Do you find yourself daydreaming about moving to a ski town when this summer finally slips away? That’s okay, lots of skiers and snowboarders do. Especially around this time of year when summer is in full swing and your snow withdrawal is hitting you hard.

My advice: Do it. Here are my 6 reasons you should live in a ski town this coming fall, like I do:

  • Living in a ski town is a lifestyle, and it keeps you healthy. Living in Bend, OR has made me prioritize being outside, my own fitness, and taught me to be engaged in the landscape around me. I am outside far more than inside, and so are those around me.
  • Like-minded people, chasing the same lines and the same dreams, surround you. In turn these people motivate and inspire your goals and dreams. Being around people who understand what you love is essential and encourages you to push yourself to get better at what you love.
  • Being local means when the conditions are good, you ski. And because you ski a ton your skiing becomes really good.
  • It is a myth that you have to be dirt broke and struggling to exist in a ski town. Yes, some ski towns are expensive. But ski towns don’t have to be where college degrees go to die, or never be born at all. You just have to be self motivated and driven. You can make a living in a ski town; don’t let people tell you otherwise.
  • From the first ski film release to the end of season blowout party there is an amazing camaraderie and family feeling living the snow globe life. People like to know each other and the ski industry/ski town world is super tightly woven together. Moving to a ski town will help you develop connections.
  • It’s more fun to live in a ski town. From first chair powder mornings to après ski nightlife, it’s hard to get bored. Vast majority of people in ski towns want to be there, which correlates to a higher general “happiness factor”.

The conclusion

Yes. It’s true. Leaving Safeway becomes an elaborate game of “find the right Subaru” and you will become a gear junkie. I should also warn you that you would have to invest in a micro-puff and probably get a husky.

But I can honestly say moving to a ski town was one of the best decisions I ever made. I have met the most grounded, energized people that have inspired me. The types of people that wake up every day and make something happen. And I have found that living in an action sport driven town is good for my soul. It comes down to one thing: What type of lifestyle do you desire? Start packing your bags.

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17 Comments on 6 Reasons You Should Move to a Ski Town this Fall

  1. Chris
    July 15, 2014 at 11:32 am (8 years ago)

    Hi Jana great article! What other ski towns did you find to be on the more affordable side?

    • Jana
      July 15, 2014 at 1:32 pm (8 years ago)

      Thanks Chris!

      Any ski town that are only minutes away from the lifts are going to be expensive, but if you look even just several miles away, prices can drop dramatically. Salt Lake City, UT is a good choice. It’s in the middle of 7 or so mountain ranges and only 45 minutes away. Also, Bozeman, MT is pretty cheap and it’s right smack in the middle of Big Sky. But personally I’ll always like Bend, OR best. 🙂

      • Ken
        August 1, 2014 at 5:26 pm (8 years ago)

        We have been visiting the Breckenridge/Keystone area for the last 20 years and have fallen in love with the whole Summit County area. Both my wife and I have professional careers and couldn’t see making it work full time. However, we purchased a single family lot in Breckenridge a few years ago and are planning (hoping) to build in the not too distant future and make the move in 3 to 5 years. It’s a terrific area with year round activities and enough amenities and basic services so you don’t have to drive 20 miles for groceries or hardware items. I dream about it every day.

    • Robert
      August 1, 2014 at 8:35 am (8 years ago)

      Living in Miami, SKi resorts seems so far away! I have even considered moving to a big ski town and as Chris mentions, there are ways to be close yet not so close to pay the tourist trap prices which most of the times are simply absurd. In the USA, which are among the 10 top Ski towns that are good candidates. Personally I find the following list;
      1- Breckenbridge, CO
      2- Provo, UT
      3- Ogden, UT (some upswing in crime here!)
      4- Burlington, VT
      5- Ft. Collins, CO.
      6- Albany, NY.
      7- Portland, Maine
      8- Portland Oregon (expensive, but nice!)
      9- ??


