Meet Allison Kozar, one of the only female terrain park managers on the East coast. As Bolton Valley’s Terrain Park Manager, Kozar works closely with her staff at the family-friendly mountain resort of three peaks, 70 rails, 6 lifts, and 3 terrain parks located just 30 minutes from Burlington, Vermont. She oversees, manages, and creates all three terrain parks (including the Burton Progression Park).
“During my second year at Bolton Valley, my boss at the time was dedicated to teaching me everything he could,” said Kozar. “Over the years, I’ve been lucky enough to collaborate with people from Snow Park Technologies and Snowgrind; two professional terrain park building companies. They helped me understand how to create function and flow. I don’t mind being the only girl in the room. Resort operations are known for being ‘the boy’s club’, and I fit right in. Women need to show that they are willing to get some sweat on their brows, get dirty, handle the stress associated with the job. Working hard and trying to overachieve everyday is the only way to gain respect from the guys. My advice to other girls is don’t be afraid to try. Get out there and learn some skills. Even with the guys, there still aren’t enough people in the ski and snowboard industry.”
26-year-old Kozar was born in Killington and has been skiing since the age of 4. She started college at Roger Williams in Rhode Island but switched to the University of Vermont to be closer to skiing. With a degree in English (and minor in music), Kozar enjoys musicals, South Park, watching movies, and playing poker. Kozar describes a typical day on the job, even though there’s no predictability in the life of his female powerhouse.
“Our day starts with us going to the parks in the morning, fixing up ruts, painting, flagging everything, then opening to the public,” said Kozar. “I try to get shop, marketing, or managing work done after lunch, while the boys maintain the parks. I join the daily snow plan meeting at two o’clock, where we talk about resort events, snow making, grooming, and safety concerns. That room has a great view of the Butterscotch Park. Sometimes I let the boys play with the Go Pro, to get clips for webisodes. After snow plan, I try and finish up any e-mails and fill out the grooming report, to tell the groomer what work needs to be done. On nights that we have night skiing, I talk to the night crew and give them instructions. I usually leave before close on those nights, but the night guys tear down all the fencing and flags, and maintain the park for the evening. It can be a long day.”
Kozar is just one tough girl amidst a sea of men that’s not afraid to break the stereotypical mold of our bro dominated ski industry.