Like many aspiring pro snowboarders and skiers, Matt Konings gravitated towards a job at his local ski resort while competing in high level events. Balancing his time between a local snowboard shop, working at the terrain park at a ski resort and competing, Konings hit a point where he had to make a choice. “I hit the point in my competitive career where I had a choice to make,” recalls Konings. “To move out west, chase sponsors and try to go pro or to continue to work in the industry I love as a rider and a builder and focus on creating a great product for the riders coming up.”
Luckily for Konings, some professional mentors saw potential in him along the way and encouraged his employer to invest in his skill development. The result has led Konings to a position at Horseshoe Resort as the Manager of Parks and Events for both the ski and snowboard season and the mountain bike season.
“I think if you’re passionate about the snow industry or the summer resort industry, it’s a great way to build a career,” says Konings. “It’s a self-taught career and in turn, you have to help guide the next generation. Give them the freedom to grow and creativity to help them evolve. Their creativity is what will help them succeed. As I grow more into my positions, doing budgets and high-level tasks, you have to train the next guys and I’m always willing to do that.”
High school and ongoing professional mentorship
First Tourism Job:
Snowboard shop and terrain park staff
Manager of Park and Events at Horseshoe Resort
Years in the Tourism Industry:
Tourism jobs are only seasonal
Why would you recommend this path to someone:
I have the best of both worlds now—I still get to ride bikes and snowboard every day but I have a steady income. I have busy, crazy days but at the end of the day if I’m able to get out for a few runs, it makes it all worthwhile.
Read about others who are have made a career in the tourism industry by visiting the Careers in Tourism page