations. Close contact with industry operations is provided through field trip visits that introduce students to industry supervisory and management personnel.
Field trips provide students with first-hand exposure to all aspects of resort indoor and outdoor operations. Direct meetings with ski industry managers and supervisors at resorts visited give students a chance to explore job opportunities for their work semester and after graduation. Program graduates share their stories of building successful ski industry careers.
Course Diversity Helps Broaden Opportunities
During the first three semesters which span 14 months, students take 22 courses focused on tourism, business, and operational subjects that prepare them for a role in the ski and snowboard industry. Included in these first three semesters are 2 five-day and 1 three-day field trips to different ski regions in British Columbia and Alberta.
During the fourth semester, students undertake a 21-week paid work semester at a ski resort, which may lead to full-time employment. The work term is a co-operative education endeavour that involves both employer and college supervision of the students' work experience. Students choose their work placement and negotiate with employers to determine possibilities for job rotation and other learning opportunities. Students receive one on-site visit from an instructor during the work semester and must complete a major written report and verbal presentation to receive credit for this work term.
Get Professional Training
- Tourism Marketing, Customer Service and Human Resources
- Ski Area Construction, Risk Prevention and Management
- Resort Communications and Organizational Leadership
- Computers, Data Base Management and Web Design
- Accounting, Budgeting and Business Management
- Lift, Grooming and Snowmaking Functions, Maintenance and Regulations
Graduate Careers Include
- Administration, Human Resource Management
- Guest Services, Rental and Retail Operations
- Sales, Marketing and Special Events
- Cat and Heliskiing Operations
- General Management
- Ski Patrol and Avalanche Control
- Snowmaking, Grooming and Terrain Park Operations
- Lift Operations, Maintenance, Construction
- Ski and Snowboard Schools
This program is held at Selkirk College's Tenth Street Campus in beautiful Nelson, BC.
Upon successful completion of this program, learners will be able to:
- Explain terms, concepts and theories relevant to the Canadian ski industry
- Demonstrate developing critical and creative thinking skills
- Apply emerging problem-solving skills
- Communicate effectively and efficiently in various formats to a variety of stakeholders, consistent with industry expectations
- Outline professional and ethical standards within their field
- Conduct themselves in a professional and ethical manner in academic and work-related environments
- Apply basic accounting principles as required
- Apply the basic principles of organizational behaviour, management theories and human resource management
- Competently use standard industry technology in operations, communication and record keeping/data collection
- Demonstrate a working knowledge of ski industry operations and their value to the economy
- Apply industry-specific government health, safety and environmental standards and regulations
- Any English course at the Grade 12 level with a minimum of 67%. For international applicants, IELTS 6.5 overall band score (with no band less than 6.0), or equivalent on other internationally recognized English language proficiency tests. If an international student applies with an IELTS of 6.0 overall score (with no band less than 5.5), then they would need to meet the requirements below.
- Applicants who lack the specific English admission requirements may still gain admission to the program with the understanding that they will complete ENGL 66 Essential English with a minimum of 67% in the first year of their program. This course must be completed to be able to advance beyond 30 program credits.
Once the above admission requirements have been met and the student has been accepted to the program a student must:
- Submit a completed Application Questionnaire to the coordinator.
- Submit a standard resume to the coordinator. On the resume, part-time or full-time ski and related tourism industry experience is to be included.
Once the two requirements above have been completed the student will work with the program coordinator to schedule an in-person or remote interview. The interview is intended to provide the students advice on how to best succeed in the program but is not a condition of admission
- This is a popular program; candidates are strongly advised to apply early.
- It is strongly recommended that students have keyboarding skills and an understanding of Microsoft Windows prior to program commencement.
- This program has an enrolment objective of 30 students per year. Students are accepted on a first come, first served basis subject to meeting all program registration requirements.
- Field trips are a requirement of the program. Transportation and travel expenses are an extra expense to be paid by the student. Approximately $500 should be budgeted to cover these expenses.
- Students must acknowledge that they are in good health, able to stand for long periods of time, and able to lift up to 25 kg.
In order to receive your credential in your program you must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.00 and can carry no more than one (1) failing grade in the previous semester courses to be promoted to subsequent semesters.
SROM151 - Marketing
SROM 151 Marketing examines the roles and functions of marketing in the tourism industry. The principles of customer service excellence and service recovery are discussed in detail. You are lead through the five steps of the Marketing Planning Process discovering how product, price, plan and promotion (4 P's) are used in the marketing of tourism products and services. You will conduct a case study analysis of an existing company to demonstrate knowledge of marketing concepts studied.
