“ The encounter between staff and guests is a joy that never makes it into the brochure. ”
The town of Alta Utah is located at the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon, about 45 minutes from downtown Salt Lake City. The canyon is home to both Alta Ski Resort and Snowbird. Since its founding in 1938, Alta Ski Area has become world-renowned for being a hot spot of high quality, steep skiing. As a result, the resort and its lodges, including the Rustler, have many guests who return year after year for both the skiing and the atmosphere.
Alta's Rustler Lodge is located along Highway 210 (the only road in the canyon) between the Wildcat and Albion parking lots at Alta Ski Area. The lodge is ski-in / ski-out with access from the Alta's Transfer Rope Tow via the Rustler's chairlift. The lodge has a five-star dining room, bar, outdoor pool, two Jacuzzis, a fitness room, sauna, steam room, and spa that look out over the slopes. The Rustler hosts ~200 guests when at full capacity and has housing for ~70 employees. Guests enjoy sit down, white table cloth breakfast and dinner included with their stay. Since the Rustler Lodge opened in 1947, we have offered a high-quality, five-star, luxury experience to guests from around the world, and we hope to continue to do so for years to come.
Little Cottonwood Canyon is steep and narrow, with walls extending up to ~5,000 ft above the canyon bottom and is accessed by a 7-mile-long, dead end road. The town of Alta is located at ~8,500 ft elevation and receives and average of ~500 inches of snow a year. The heavy snow fall combined with the steep, narrow, winding canyon road isolates the town and makes travel difficult at times during the winter. Because the road lies below steep canyon walls, it is crossed by many avalanche slide paths and often has to close for avalanche mitigation work. When avalanche danger is extreme, the town of Alta restricts interlodge travel, essentially entering a lock down state where it is illegal to go outside until the restriction is lifted.
It is important for potential employees to understand and be familiar with the benefits and challenges of living up at Alta before accepting a job. While Alta offers world class skiing, it is also a unique place to live during the winter season because of its semi-remote location. With only a few lodges and resident homes, Alta does not offer much in the way of nightlife and shopping. Instead, there is a close-knit community of canyon employees who socialize together. We hope to attract and hire employees with a strong interest in the outdoors, who enjoy skiing and/or hiking during the winter and are self-motivated to take advantage of outdoor recreational opportunities during the five-month winter season.
Some links to help get to know the area:
Winter 2023-2024 Employment Dates
The dates of employment for the 2023 – 2024 season will be end of November - Late April. This is potentially subject to change based on snow levels. Employees can determine their exact arrival time and day but need to communicate their expected arrival to management to help facilitate the check in process. The last day of the season is anticipated to be Monday April 15, 2024; however, this is subject to change. There is some flexibility with these agreed upon with management on a case-by-case basis. Specific employees may be asked to start work earlier depending on lodge needs.
We hope to open fully for the season and will be following all CDC guidelines in place throughout the winter. We are requiring employees to be vaccinated ahead of the 2023 -2024 season. We will be asking that employees have received full vaccination (2 doses depending on vaccine) and have completed the two-week waiting period following their final dose ahead of November 29, 2023. Employees will be expected to provide their vaccination card upon arriving at the lodge for the start of the season.
Employees are provided either an Alta or Snowbird ski pass as part of their compensation. Alta Ski Resort is skiers only, so snowboarders are not allowed. Snowbird passes are also available with the same conditions as an Alta pass. Snowbird and Alta Resorts are adjoining, and the Snowbird lifts are about a mile down the road from the lodge. A dual Alta/ Snowbird pass is available for a an additional fee of $470 which is due with your ski pass deposit and non-refundable.
Employees are required to provide a $100 deposit at the beginning of the season and then $50 from each bi-weekly paycheck until a total of $500 is reached (including the $100 deposit). This deposit is fully refundable to the employee at the end of the season upon the full completion of their employment commitment to the lodge. This commitment is December 1 until April 15 unless otherwise agreed with management. The deposit is forfeited if the employee is dismissed or does not complete their employment agreement (e.g., leaves early). Passes are purchased and owned by the Rustler. If you lose your pass, the replacement cost is $40.
