Whistler Winter Season 2017 - Advice needed!

Hello everyone!!

Just joined this site.. We’re having real trouble getting any solid answers from “Whistler Employee Experience”, “HOUSE”, various Facebook groups etc. etc. etc.. but have noticed that people on here seem very knowledgeable and helpful so I’m hoping someone can clear a few things up and put our minds at ease!

Myself and my partner had been planning for over a year to do a season working for Whistler Blackcomb this winter. We’re both from the UK and both have IEC visas. We’re quite set on working for the mountain and living in staff accommodation, purely due to wanting to be right in the middle of all the fun, but also because we’re aware of the housing situation in Whistler. We were always under the impression that the job fair was held in Whistler in October/November, but have recently found out that in fact the main job fair is held in Vancouver in September? (Is this true?). And if attending the one in October/November the chances of getting a full time and/or staff housing are very slim. We’ve also recently heard that unless we use a company such as WHC or Bunac we basically have no chance of staff housing. These are the questions we have 

1) Can we attend the job fair in September, or is it for Canadian nationals only?
2) What are they chances of getting a full time job and staff housing if we go to this fair?
3) Do we need to pay an agency?
4) I have a degree in Tourism and Business Management, and have only ever worked in restaurants and bars, however my partner has only ever briefly worked in a restaurant, has no hospitality/tourism related qualifications, and has worked her whole adult life (the last 4 years) in care homes for elderly people. Will she struggle to be given a place at the job fair/struggle to get a job for Whistler since most positions are hospitality/customer service based?
5) I’ve read that to work as a lifty you need to know how to ski/snowboard. Firstly is this true? My partner has never skied or snowboarded but is obviously keen to get into it when we arrive. I skied once in the Alps when I was 9 (I’m now 24) and by the end of the week I was flying down red runs with my Dad (not sure if they’re classified the same in North America). My question is, is the level of skill we need for the job something we could pick up quickly when we arrive or do we need to more advanced? Could we interview for the job and simply say that we can ski to a reasonable level and then pick up the skills in the weeks/months that we’re waiting to start work, or is there some sort of physical test or qualification that we need for this job?

Sorry that it’s so long winded and sorry if I sound naïve haha, it’s our first season so we need educating! grin Looking forward to your replies!

 
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Can’t reply to all at the moment and others would do a better job anyway but for #5 they don’t always need you to be able to ski or board to be a lifty, people with no experience are good to employ because the bosses can put them on the base area lifts and beginner areas and have no backlash compared to good riders who want those early morning first tracks and might get more annoyed on the beginner areas.

So expect to be working the gondolas, wizard, fitzy or solar coaster rather than Showcase T, Crystal or Peak.

 
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Hey man, me and my girlfriend struggled hard last season (16/17) to find accomodation in Whistler. We went to the job fair in Calgary and made it clear that we would need staff accommodation together. Yet we also kept a close eye on the facebook page to find a sharehouse ourselves, but with the huge amount of people in the same situation it isn’t easy and we failed to find a place. We were both successful in acquiring jobs but only i was offered staff accomodation as it was too logistical to house us both together and once again due to the insane amount of people in the same boat my girlfriend actually missed out on being offered staff housing. This led to us cancelling our plans for whistler last minute and fortunately my pre-purchased season pass was refunded and luckily we could change our plans and stay in banff for the winter. My advice would be to have a back-up plan with another ski resort in the unfortunate event that you cant secure a job and/or stable accomodation. Hope you can make it work though. I was devastated that i missed out on a season in whis it looks epic. All the best

 

Hola

We’re heading over from the UK too!

We’ve gone through WHC so quite lucky with jobs/housing but obviously there was a cost involved! It sounds like a lot of people do pretty good with the job fairs.

OptimusGrime - 06 July 2017 05:59 PM

We were both successful in acquiring jobs but only i was offered staff accomodation as it was too logistical to house us both together and once again due to the insane amount of people in the same boat my girlfriend actually missed out on being offered staff housing.

This is super interesting because although we’re guaranteed housing, I’m a bit worried about getting a room with my husband. Hopefully it will be possible! Otherwise would truly suck. Do you know any more about the process etc and the likelihood of us getting a room together?...ideally with a double bed! Hopefully you get a chance to come back to Whistler, such a shame you had to go home :(

Good luck man and maybe see you out there! Oh and just FYI we booked out flights with Air Transat from Gatwick - way longer than west jet (6hr stopover in Toronto) but West Jet charge LOADS for baggage so if you’re taking more than one hold bag (which they charge for) you’ll be paying double so Air Transat is loads cheaper. It says you get 1 hold bag and also Ski/Snowboard for free!

