Ski School Director
Answering Adventure’s Call: How Bailey Burr Built a Career from Scratch
Snowy Range Ski Area
On any given day, Bailey Burr could call friends pretty much anywhere in the United States or across Europe, say she’ll be there in a few weeks, and have a place to stay, along with a community to welcome her. Working seasonal jobs as a ranch hand, guide, and ski instructor in Wyoming, she’s befriended coworkers with different passports and a shared desire—to not just work, but to experience a place that makes them feel fully alive.
Today, she’s the Ski School Director at Snowy Range Ski Area, which is not necessarily what she envisioned for herself when she made the move to Wyoming from the East Coast. What she brought with her, though, was a willingness to work. And try. “I had no connections when I first came to Wyoming.” She knew no one, but knew where she wanted to be, and was aware of the effort it would take to get there.
It was an effort she was willing to make because she could sense the beauty of the reward: A life lived in a place where most are simply lucky to visit. “For a lot of people, this is their one trip, or they have worked all year to bring their family out. They have saved up,” she says. “But I get to be here. I get to call this home.”
As Ski School Director, she starts her days by meeting with her team, squaring away schedules, and planning for the next day, but she’s still happy to get out and instruct when the opportunity arises. “It’s a way to make a direct impact on a family’s vacation,” she says. “If they have a good time, if they remember it 20 years from now, there’s a good chance we played a role in it.”
But that’s her winter job. Come summer, you might find her wrangling cattle or guiding on a trout stream. It’s that seasonality that keeps things fresh for her. At the end of the winter on the mountain, “I’ve worked so hard, and I am so ready for a change. I’m ready to put my cowboy boots on every day and go work with horses. At the end of the season on a ranch, I’m ready to get back in the snow.” It’s a dynamic lifestyle that many professions simply don’t make possible. “And I get those changes,” she says. “It keeps things interesting and fun.”
When she’s not working, she gets out to fish, hike and snowmobile. “I can get on my horse, head up the mountain, and can’t even hear a car.” It’s a lifestyle she insists others can chase.
“I’m not special. I didn’t come out here with any set of skills that set me apart from anybody else, but I made the leap. I got in my car. I drove out. I didn’t know a single soul. But the opportunities are here. If you’re looking for something new, this is the place to find it.”
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