Part time employees are required to provide a $200 deposit at the beginning of the season and then $50 from each bi-weekly paycheck until a total of $500 is reached (including the $200 deposit). This deposit is fully refundable to the employee at the end of the season upon the full completion of their employment commitment to the lodge. This commitment is December 1 until April 15 unless otherwise agreed with management.
Limited on-site housing is available for live-in employees. Living up at the lodge is a great way to avoid commuting up Little Cottonwood Canyon. Housing is provided in shared, dormitory-style rooms (2-4 per room) with shared bathrooms. Most rooms have twin beds, often stacked as bunk beds. Sheets, pillows, and blankets are provided. Employees are responsible for bringing their own towels and toiletries. The lodge is equipped with free high-speed internet and cable television. The lodge also has additional employee housing at the base of Little Cottonwood Canyon.
Living quarters are close, and employees must be mentally prepared to live and work in the same location. Respect for lodge guests, roommates, and other employees is essential. Employees are also expected to respect the lodge and help keep it clean. Employees must adhere to lodge quiet hours from 10 pm to 8 am. Guests' rooms are in the same vicinity as employee quarters; therefore, employees need to be cognizant of noise levels at all times. No pets or animals of any kind are allowed in the lodge. Room checks are conducted by lodge management to ensure the cleanliness and integrity of the lodge. The lodge maintains the right to access employee rooms.
There is a laundry room available for employee use. Machines are free, and complimentary detergent is provided. Employees are asked to pitch in to keep this room clean and to be respectful of other employees by changing over loads in a timely manner.
Meals and Room + Board
The room and board fee is $125 every two weeks for live-in employees and $100 every two weeks for employees that live in off-site lodge housing. This is directly deducted from each paycheck. This low cost of living is considered as part of employees' compensation package.
This room and board fee includes meals for employees. Breakfast and lunch are provided as grab and go options with raw fixings for employees to make their own as well as some premade options. Dinner is a hot meal cooked by the kitchen staff. Food is available for employees 24 hours a day in the employee dining area.
Employees are welcome to use the amenities available in the lodge within restricted times to ensure that access is available for the guests first. This includes the exercise room, pool, steam room, sauna, and indoor jacuzzi. At peak times when the lodge is at maximum capacity, employees may be asked to not use the pool to prevent overcrowding. Employees are not allowed to use the outdoor jacuzzi during the season. Employees need to use common sense, professionalism, courtesy, and good judgement when using the lodge amenities to ensure that guest use is first priority.
Alta's Rustler Lodge is the premier ski lodge in Alta and offers the highest quality guest experience. We require that employees are well-groomed and neat in appearance and employees must follow good hygiene habits. A conservative and professional appearance is expected.
Drug, Alcohol, and Firearms
Possession of any firearms is prohibited. Possession of illegal drugs is prohibited. Employees may not consume alcoholic beverages or use illegal drugs while working. The use or possession of alcohol, drugs, or other intoxicants creates a serious threat to the health, safety, and well-being of the user, fellow employees, and Lodge guests. Alta's Rustler Lodge must provide a drug and alcohol-free work environment. Employees using, selling, transferring, or possessing a controlled substance or non-prescription drugs on Alta's Rustler Lodge premises shall be subject to immediate discipline including but not limited to suspension and termination of employment, following an appropriate investigation and review by Alta's Rustler Lodge management. Alta's Rustler Lodge reserves the right to drug test individuals when there is reasonable suspicion that an employee is under the influence of any drug or alcohol while working. Alta's Rustler Lodge holds the right to enter any employee's room at any time, to inspect for illegal or harmful items.
Employees who are underage are not permitted to drink on the Rustler Lodge premises. Employees are responsible for their behavior whenever in the lodge. When indulging alcoholic beverages, employees must still adhere to quiet hours, all lodge rules, and clean up after themselves. Living and working in the same environment results in interactions with guests, managers, and other employees during non-work hours.