 

 

 
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Generally if you’ve gone through TWHC and have been guaranteed housing as a couple, they will generally put you at the front of the line for a couples room. Though you will likely still get 2 single beds that you can push together…

This is why there is minimal options for people who arrive later to get couples rooms.

For a room to yourself (or as a couple) I’ve heard people say it’s over $1200 a month in most cases if you can find it around Whistler.

To put that in perspective at Fernie I paid $550 + utils for a really nice room in a fancy house and $350 + utils for a large room in a 80s style house. Staff accom at Sun Peaks where I lived in 13/14 was $495 per person per month for a room to yourself or $395 per person per month for a shared room.

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What @OptimusGrime  said above is 100% correct, have a backup plan (unless you have this confirmed). Everything coming out of Whistler is that the housing market is royally screwed. If you don’t get a place, there is the option of living in Squamish and commuting but that can suck too (adds more time and petrol money to your commute each day).

Personally I’m a firm advocate of going further inland and staying away from the craziness of Whistralia. I do see the appeal of the party life style and the huge mountain though. If you are looking for some other mountains to apply for, have a look at the Canada Mega Thread I posted a few weeks back: http://www.boardworld.com.au/forums/viewthread/20205 Which has a list on the 2nd page of all the employment sites for resorts in BC and Alberta. Depending on your poison, some of these mountains have things that you get at Whistler but in a slightly smaller dose. You can still go hard if you want though.

Party Scene: Big White / Banff (Sunshine / Norquay)
Big Mountain riding: Revelstoke / Kicking Horse / Red
Close to a Major city: Grouse / Seymore / Mt Washington / Nakiska / Banff
Lots of lifts with variety of terrian: Fernie / Red / Lake Louise / Sun Peaks / Big White
Steep terrain: Fernie / Revelstoke / Kicking Horse
Back-country hiking options: Whitewater / Revelstoke / Kicking Horse / Fernie / Red

Hope this helps you if you do want to hedge your bets and apply at more than one resort.

 
TJswish - 07 July 2017 12:51 PM

Generally if you’ve gone through TWHC and have been guaranteed housing as a couple, they will generally put you at the front of the line for a couples room. Though you will likely still get 2 single beds that you can push together…

This is why there is minimal options for people who arrive later to get couples rooms.

For a room to yourself (or as a couple) I’ve heard people say it’s over $1200 a month in most cases if you can find it around Whistler.

To put that in perspective at Fernie I paid $550 + utils for a really nice room in a fancy house and $350 + utils for a large room in a 80s style house. Staff accom at Sun Peaks where I lived in 13/14 was $495 per person per month for a room to yourself or $395 per person per month for a shared room.

———————-

What @OptimusGrime  said above is 100% correct, have a backup plan (unless you have this confirmed). Everything coming out of Whistler is that the housing market is royally screwed. If you don’t get a place, there is the option of living in Squamish and commuting but that can suck too (adds more time and petrol money to your commute each day).

Personally I’m a firm advocate of going further inland and staying away from the craziness of Whistralia. I do see the appeal of the party life style and the huge mountain though. If you are looking for some other mountains to apply for, have a look at the Canada Mega Thread I posted a few weeks back: http://www.boardworld.com.au/forums/viewthread/20205 Which has a list on the 2nd page of all the employment sites for resorts in BC and Alberta. Depending on your poison, some of these mountains have things that you get at Whistler but in a slightly smaller dose. You can still go hard if you want though.

Party Scene: Big White / Banff (Sunshine / Norquay)
Big Mountain riding: Revelstoke / Kicking Horse / Red
Close to a Major city: Grouse / Seymore / Mt Washington / Nakiska / Banff
Lots of lifts with variety of terrian: Fernie / Red / Lake Louise / Sun Peaks / Big White
Steep terrain: Fernie / Revelstoke / Kicking Horse
Back-country hiking options: Whitewater / Revelstoke / Kicking Horse / Fernie / Red

Hope this helps you if you do want to hedge your bets and apply at more than one resort.

Thanks for clearing that up, fingers crossed!

It sucks how expensive Whistler is and defiantly makes the other resorts more appealing but because we live in London at the moment it’s not too much of a shock for us! Although to be honest for the first season we would want to get staff housing for sure. Didn’t pay WHC for nothing!!
I think it is all confirmed and if we don’t get Whistler then WHC sort us out with other resorts. I’ve been looking at private housing just out of interest and a lot of places charge per person not even per room, so ridiculous.

I think Sun Peaks would be our first choice for another resort, but my husband is so set on Whistler. He rides BMX and the HUGEEEEEE skatepark there in summer is so worth it haha. I think Banff would be too cold aha.