SROM155 - Computer Applications
SROM 155 Computer Applications will provide the student with a general introduction to computers and Microsoft application software. Setting up and using email and Moodle is emphasized, as assignments will be submitted to the instructor via this venue. The student will also explore and utilize the web and/or online libraries, searching for information for class assignments.
The student will assimilate the basics of Microsoft Word with regards to correct formats for posters / announcements, résumés, research papers, envelopes, letters, tables and newsletters including all page and print enhancements. Form letters, mailing labels and directories are also covered using the Mail Merge function. The student will also cover the basics of Microsoft Excel, using a number of commands to enhance a worksheet, chart sheets, templates and graphs. Page and print enhancements will also be utilized. The final section covers the integration of Word and Excel.
SROM158 - Ski Area Risk Prevention and Management
SROM 158 Ski Area Risk Prevention and Management focuses on the identification, analysis and evaluation of the accidental risks involved in operating and managing a ski resort. The course examines methods of managing accidental risks including skier safety programs, operating procedures, risk financing and insurance, and the implementation of a risk management administrative program. The course also examines ski area liability cases, and examines the key aspects of employee safety programs.
SROM159 - Business Communications
SROM 159 Business Communications focuses primarily on written and oral communication skills as they relate to the business world. Topics include writing memos, letters, emails, formal reports and other business correspondence, delivering effective verbal presentations, resume preparation and research techniques. Understanding the theory of business communication and being able to employ this theory effectively in written and verbal communication is critical for tourism, recreation, and hospitality managers who wish to succeed. This course places emphasis on the conceptual, practical, and technical aspects of effective workplace communication.
SROM166 - Ski Resort Facilities Maintenance
SROM 166 Ski Resort Facilities Maintenance. Effective management of a ski resort requires smooth functioning of all base area facilities. Base area facilities include the parking lots, day lodges, accommodation facilities, and resort service buildings. Managers and supervisory personnel need to have knowledge of both the function and maintenance requirements of these key base area facilities. Managers must also have intimate knowledge of the functioning and preventative maintenance of the building systems that provide for the needs and comfort of guests and employees. Ski Resort Facilities Maintenance is presented to give students an insight into the complexity of ski resort base area building infrastructure. The necessity for effective maintenance and preventative maintenance programs is inherent in the quality management of these important ski resort assets.
SROM171 - Ski Area Planning
SROM 171 Ski Area Planning provides an introduction to a wide range of ski resort planning and development topics. In SROM 171 you will study the mountain environment, ski resort environmental impact issues and mitigation practices, ski area feasibility and physical site evaluation, ski area planning parameters, and the BC Commercial Alpine Ski Policy. You will learn about the requirements for ski resort mapping and you will practice several ski area planning skills, including topographic map interpretation, slope and fall line analysis, ski resort terrain capacity calculations, and mountain design. Finally, you will study ski resort base area design and ski resort real estate development.
SROM172 - Ski Lift Functions, Maintenance and Regulations
SROM 172 Ski Lift Functions, Maintenance and Regulations. The development of uphill transportation systems and passenger ropeways in particular, has enabled recreational skiing to evolve into a thriving industry. The continuing evolution of passenger ropeway technology and passenger conveyer systems continues to shape the character of ski resorts and the quality of the ski and snowboarding experience. SROM 172 examines passenger ropeway technology as it is applied in today's winter recreation areas and resorts. In this course, you will examine the mechanical functioning of passenger ropeway components in the most commonly used passenger ropeways in the ski industry today - fixed and detachable grip chairlifts. You will also identify passenger ropeway maintenance requirements and preventative maintenance procedures. Finally you will learn about passenger ropeway regulations in Canada, including the CSA Z98 Standard.
SROM180 - Field Trip
SROM 180 Field Trip. This 3 day course is a credit bearing field trip to visit ski resorts and associated industry businesses. Although locations change from year to year, they typically include resort areas in the Okanagan Valley. This trip provides an excellent opportunity for students to examine established ski areas, and meet with industry personnel and SROAM program graduates from management to front line staff.
SROM152 - Ski Area Marketing and Special Events
SROM 152 Ski Area Marketing and Special Events: In today's competitive recreation and tourism marketplace, competent ski area operators understand the essential role marketing plays in keeping ski lifts, cafeterias and lodges busy. In SROM 152, you will explore how ski resorts use primary and secondary market research, advertising media, social media, brochures, consumer ski shows, news releases and special events to boost skier visits. There will be a large hands-on component where the class will have an opportunity to create and run an event.