      • Lisa
        December 17, 2014 at 2:52 pm (8 years ago)

        Robert, what about Stowe, VT? Beautiful town– there is always something to do. I live in Ft.Lauderdale but bought a second house in Stowe just to get away during the summer and get some skiing time during winter. I got my house with help of Pallspera Agent Sharon ( She was super responsive and helpful with negotiations, perhaps they can help you.

      • Bob
        January 20, 2016 at 11:40 pm (7 years ago)

        What do you think about Aspen to fill in number 9 and some of the near by mountains to qualify for number 10 & why stop at 10 when there are so many other ski resorts in that surrounding area. When I mentioned Aspen I am referring to As pen Highlands. As for the cost of housing living in Grand Junction takes you far enough away to lower your cost of housing but only about an hour away from all of those great ski resorts. Does that give you something worth chewing on?

    • Loren
      August 1, 2014 at 9:55 am (8 years ago)

      Moving to a ski town would be my dream come true, but It is just that, a dream. Despite your inspiring words You DO have to be rich or at least NOT poor to move and live in a ski town..That is the cold hard truth.In today’s society the rich rule everything.

  2. steven
    August 1, 2014 at 8:48 am (8 years ago)

    I love how you used a picture of Telluride.
    We are moving back there next year. Awesome place

  3. Lawrence S. Young
    August 1, 2014 at 9:06 am (8 years ago)

    I moved to a Ski town more than a decade ago – never have regretted it.

    Great to be able to pick and choose what days to ski (and I do SKI a LOT!)..

    Summers tend to be Kayaking as Where I live there are a LOT of lakes and streams – and yes you do get to know a of people in town and at the resort..

    BTW, I do still work full time and fortunately, my job allows me to live where
    I choose…

    LS Young
    Bethel, ME

  4. Rick
    August 1, 2014 at 10:36 am (8 years ago)

    We moved from San Francisco to Bend, OR three years ago. Best decision we’ve ever made. Our eight year old loves it here and I can’t think of a better place to raise a family! If you can pull it off ( it took us six years), make it happen. One word of advice…….buy a house with a large garage. You will become a four season gear junkie!

  5. Richard Karsh
    August 1, 2014 at 10:36 am (8 years ago)

    Used to live in the Vail Valley and loved it-my adult kids are still there so I get “squatter’s rights” to a degree. Loved (and still do)Whitefish, MT (despite the typical fog on the mountain and the lift lines that occasionally are 3 or 4 minutes long but usually negligible)-it is still at least semi-affordable (or go 15 miles down the road to Kalispell and save 30%) and has a 7×1 mile lake adjacent to town (and the road towards Big Mountain, aka “Whitefish Mountain Resort”…and even a real airport just 18 minutes away…and, lest I forget, Glacier National Park 35 min away.

  6. William
    August 1, 2014 at 10:53 am (8 years ago)

    if you want to feel like your on vacation all the time ,live in a Vacation town.

  7. Robert
    August 1, 2014 at 11:08 am (8 years ago)

    Identifying life’s priorities is important. Pursue your passions. There is a way to get away from the typical 9-5 approach to life, yet still work and generate revenue to kayak and ski, and smell the roses. My wife and I are Canadians – we quit our high paying, secure professional positions to live another lifestyle and have NEVER EVER regretted it.

    • Nataliya
      August 1, 2014 at 1:23 pm (8 years ago)

      Robert, which town did you move to? I am in Toronto and I also do have a professional, relatively high paying secure job but I can’t imagine how I’d make ends meet in a ski town like Banff for example?… I’ve been seriously contemplating the move but decided to stay in TO for now and go on lots of ski trip in the winter instead… Thanks for your comment and feedback!

  8. Ted Ralfe
    August 1, 2014 at 11:35 am (8 years ago)

    Fernie, Revelstoke, Rossland, Golden and Kimberley, BC, each have great skiing immediately adjacent to them. Each may be lived in relatively frugally.

  9. Ponder
    August 7, 2014 at 9:06 am (8 years ago)

    The article and all this talk makes me want to give up the suit/tie, sell all the useless c r a p and do it

  10. Doris
    August 10, 2014 at 10:39 pm (8 years ago)

    Hi Jana, thanks so much for taking the time to share this! Awesome place,.


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