By Lydia Schrandt
As much as a quarter of the workforce will be working remotely by the end of 2021, according to a forecast from Global Workplace Analytics. For many a ski bum, this means working slope-side could be a reality. These are the best places to work virtually if you love to ski, thanks to their manageable cost of living, co-working cultures, internet connectivity, and proximity to at least one ski resort.
Vermont was one of the first states to launch a Remote Worker Grant Program back in 2019, actually paying remote workers to relocate to the state. While the program allocated its funds and has closed applications, it demonstrated the state’s forward-thinking commitment to the remote workforce. Burlington, a college town tucked between Lake Champlain and the Green Mountains, sits within an hour’s drive of three ski resorts: Smugglers’ Notch Resort, Cochran’s Ski Area, and Bolton Valley Resort. Remote workers in this youthful city have their choice of co-working spaces (Office Squared, BTV Works, Hula, MyCube), as well as a host of cafés with free Wi-Fi.
Salt Lake City, Utah
The remote work scene in Salt Lake City, known among startup circles as “the Silicon Slopes”, has been growing in recent years, attracting young telecommuters with affordable rent and spectacular scenery. With nine ski areas within an hour’s drive of the city (Alta, Brighton, Deer Valley and Park City among them), residents have a wealth of slopes to choose from come winter (and myriad mountain adventures the rest of the year).
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Working virtually in Jackson Hole means working at the base of the longest continuous vertical rise of any U.S. ski area (Jackson Hole Mountain Resort). The town offers convenient access to skiing (groomed and backcountry), as well as hiking in nearby Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Laptop-toting adventurers can set up shop at popular co-working space Silicon Couloir or at one of the mountain town’s cafés, like Cowboy Coffee, Picnic and Jackson Whole Grocer & Cafe.
South Lake Tahoe, California
Ski-in/ski-out co-working? Yes, please! Lakeview Lodge at Heavenly offers a mid-mountain co-working space with laptop storage lockers just steps from the California Tram. Digital nomads that base themselves in South Lake Tahoe can also rent an office at Cowork Tahoe in town. During the off-season, take advantage of the beaches, hiking and biking trails, campgrounds and lake access of the south shore.
Durango, a rather large mountain town with a population of around 20,000, enjoys proximity to several notable ski resorts far from the busy I-70 corridor. Hit the slopes at Purgatory, Wolf Creek, or Telluride, then catch up on some work at R Space, a flexible co-working space right downtown. Combine that with more than 300 days of sunshine annually, some 40 area craft beverage producers, and a sizable collection of locally owned restaurants, and you have all the ingredients for the ultimate work-life balance.
Two top-notch ski resorts, Bridger Bowl and Big Sky, sit within an hour of Bozeman, making it an increasingly popular spot for adventurous types to settle down. Deep powder and short lift lines aside, Bozeman also boasts a thriving coffee scene, with more than a dozen cafés on Main Street alone. Additionally, you’ll find half a dozen breweries, a robust dining scene for a city of its size and a handful of co-working spaces (Sky Oro, Big Sky Cowork, Regus).
A small town vibe, no sales tax, spectacular natural scenery, one of the country’s best craft beer scenes, and easy access to Mount Bachelor make Bend an alluring option for virtual workers. It’s become the remote worker capital of Oregon, with 12 percent of its population telecommuting, according to the Bend Chamber of Commerce. In-town co-working options include BendTECH, The Haven, The Wilds, 9th Street Village, The Collective, and Embark (a dog-friendly co-working space).
McCall, a town on the shores of Payette Lake two hours north of Boise, serves as a base for four seasons of outdoor adventure. Come winter, skiers enjoy access to Brundage Mountain Ski Resort and the charming and aptly named Little Ski Hill, both within a short drive. Remote workers are catching on to the appeal of this small town (population 3,500); the town’s first co-working space, Community Hub McCall, opened its doors in fall 2019.
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