Working up in the High Sierra can be a challenging task.
Some of the jobs are year-round, but others come and go with the seasons. Two specifically come to mind – working in the golf or the ski industry.
For the most part, people who work in the ski industry find other jobs in the area during the summer months, or even leave town. Conversely, those that spend their summers teaching golf often head south during the winter.
The numbers are small for those that combine the two industries.
Ron Blum is one of the few.
Blum has spent 14 years teaching at Heavenly Valley during the ski season and then working at Edgewood when it is time for golf.
“It seems like you are either a ski bum or a golf bum,” said Blum. “I know a lot of ski guys that work landscaping or construction during the summer and a lot of golf guys that head to Palm Springs or Arizona during the winter.”
Blum has taken the rarity of working both seasons a step further. With the opening of the Lodge at Edgewood Tahoe, Blum has found a way to work on the property year-round.
“When we opened the Lodge, I made a pitch for the ski concierge,” explained Blum. “It allows us to offer a high-end experience to our guests. This includes the little things like a shuttle back and forth to the ski resort, to arranging lessons or anything else they might need. Thanks to all my years at Heavenly, I have direct lines with the people there and I can mix and match what our guests need. Those type of things allow us to give a 5-star experience.”
The typical year for Blum involves working the ski world from November to April and then golf from May through October.
The last few years Blum ran the children’s ski school at Heavenly. At Edgewood, in addition to giving lessons, Blum works with the caddie program, as well as with the American Century tournament every summer.
Blum was raised in the Atlanta area before coming west to college at Arizona State. After his undergrad work, Blum returned to the Atlanta area to get his Master’s.
He started teaching golf in the mid-90’s, but skiing was always his first love, so he headed to Tahoe and got a job at Heavenly. Not wanting to leave the area, Blum contacted Randy Fox at Edgewood and was able to get a job working seasonally at the golf course.
Now he lives all year at one of the most beautiful places on earth.
“I love it here,” said Blum of Lake Tahoe. “I like to ski more than plan golf, but I feel very lucky to get to do both.”
By Dennis Miller