Tales from the lodge – Part 1: Destination Sainte Foy
Ever wanted to leave city life behind and head for the mountains? Mark has done exactly that, joining Venture Ski (a ChaletManager client) as a Resort Manager. In this series of blogs we’ll be taking a “behind the scenes” look at what it takes to run a chalet… from keeping the guests smiling to getting out on the slopes.
Wow, it took me three years to pluck up the courage to take a break from city life and work a winter ski season, but ever since the phone rang to tell me I’d had a successful interview, time has flown by – and now the season start is imminent!
My first experiences were pretty good: professional interview and easy application process, then there have been a few very informative e-mails from the Resort Manager (a nice sounding chap named Guy) that really helped with planning and my packing! Did you know that a pair of good sunglasses and water-proof shoes (without laces) is FAR more important during a ski season than thermal underwear?!
I didn’t get to meet my new colleagues until arriving, bleary-eyed, at Luton airport at 6:00am. Everyone had travelled from all over the country and most had already been up for hours: coffee was much in demand. The ‘team’ consisted of about a dozen individuals, all slightly shy and probably suffering from the same trepidation/excitement that I was feeling.
There was certainly some light relief when one of the Australian chefs turned up in flip flops, shorts and a grubby T-shirt carrying a Tesco carrier bag full of dirty laundry and a toothbrush. Literally, apart from a cloth roll of lethal looking cooking knives under his arm. Those was his entire belongings! He then proceeded to check-in his little plastic bag and attempt to walk through customs with the roll of knives – you should have seen the poor security staff flip-out, they couldn’t believe their eyes!
The rest of us had one large bag each and all were right on the 21kg limit (thankfully our employer, Venture Ski, offer to take board bags and skis out on one of their minibuses prior to the season) but we made it onto the flight without further events. Even Jake made it on after being ‘escorted’ back to the check-in counter and politely asked to surrender his precious ‘trade tools’.
Next stop Geneva, then a two and a half hour minibus journey to the Alps and a little known ski resort called Sainte Foy. My four month winter adventure had begun. Could I run a ski chalet? Will I suffer home sickness? Will I avoid the hazards of the mountain environment – on and off piste? Who knows? but you’ll find out…
Venture Ski are based in the French ski resort of St Foy and offer bespoke ski chalet holidays for families, couples, singles or groups. They use ChaletManager to manage their bookings system, a complete application that gives you full control of your chalet business.