SROM153 - Organizational Leadership
SROM 153 Organizational Leadership. This course is designed to help prospective supervisors understand how individuals and organizations function effectively. It provides students with a working knowledge of the formal relationships between employees and management in the work place through the study of leadership styles, motivation, group dynamics and conflict resolution. Students will gain an understanding of the skills required to lead people and contribute to a team effort. This course also examines changes in society and how they are influencing organizations relating to employee and management roles in time management, stress management, and problem solving.
SROM156 - Exploring Solutions Through Technology
SROM 156 Exploring Solutions Through Technology course will explore industry specific database and information management systems, investigate the database and information needs for ski areas, research database use by various ski hills / resorts, and report findings to the class. Through hands on experience, students are also given the opportunity to engage in ski area Point of Sale (POS) software systems.
SROM160 - Ski Resort Guest Services and Snow School Operations
SROM 160: Ski Resort Guest Services and Snow School Operations personnel perform many functions at ski resorts and ski areas. As front line employees, they must be equipped with excellent customer service skills. Quality service delivery, product sales techniques and administrative skills are all employed by staff members working in Guest Services operations. Snow School Operations is an integral part of a Ski resort's services. With the proper management techniques a snow school could be a major revenue center for the resort. The function, quality and performance of front line instructors as well as supervisors and management of the snow school can make or break a beginner ski/snowboard experience. SROM 160 is presented to provide students with some of the practical knowledge required to sell ski resort products and deliver services to ski resort guests. The size of the ski resort determines the makeup of this operating department and the complexity of systems used. The ability to adapt and design delivery and product sales systems for different size operations will be emphasized. Interfacing management requirements for statistical information and guest controls with the practical design and application of systems and procedures is a requirement for the efficient operation of this operating department. This course will also focus on Snow School Operations from a management perspective. An emphasis will be put on staffing, scheduling and programming.
SROM169 - Accounting
SROM 169 Accounting is an introductory course in accounting, from the basic accounting equation to preparation of the Income Statement, Statement of Changes in Owner's Equity, and Balance Sheet. This course covers merchandise operations, service business accounting, depreciation, adjusting entries, as well as specialized journals.
SROM173 - Ski Resort Slope Grooming Operations
SROM 173 Ski Resort Slope Grooming Operations. As with ski lift technology, the evolution of slope grooming machinery and slope maintenance practices has profoundly affected the ski industry. As numerous ski industry customer service surveys indicate, snow conditions are a primary determinant of skier satisfaction. Thus, slope grooming technology and operations play a major role in providing a high quality skiing experience and creating high levels of skier satisfaction. In SROM 173 you will study the basic design and functioning of slope grooming vehicles and implements designed specifically for the ski industry, particularly the slope grooming machines supplied by the two major slope grooming vehicle manufacturers, Kassboher and Prinoth. You will examine the main components and general maintenance requirements of a slope grooming vehicle, including the engine and its various systems, the tracks and suspension system, and the drive system. You will also study the main slope grooming implements including the blade system, snow tillers, and half pipe grinders. You will review grooming operations, including snow properties in relation to slope grooming, slope-grooming objectives and functions, slope grooming methods and techniques, slope grooming operating plans, and slope grooming expenses and budgeting. Slope grooming human resources management topics include operator training, motivation, and compensation. Practical sessions will allow you to examine grooming equipment in the field, and you will have the opportunity to participate in on one or more 'ride-along' sessions at Whitewater ski area. By the end of the course, you will have gained some understanding of how slope grooming personnel can run efficient and cost effective grooming operations. The Park Building curriculum includes industry trends as well as an on-snow portion participants build a terrain park and cross track features from the ground up. The intention is to allow participants to learn through guided discovery while maintaining an aspect of creativity in the design.
SROM175 - Ski Resort Snowmaking Systems
SROM 175 Ski Resort Snowmaking Systems introduces you to the various components of ski resort snowmaking systems and accepted concepts, principles, and operational and management practices for machine snowmaking for the snow resort industry. You will learn about the physics and mechanics of snowmaking and its uses within a snow resort context, as well as its impacts on mountain resort operations and resort costs of operation. You will study snowmaking system components, including snow guns, water pumps and air compressors, system infrastructure, and system controls. You will also examine ski area snowmaking system design, operational practices, snowmaking capital and operating costs, and methods for improving the energy efficiency of ski resort snowmaking operations.
