How to be a ‘ski bum’: David Shearon chooses quality of life over money in the bank |

How to be a ‘ski bum’: David Shearon chooses quality of life over money in the bank

John O’Neill
Special to the Daily
David Shearon.
Townsend Bessent | |

Editor’s note: This is the third article of a four-part series about Vail residents who have managed to balance careers with the ski bum lifestyle.

It isn’t rare that David Shearon is staring down a three-digit bank account.

“Right now, it is about quality of life over money in the bank,” Shearon said. “There are times when I’m broke as a joke. If I were having car trouble or something, I would be in trouble. But I am definitely happy.”

Shearon balances his budget working three jobs, the first at American Ski Exchange, a ski shop in Vail. He also works part time on the mountain, which gets him a pass. Finally, for “other necessities” as he calls them — things such as food — he works part time at The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa in Avon.

“I’d drop everything for a powder day.” David ShearonVail local

When Shearon graduated from Colorado State University, he moved back to Vail for the ski-town lifestyle. He missed the convenience of having skiing at his doorstep and missed the like-mindedness of Vail locals.

‘Everyone’s Escape’

“The mountain is everyone’s escape, to go out and let out stress or go out and have a great day,” Shearon said. “Everyone out here is a confident skier. People will get out and put in laps at lunch or see how much skiing they can get in with whatever time they can spare.”

For right now, at least, he is making skiing a priority and thanks his parents for getting him into the sport he loves and for the people of Vail who understand the lifestyle — the bosses who give split shifts, the customers who come in to swap stories about their day on the mountain and all the people who share in the turns.

He chose to come back to Vail over other resorts because he grew up here, spending years building up his knowledge of where to ski, when to ski and who to ski it with. He’s a part of the younger workforce, finding their financial footing, so long as that footing can support a pair of ski boots.

“I love that you can be on Oriental Express at 9:30 and catch a ride up with someone you know and ski with,” Shearon said. “You look down at all the snow just get each other stoked on the same things.”

Support Local Journalism