Q&A with Breck’s Aussie ski instructors

Breckenridge ski instructors

It’s kind of a random choice — Breckenridge for the winter — for someone that lives over 3,000 miles away. Sure, Breck has an incredible town, great nightlife, and a resort that meets any skier or snowboarder’s needs, but what makes it so attractive to Aussies?

Breck is proud to be home to many Aussies in their summer (our winter). Ski instructors, lift operators, waitresses, and business owners have all flocked here from down under to enjoy winter all year long or to stay permanently. We’re even proud to host a few Breck Pro Team riders like Anna Segal who train at Breckenridge in order to go on and compete at the Dew Tour, X Games, and more.

But what exactly is it that draws Aussies in? We spoke with a few ski instructors on how they came to Breck and why they love it here.

David Marshall

Q:  Why did you come to Breck? 

A:  Although we have ski resorts in Australia, the Rocky Mountains have an allure that is hard to resist for any snow sports enthusiast. Of all my friends that I used to take snow trips with in Australia, I can tell you that every one of them have plans to ski/ride the Rocky Mountains at some stage, [choosing it] even over Japan which is closer and more

Breckenridge Ski instructor
David Marshall, ski instructor at Breckenridge mountain

affordable. So when my wife and I decided to move to the U.S., the Colorado Rocky Mountains were a simple choice.

The reason we decided on Breckenridge specifically is because it is a real mountain town with history, not just a purpose-built resort. We don’t have that anywhere in either Australia or New Zealand. We did our research and realized there was so much more Breckenridge had to offer than just skiing or riding. Although the mountain is obviously world class, if you decide you’d like to spend a couple of days not skiing, or even decide you do not want to ski at all, there are a lot of things to do in and around town. This is simply not an option at many neighboring resorts where the skiing and riding is easily comparable.

Q: What do you love about it here? 

A: We love so many things about Breckenridge, where do I start? Let’s start with the terrain. The options for skiing and riding here in Breckenridge are endless. And it doesn’t stop within our ski boundaries. Considering our position geographically, we also have the option of skiing at Vail or Keystone within the hour. Speaking of geography, Denver being only 70 miles away is also a huge plus. We also love that Breckenridge is a true year round resort. By the time winter winds down, spring and summer start to kick in with so many things to do locally and nearby. From events organized by the town, to the Summer Fun Park and of course the hiking, biking, fishing, etc — there is just so much to do. Then when summer comes to and end, we have the leafing season just as the snow begins to fall for another winter.

But by far what we love best about Breckenridge is the true community that exists here. We have been welcomed by families from all over who have decided to make Breckenridge their home to raise their children and they will be our life long friends. Even when we have our own friends visit from back in Australia for a short time, they find themselves spending just as much time gathering socially in the homes of locals as they do in the restaurants and bars. This is often the highlight of their stay in Breckenridge and why they will return.

Matt Devlin

Q: Why did you come to Breckenridge? 

A: To experience REAL snow. The dry Rockies powder that we take for granted in Breck is far more fun to play on than the ice and slush that we get in Australia.

Q: What do you love about it here? 

A: Breck is a great mountain with a huge variety of terrain for all levels of skiers and snowboarders. It has a real town with great shops and restaurants with a fun, friendly and welcoming atmosphere.

Darrin Hart

Originally came to Breck on a H2B Visa exchange program 13 years ago. Already had some friends from Australia working here who suggested Breckenridge as a good place to work. They said it was a fun mountain to ski on, the town was a lot of fun and from an instructors perspective plenty of work at a reasonable pay rate.What I love about Breck is the laid back lifestyle (pretty important to most Aussies), pretty consistent ski conditions, the great friends I’ve made and the active lifestyle all year long (lots of things to do other than skiing).

Thanks to Darrin, Matt and David for helping us answer our question!

–Morgan Bast