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6 Ways to Make Friends in a Ski Resort Town

In a ski resort town, your friends are your family.

Mom and Dad still aren’t sure why you quit real life to move to a ski resort town, but your buddies understand. They’re the ones you’ll share Thanksgiving dinner with, the ones who will deliver some Campbell’s soup when you’re not feeling so hot, and the ones who will pick you up from the medical clinic after a nasty spill in the park.

Needless to say, in a ski resort town, it’s important to choose your friends wisely.

Luckily, making friends in a ski resort town is incredibly easy (second only to making new friends the first week of your freshman year at college). Here are 6 handy ways to find your new brother-from-another-mother.

Buy a Pitcher
The number one easiest way to attract a crowd of potential friends is to offer to buy a pitcher for the table or to get the first round of drinks.

Nobody moves to a ski resort to make money. It goes without saying that funds are tight. You, on the other hand–new to the world of resort living–still have some savings saved up. Buy a pitcher, and the friendship thing will fall into place.

Engage in Chairlift Chatter
Lifelong friendships have been forged on slow chairlift rides. You’ve already got a love of skiing in common, so becoming BFFs with the guy or gal next to you on the lift shouldn’t be too tough.

Ask about his or her skis or inquire as to whether he or she has been over to (insert peak/glacier/bowl here). Assess his or her skill level, and if it matches up to yours, suggest doing a lap together. Let it be the start of a beautiful friendship.

Ask the Magic Question
Get to know your fellow ski bums with this one simple question:

“What’s your gypsy story?”

Nobody living in a ski resort town landed there by accident. Everybody is from somewhere else and gave up something important to live a ski-centric life. You can learn a lot about someone by his or her pilgrimage tale, and you’ll probably have plenty of follow up questions to ask based on their response.

Leave the House
Ski resort towns are typically pretty small. Maintaining a friendship is pretty easy because you’ll bump into the same people over and over. Having said that, you won’t make any friends if you stay holed up in your house. Put down the Xbox controller, pause your Netflix, and go outside. Look–there are people! Now go talk to them.

Know Your Value
The underground economy in a ski resort town is a beautiful thing. It’s important that friends take care of one another, so know what you have to offer in return.

Your contribution will often be related to your job. For instance, bartenders can swing free drinks for their friends, while tour guides can offer discounts when their pals’ parents are visiting. Hostesses can find you a table even when the best apres spot is packed, and retail workers can hook you up with pro deals. Tit for tat.

If your work skills aren’t shareable, valid contributions can also include baked goods, giving free rides, or being the person who lets people borrow his truck when they move. Get creative.

Branch Out
You’ll get to know your housemates and coworkers pretty quickly, but more friends lie beyond the horizons of your immediate circles. Find ins in other industries and take advantage of different kinds of friendships. Zip line guides will always be up for a hike. Servers will show you the best party in town. Yoga teachers will never say no to a shared cup of tea. Variety is the spice of life—find friends for every occasion, and you’ll be a very happy ski bum.

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