Cutting Edge Snowboard Shop in Berlin, Connecticut has three full-time employees: the owner, a mechanic, and Manager Frank Deluca. The rest are seasonal, with more personnel in the winter, maxing out at about five or six additional people during the Holiday rush. According to Deluca, pay ranges from six to ten dollars an hour and salespeople don’t make commissions.
Employees do enjoy free riding at their local mountain, Powder Ridge, during the week and in Vermont on weekends. “It’s a good work environment,” Deluca says. In addition to riding privileges, employees are offered pro forms and encouraged to use them, while also receiving a shop discount.
Riding days are generally more limited in the south, so shops like Vertical Urge in Raleigh, North Carolina have sales contests for employees with a grand prize of “a trip to Jackson Hole or something like that,” says Owner John McKay.
Other incentives include comp passes for full-timers and pro plans. The shop employs approximately ten people, four of them full time. Pay ranges from $5.50 to eight dollars an hour and there are no commissions, says McKay.
Kelley’s Boards Inc. in Baltimore, Maryland has three full-time employees, according to Owner Christopher Kelley, who are paid about ten dollars an hour. “I’d like to give them more but that’s all I can afford,” Kelley says.
A sales contest last year netted one employee a trip to snowboard camp at Mt. Bachelor, and the shop has a December contest with a cash incentive. The shop also provides lift tickets for its employees.
At Snowboard Jones in Manchester, New Hampshire, part-time employees make seven to nine dollars an hour and full-timers, with the exception of two on salary, make nine to eleven dollars an hour. According to Manager Todd Atkinson, the shop has four full-time and six part-time employees in the winter.
Employees get lift tickets, and can make extra money through spiff programs offered by manufacturers. “In better months, employees can make from 50 to 100 dollars a week,” Atkinson says of the spiffs. Full-time employees also receive health insurance.
Health insurance is a nice perk for Jerry Goto, manager of Mad River Snowboards in Waitsfield, Vermont. Goto has worked in the ski and bike industry for many years without it.
The former Mad Mountain Snowboard shop was taken over by Burlington’s Ski Rack last winter and has moved into an expanded space, specializing in bikes in the summer and snowboards in the winter.
Goto expects to have three full-time and three part-time employees during the winter, with wages ranging from seven to nine dollars an hour. Health insurance is available for full-time workers. All employees get shop discounts and riding privileges.
Turnover is low, says Goto. And while the perks are nice, he doesn’t believe that’s the main reason people work in snowboard shops. “Most people in the industry do it because they really enjoy it.”