(Chamonix, France) – At 8:45am on a Monday, three skiers arrive at the top Aiguille du Midi, downclimb the arete, step into their bindings, and ski down 9,186 vertical feet of waist-deep powder before arriving at their “desk job.” Needless to say, the daily commute to The Ski Locker is a far cry from sitting in bumper to bumper traffic in cities like Stockholm, London, or Denver.
And while members of the media walk around shouting, “the ski bum is dead,” these three skiers are busy keeping the dream alive.
Enter The Ski Locker
Since founding The Ski Locker in November of 2014, visionaries Nicola Broom, Petter Wallberg, and Patrik Spathon have made a commitment to the motto, “challenge the way you work.” That motto, which speaks to a new type of office atmosphere is also creating space for a new kind of ski bum.
This new ski bum doesn’t work as a rental tech all day before waiting tables all night at a restaurant because with rent going through the roof, you can’t make ends meet unless daddy is paying the bill. Instead, the modern ski bum does 2 people’s desk jobs from a quaint office just a minute’s walk from the famed Aiguille du Midi and takes their morning coffee atop the spires and peaks made famous by the likes of Scot Schmidt and Glen Plake.Meanwhile in the valley and inside the workspace itself, nearly everyone is dressed in ski clothes from morning laps off the Aiguille du Midi, Les Grand Montets, and Brévent. Behind a row of desks, everyone is vigilantly typing, collaborating, and for the most part– getting more shit done than their office dwelling counterparts in the city.
Also, The Ski Locker isn’t just a name. Skiers can actually stash their skis downstairs if they want to take an afternoon lap.
If you’re a traditionalist, you probably believe that the coworking game is for freelancers alone. However, Ski Locker founder Petter Wallberg would tell you otherwise. “Big companies are moving to coworking spaces for one reason– efficiency,” says Wallberg. “The flexibility that comes with working remotely will soon be a requirement for most jobs.”
It seems as though Wallberg, who helped found ChamSocial is right– the times are changing. With globalized technology overthrowing the traditional office concept, more and more people are ditching high rent cities and office spaces in order to build new lives near the mountains, beaches, or wherever good WiFi allows.
Wallberg’s co-founder Nicola Broom agrees. Broom, who runs the UK- based health/wellness instructor platform, UpMySport has since relocated much of the business and its employees to Chamonix. Broom, who loves to ski, thinks motivated professionals need not enroll in the traditional 9-5, Monday-Friday work week. Instead, Broom decided to help herself as well as her employees by staking a claim in the Ski Locker.As of today, Broom says the Ski Locker’s flexibility allows her and her international employees to come from “all over the world” to work, ski, and play in the Chamonix Valley. It’s that collaboration, freedom, and community that makes coworking such a viable and productive option for skiers and snowboarders.
A Growing CommunityWhile the Ski Locker remains the only coworking space in the alps, the movement has gained serious traction across the pond in North America. From the US to Canada, such ski bum office spaces are becoming the norm and soon enough the same will be true in Europe.
United under the Mountain Coworking Alliance, many of the ski town coworking spaces already offer reciprocity. Such is the case with The Ski Locker. For example, if somebody pays their monthly dues in Chamonix, they are welcome to work at the Network Hub’s ski-in, ski-out space @WhistlerBlackcomb.
So What does that mean for the ski bum?
The dream is alive. Even while rental prices for a shoebox apartment continue to soar through the roof, ski bums can now follow a career path whose salary matches the current ski town rental prices. That’s all thanks to places like The Ski Locker.
Mountain Coworking Alliance Members
Revelstoke, BC – Coworking in Revelstoke
Chamonix, FR – The Ski Locker
North Lake Tahoe, CA – Tahoe Mill Collective
South Lake Tahoe, CA – Tahoe Mountain Lab
Reno, NV – The CUBE @ Midtown
Jackson Hole, WY – Spark Jackson Hole
Park City, UT – Assemble Park City
Durango, CO – Durango WorkSpace
Basalt, CO – RiverCoWorks
Avon, CO – Camp
Frisco, CO – ELEVATE coSPACE