Six question interview: Cassie Spence Dec 10, 2012 - Season: 2012-13 Cassie Spencer, ski lift operator at Sunshine Village Ski and Snowboard Resort Cassie has been a Sunshine Village employee for two seasons. She hails from Springbrook Valley, Queensland, Australia and tells us a bit about how she ended up at the world –renowned resort. What brought you to Sunshine Village? It was my family believe it or not. Although I was born and raised in Australia, my older sister lives in Banff with her husband who she met at Sunshine Village, and my younger sister also worked at Sunshine Village in 2005. They were always raving about Banff and especially the resort, so in 2011 I decided to move to Banff and work at Sunshine myself. What is a day like for a ski lift operator at Sunshine Village? We start our day off with a morning meeting that our supervisor and assistant supervisor host where we discuss how to provide the best guest experience possible. Once our meeting is finished, we head off to our assigned chairlifts. Three to four people are on rotation on any given lift. One person starts at the bottom of the lift, one at the top, and one goes on break. We just keep rotating throughout the day. We rely on each other to make sure that all our guests are having a great time and that we are doing the best job possible. Why did you choose to work at Sunshine Village? The snow is amazing at Sunshine Village and that’s the reason a lot of folks come here, but it’s really the people that make it great for me. The loyal guests who come back season after season and remember your name make this place special. Last year I was stationed at the Wolverine high-speed quad, so I earned the nickname “wolverine girl.” I’m sure there are a lot of people that remember this nickname, which is neat. There is also something special about hopping on the gondola in the morning and getting to the top of the mountain where it’s like a whole different world. After two seasons that starts to feel like home. Do you see a lot of returning staff to Sunshine Village? This year we’ve had six lift operators return from last or previous seasons. That is a pretty high number considering most of them are on a gap year before or after university, and most are around 18 or 19 years old. It is really great to see familiar faces season- to- season. Why do you think so many staff members return to Sunshine Village? One of the most obvious reasons staff return for another season is that they can’t get enough of the champagne powder at Sunshine Village, but the other reason is everyone starts to feel like family. Last season I lived in staff accommodation on the mountain and there are always fun events that bring us all together. We take trips together to other ski resorts and talk about where we’ve travelled in the world. Living and working with like-minded people from all over the world really brings us together and we form a close bond. Why did you come back for another season with Sunshine Village? There is no doubt that the greatest part of working at Sunshine Village is the people. Not only the amazing lift operators and supervisors I work with on a daily basis, but the guests who remember my name each season. All of the people at Sunshine Village make this place feel like home. When you’re just visiting the resort you don’t think about all that goes on behind the scenes, but there are a lot of people that make this place great. I also can’t deny that Sunshine Village is in my blood!