Alta's Rustler Lodge is a smoke/vape free workplace. Smoking is prohibited within 50 feet of any entrance, exit, or operable window. Employees are not permitted to smoke/vape while in uniform nor is chewing tobacco allowed while on duty. The only area near the lodge to smoke is up the driveway on the mine dump. Returning employees please note the smoking exit has been removed as a public space.
Employee Cars and Parking
Parking in the town of Alta is extremely limited and expected to become precious as Alta Ski Resorts is issuing parking reservations for the 2023-2024 season. Employees are discouraged from bringing a car for the season. All employee vehicles must be registered with the lodge. There is no parking for employees associated with the lodge. There is limited employee parking within the town of Alta in designated areas. Due to winter conditions, traction laws require all vehicles traveling within the canyon from October to May to be equipped with snow tires and either 4x4 or chains. These tractions devices must be used when traction laws are in effect during snow storms. Full information can be found on the Canyon Alerts website.
Employees are fully responsible for their vehicles should they decide to bring one. Employees are responsible for adhering to all signs and ensuring their vehicles are parked in the correct areas. Employees are also responsible for snow removal. Vehicles must be shoveled within 24 hours after each snow fall; this is a hassle over the course of the season. Additionally, cars must be moved on relatively short notice to accommodate periodic plowing. The lodge is not responsible for helping employees shovel or move vehicles. Please think critically if having a car is really necessary during the winter season as having one cuts into ski time and free time.
Utah Transit Authority runs public buses up and down the canyon and to Snowbird. Daily schedules are available on their website and using various apps. The ski bus is free to ride using an Alta or Snowbird ski pass.
Discrimination & Sexual Harassment
Alta's Rustler Lodge does not allow discrimination against anyone on the bias of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, or any legally protected status. If employees experience or see conduct that they believe violates this policy, it's their obligation to notify a manager immediately.
Alta's Rustler Lodge does not allow sexual harassment of our employee by anyone – employees, guests, or others. Sexual harassment cannot be neatly defined, but it can include unwelcome sexual comments, questions, behavior, touching, or unwanted sexual advances that make an individual feel uncomfortable, humiliated, or that create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment for that person. Words or actions that may be unobjectionable or welcome for one person may be offensive and unwelcome for another. Therefore, it is important that if an employee is subjected to words or actions that hurt or offend them, or that they believe amounts to sexual harassment, they immediately notify a manager. If a manager is involved in the conduct, notify a superior. Complaints of discrimination or sexual harassment will be taken seriously and immediately be addressed. Depending on the situation, corrective action will be taken or termination may be required.
We will not allow retaliation or adverse job consequence against any person for making a complaint about discrimination or sexual harassment, regardless of whether the complaint is determined to have merit. Any complaint will be kept confidential to the greatest extent possible, consistent with the investigation and response.
At Will Employment
Under Utah law, employment is "at will". This means that either the Lodge or the employee can end your employment at any time for any reason or no reason (except those dictated by the above discrimination policy). Please note that all employees are expected to fulfill their employment agreement. Penalties may arise if the agreement is breached.
Paychecks are issued bi-weekly. Direct deposit is available and encouraged as there are no banks in the canyon. There is no vacation or paid sick leave available for seasonal employees of the lodge. Employees are expected to work on holidays and weekends throughout the winter season. All questions regarding pay should be directed to the bookkeeper. Paychecks and personal checks cannot be cashed at the front desk. Alta's Rustler Lodge does not provide charge accounts or cash advances for any employees. Purchases must be paid for at the time of purchase.
The lodge has a variety of rules set up for the safety of employees and to ensure the best guest experience. For example, no ski boots are allowed in the kitchen. Employees will be expected to respect and follow all lodge rules to help maintain a safe environment for everyone. Rules will be outlined in the code of conduct signed by employees at the start of the season.
Summer office hours: Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
We are an Equal Opportunity Employer.