SROM184 - Snow Safety/Ski Patrol Operations
During SROM 184 Snow Safety/Ski Patrol Operations you will review the primary management issues and operational activities of the snow safety or ski patrol department, with a focus on managing avalanche hazards. You will examine the major elements of ski resort avalanche hazard assessment and safety including avalanche terrain, mountain weather, snow pack features, and avalanche rescue. As part of your study of avalanche hazards and safety, you may complete the Canadian Avalanche Centre (CAC) Avalanche Skills Training (AST) Level I course. The AST course involves two full days of field study. In addition to examining avalanche hazard concerns and issues, you will examine several snow safety/ski patrol operations and management topics, including avalanche hazards and ski area planning, ski resort avalanche control, ski patrol operations, Hazard markings and signage, ski resort accident investigation and recording, ski lift evacuation, and ski patrol facilities and equipment.
SROM190 - Field Study
SROM256 - Ski Area Budgeting and Business Management
SROM 256 Ski Area Budgeting and Business Management introduces students to the analysis of financial data for a standard Income Statement and Balance Sheet. Financial ratios that are normally used to predict the business health of a ski resort will be covered. Using CVP numerical analysis, students will learn the impact of future proposed financial changes on the fiscal health of a ski resort's finances. Problem solving will help students to understand these financial concepts. Creation of budget templates on EXCEL spreadsheets will round out the course content.
SROM254 - Ski Area Cafeteria Operations
SROM 254 Ski Area Cafeteria Operations students will study and practice the fundamental skills necessary to function competently in a kitchen. Via practical hands on experience this course will provide students with a glimpse of the day in the life of a chef and the culinary world. Professionalism, teamwork, proper safety and sanitation procedures are all a part of any well run kitchen and will be emphasized in this course. This hands-on course covers aspects of food preparation and safety considerations. During the course the students prepare foods, learn how to create "eye appeal" in food preparation, understand timing and prepare foods for event(s).
SROM257 - Ski Rental/Retail Shop Management
SROM 257 Ski Rental/Retail Shop Management. Ski Resort Rental Operations: Students will be introduced to the practical aspects of ski and snowboard rental shop operations. The layout and design of rental shops now must accommodate a wide range of rental equipment. Equipment purchase, rotation and disposal of aging rental equipment, and inventory control will be studied. Rental agreements, the CWSAA rental waiver, and liability issues will be discussed. The maintenance of rental equipment and the importance of good record keeping will be emphasized. Finally, repair shop operations as a satellite operation of the rental shop will round out the topics of discussion. Students will complete a Rental Shop Design project to enhance their knowledge of effective rental shop layout, flow, and balance. Ski Resort Retail Shops: For the second half of this course, students will be given an overview of retailing and how ski resort retail shops have become an integral revenue centre in today's ski resort operations. The following retail topics will be discussed: buying cycle, customer service and selling, shop layout, and product merchandising. Pricing, the basis for mark-up, and discounting as related to retail shop financial performance will be studied. Guest speakers from local skior snowboard retail operations will present content on current industry trends and successful retail strategies. Students will carry out a critical analysis of a local sports retail shop to enhance their knowledge of store layout, merchandising, and in-store security.
SROM258 - Human Resource Management
SROM 258 Human Resource Management for the Resort Industry. As labour markets tighten around the globe, good human resources management is essential to attracting and retaining effective staff. This is particularly true in seasonal resorts and ski areas where the link between staff and the guest is so critical. Innovative approaches to human resources management are necessary to recruit and retain the right people in the industry. In this course you will focus on the critical issues that concern managers in the tourism industry: Human resource planning, recruitment and selection, orientation, training and development, performance management and progressive discipline, challenges and trends, employment standards and labour relations.
SROM272 - Supervisory Ski Lift Operations
SROM280 - Ski Area Construction and Project Management
SROM 280 Ski Area Construction and Project Management builds on topics previously introduced in three related courses: S171 Ski Area Planning, S172 Lift Functions, Maintenance and Regulations, and S166 Ski Resort Facilities Maintenance. S 280 focuses on ski area construction projects with trail construction and lift installation receiving the most emphasis. As a part of examining construction techniques and best practices, students will study environmental impact mitigation practices, including measures to reduce impact on natural water courses. Students will review government acts and regulations that affect construction decisions around water courses. S280 also reviews project planning techniques and tools including Gantt Charts and PERT/CPM.
SROM290 - Field Trip
SROM 290 Field Trip. This multiday course is a credit bearing field trip to visit ski resorts and associated industry businesses. Although locations change from year to year, they typically include resort areas throughout the lower mainland and Whistler Blackcomb. This trip provides an excellent opportunity for students to examine established ski areas, and meet with industry personnel from general managers to front line staff.
SROM288 - Ski Resort Winter Work Term
Tuition & Fees
All amounts are estimates and are subject to change. Tuition amounts are based on a full-time course load. Please note that many programs have additional costs beyond those listed here. For more information, please visit Tuition & Fees.
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