Christina O'Haver, The Union Democrat

Dodge Ridge and Bear Valley ski areas are gearing up for the 2012-2013 season, with both resorts already offering preseason passes and working to fill hundreds of job openings.

About 100 people attended the job fair at Dodge Ridge on Saturday and about 75 to 80 percent of them will likely be offered positions, according to Amber Jenquin, director of marketing and sales. They will join about 100 applicants who are already undergoing the hiring process.

Dodge Ridge had openings in guest services, information technology, lift operations, food and beverage, parking, equipment rentals, retail, slope grooming, and ski and snowboard instructing. The resort is still seeking about 35 ski instructors and 20 snowboard instructors, Jenquin said.

Bear Valley scheduled its annual job fair for Saturday, Oct. 28, at the Big Trees Shopping Center from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The resort is looking to hire between 200 and 300 people, according to marketing director Rosie Sundell.

Positions are open in areas across the resort, including ticket sales, ski and snowboard lessons, food and beverage, parking, management, maintenance, ski patrol and first aid.

Both resorts are offering preseason passes at discounted rates through Oct. 31. For information on Dodge Ridge passes, visit or call 965-3474. For information on Bear Valley passes, visit or call 753-2301.

Bear Valley recently confirmed that it will open this year, following speculation due to unprecedented layoffs of the majority of its year-round staff in June.

"The community is rallying around us and the staff that are coming back are excited to make it happen," Sundell said

The resort is expecting to open in mid-December and close in mid-April, which is similar to last year's season. Bear Valley received 227 inches of snow from November to April, less than its average of 350 inches, but was able to carry out an normal-length season due to its snowmaking abilities.

Dodge Ridge relies completely on natural snow and felt the effects of last year's dry winter. The resort also closed in mid-April but did not open until the end of January.

It received about 250 inches of snow for the season instead of the usual 300 to 500 inches, according to Jenquin.

"We're definitely looking forward to putting that season behind us and having a normal season, if not a better season, this year," Jenquin said.

Dodge Ridge has been operating seven days a week since Labor Day and is wrapping up maintenance, a promotional brochure, staffing and training.

This season, the resort will continue to develop its kids' programs and boast a repaved parking lot.

Additionally, the resort is partnering with San Francisco-based Prance Corp. to broadcast weather conditions and resort happenings live via Facebook, Twitter and the Dodge Ridge website.

Bear Valley is completing maintenance, cleaning and signage, and is preparing to announce this season's new developments.

"Our goal is to bring guests to the area, local or from a few hours away, and have a great experience in the snow," Sundell said.

Contact Christina O'Haver at or 588-4526.