Thanks so much for the Canada mega thread, been reading through it yesterday and has proper sorted everything out! Really appreciate your help with everything.

Elisa x

 
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Throwing it out there but most of the major resorts have a pretty epic biking season in summer. Sun Peaks has a massive park and Fernie has some epic downhill trails too.

 

Thanks everyone!

So to clarify, providing we’re in Vancouver for the September job fair, we hold a decent chance of scoring a job with WB? But as for the the staff housing, our chances are slim?

Is there any way of putting in a request to be housed together early? Otherwise what is the process…. obviously we’ll be interviewed separately. Do we just mention it to the interviewer?

Another off topic question… we’re going to use True Traveller for our insurance. There’s two winter sports options - up to 21 days or unlimited which bumps it up about £300 :’( obviously we intend to be skiing/boarding for more than 21 days over those two years. Tell me if I’m being dumb but if I break both my legs on the mountain would they really know if I’m on my 22nd ski day? rolleyes

Cheers

 
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Decent chance depending on your personality and job choices. I don’t know you but if you’re happy, vibrant and keen then I’d be pretty positive.

If you only apply to be the GM of the resort on the other hand, I don’t like your chances. Stick with the large teams such as lifty, rentals, food / bev and you have a good chance.

With the couples room I’d just both make mention to it and say it’s a large influence on your trip to be able to live together. Can’t guarantee anything.

With the 21 days, each time your pass gets scanned it tells you on the pass scanning system.

 

Wow thanks for the heads up, definitely paying the extra then!

I’ve been checking the WB website daily waiting for them to announce the September job fair dates, they finally have but where is the Vancouver/Whistler one?! Am I being really stupid now and missing something?


 
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Looks like they are going East to West. Most likely it’ll come out soon but it will probably be a week or 2 later than those ones so they can process them and then get onto the Vancouver ones. They probably have quite a few more jobs saved for the Vancouver one since a lot of locals, high school leavers, university leavers and gap year students would be all over that job fair too.

 

So they’ve announced a date for the Vancouver fair (15th Sept!), but still no news on the Whistler September one.

As I’m supposedly moving in a month - I have to say I’m pretty stressed that I can’t book anything (flights/hostel etc), and can’t give in my notice at work until I know when I’m moving. I’ve tried emailing wb recruitment but they’re no help if I’m honest. Just automatic robot answers.

Does anyone have any idea whether there’s actually going to be a fair in Whistler next month, or if it’ll just be the Oct/Nov one?

Advice on what I should do? Just go to the Van one although that’ll be inconvenient in terms of time? Wait and wait in the hope that they’ll let us know at some point when the cost of flights and everything will be much more expensive? Guess when I should fly out and just book a flight with the risk of missing the Whistler fair if I fly out to early?

HELP!

 
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Hey @~ DORY,

I understand how stressful it can be waiting for the info. I just gave them a call for you. They definitely haven’t locked in an exact date just yet, but I was able to get them to narrow it down. The Whistler job fair will be on one of the following weekends:

October 14th
October 21st
October 28th

So that narrows it down a bit for you. They advised the usual “keep an eye on the website”... 😕

I would try to hold out for as long as possible. Even if flights go up slightly, you’ll probably save a lot more on accommodation. If you need to book, get here just before the 14th to be safe. But in my experience, it’s usually closer to the end of the month.

Also, I’m going to move this thread into Mountains & Travel, so you can find it there.

 

Wow thanks!

That’s a great help.

So there’s definitely only one Whistler fair?
I’ve been told so many times that there would be an earlier one in whistler in September and I should head to the earlier one because they’ll be limited staff housing by the late Oct one.

Do you think the Vancouver one is taking the place of the earlier Whistler one?

From your experience do you think I need to go to the earlier one in Vancouver, mainly due to the staff housing and my partner, or do you think most people will be going late October?

 
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@~ DORY, as far as I’m aware, there is always only one Whistler fair. There is always an earlier one in Vancouver, but this is mainly aimed at Canadians. Most of the hiring will be done at the Whistler fair. That said, I have been previously told that anyone is welcome to the earlier fair, but the drawback of this is you have to be in Canada much earlier. I can’t comment on the staff housing part (you will have to contact “HOUSE”), but I’m guessing it will be full until the end of the summer season anyway. If you can afford it, and you’re happy to hang out and enjoy Canada, then it could be a valid option. But if you’re tight on cash, I think you’re best off waiting for the October fair.

If you’re not getting a response on email, call Employee Experience or House directly. They are always available to chat and give you info you need (these are the guys I called yesterday for you).

Recruiting Phone: 604-938-7557
House Phone: 604-938-7500