We had talked to “Summer” in the early fall but we had seen her ads last winter. “Apres ski with Me!” is a headline which you just don’t miss.
“OK, I love to ski.” said Summer on Skype. “But a season’s skiing is expensive and you really can’t make much money as a liftie or waitressing in one of the ski-resorts. Plus, during the season, finding a place to rent is crazy expensive.”
“I’d done a little escorting in college. You know, just end of the month and the rent is due sort of thing. Nothing fancy. But I liked what I saw of escorting, even with an agency, and I thought I might keep doing it a bit when I graduated.”
I finished college with a fair bit in loans and no real job prospects but I did have a little money I had as a graduation gift. Enough to keep me going through the summer. I started looking around and there really was nothing. A few internships but that was not a solution I could use. I was pretty much couch surfing and I was running out of couches.
A friend of mine’s parents had a condo in a major ski resort they were not using out of season and they lent it to me. Which was really generous of them but didn’t solve the problem of how I was going to make a living. But I was “in town” and so I looked around. There were jobs for the “season” but none of them paid much.
I figured I would have to move back to the city because there was no way I could afford to live in a ski resort during ski season. One afternoon I was out for coffee at a place off the main drag where the locals could get a latte for less than mountain prices. There was a girl about my age at another table. Very beautiful, nicely dressed – not obvious designer but expensive, seasonal, clothes – and really amazing boots. Long, over the knee and in a matte black leather. Sexy without being even slightly tacky.
I am not a shy girl and I said to the girl “I love your boots.” She thanked me for the compliment and we started chatting. After a while she seemed to relax a bit and then, leaning in, asked me, “Are you here for the season?”
“I wish I was but there is no way I can afford it.”
“Yes there is. Escorting.”
April, which was her name, saw that I was not at all shocked by the word “escorting” and we got to talking. I told her a little bit about my college escorting experience.
“Well this will be very different. The guys who come up here are players. Lots of money, lots of partying. Doctors, lawyers, executives – skiing is an expensive sport. Plus a lot of partying with guys who you might recognize but who do not want to be in the paper.”
It looked to be a great ski year and the snow was already falling when I moved into a tiny, rather sweet, furnished and terrifically expensive apartment just around the corner from the touristy, high end shopping, main drag in town. My apartment was, in fact, built for the owner of the store it was above. While it was cramped it was very private and had a view of the mountain.
April came to see it. She had lent me the money for the deposit and first and last month’s rent. “You’re good for the money Summer. One good weekend and all that will be taken care of.”
She liked my little apartment. “I wish my apartment was this nice. Of course it is small but that doesn’t matter when it is only you living here. Are you going to do in calls?”
I told her that I had not really thought that far ahead. When I escorted in college all my agency work was outcalls and I suppose that was what I thought I’d be doing.
“Well, mostly.” said April. “After all your clients are paying $1000 a night for a great room and they will want to use it. But with this apartment with all this privacy, I can see you doing select in calls. There are guys who come up with their wives who might want a break.”
April showed me how to set up a discreet ad and I got a little smartphone just for business.
“Ski resorts are funny places. You have the locals and you have the guys flying in for a couple of days or a week and then you have families who bring the kids. Most of my clients are the guys coming in. I don’t have a hard rule against escorting for locals but I live here. The truth is that this is a very small town once you take the skiers out of the equation. A few of the locals suspect that I am escorting but I prefer to keep it a bit of a mystery.”
I asked her how she explained being able to live without working.
“If anyone is rude enough to ask I mention my grandfather and railways. Which is accurate, my grandfather was an engineer on the railroad. But I leave the impression he might have owned a railroad and the hint that I have a trust fund.”
“A trustifarian escort. Can I do that?” I asked.
“You can if you want. But whatever you do pick a story and stick to it.”
“What about law enforcement?” I asked. When I was escorting in college the agency did all the screening and had some sort of arrangement with the local police. I don’t know what it was but I did know that girls who worked for the agency never worried about calling the cops if a date turned ugly.
“Law enforcement in this town is all about making sure the visitors have a great time and don’t do dumb things when they have had a few drinks at an altitude they are not used to. I think they know I am working as an escort but I am part of the good time which keeps the skiers coming back.” April said laughing, “Obviously the key is to keep the advertising and the activities very discreet. Which isn’t difficult. I never mention adult activities in my ads.”
Listening to April I decided to keep my ad light and fun. “Snow Bunny for Apres Ski” was my headline and the rest of the ad was all about curling up in front of the fire or hitting the clubs. I was all about “companionship”. I had a great picture of me in an unzipped parka and nothing else. I’m naturally blond and naturally pretty big on top so the whole parka thing worked really well. We shot it so that my face was nicely cast in shadow but you could still see my hair.
“I had never booked my own escorting dates before but it seemed pretty straight forward. April was big on screening and I made sure that I could verify the identity of any one who phoned. But a lot of the screening was already done because the better hotels are expensive enough that the people who stay there need to have good jobs.”
“The other thing about the hotels is that they are resort hotels rather than business hotels. This makes a difference for an escort because, when you go to meet a client you get a wink from the desk clerk rather than having to worry about security.”
“Once the snow started falling the hotels filled up and so did my date book. I paid April back the first week. She was a bit surprised but happy. I had thought that she might resent the competition. Not at all. She often referred her clients on the principle that if they had a good time with me they would be all the more inclined to come back for spring skiing.”
“I have to admit this was a pretty awesome lifestyle. I’d get up fairly early, check the snow and weather conditions and, most days, ski in the morning. I’d come off the mountain around noon, have a quick lunch and check my phone. I was surprised at how many dates I had in the mid to late afternoon. Guys who had been skiing all day liked to have their escort waiting as they stepped out of the shower. Fine with me.”
“The majority of my escorting was in the evenings. The thing about this ski resort was that it had a number of really good restaurants and clubs for dancing later. These guys liked to party hard. They come off the mountain pumped up and start with a couple of beers. Then they like to go and have dinner. That’s where April and I often come in. Sometimes together, sometimes just one of us.”
“The thing is that while there are lots of pretty girls in the bars and clubs, the guys who are up for just a few days really do want “a sure thing”. One guy I see regularly who flies in from LA put it really well. “I mean I could meet a girl on the chair lift, ask her for drinks and dinner, take her out and get turned down. Or I can hire you as an escort, have the same drinks and dinner and be absolutely sure to enjoy my whole evening. I am only in town for two nights and, with you one night and April the next, I fly home with 100,000 vertical, a bit of a tan and a smile on my face.”
“Hiring an escort as part of the ski vacation package made a lot of sense for these guys. I was a sure thing at the end of the day.”
“What was interesting was that these single – for the weekend – guys were most but not all of my regular escorting business. There were also guys up with their wives or families who wanted a break. And this is where my cute little apartment paid for itself again and again. These guys would often book an appointment for the early afternoon. I think their wives thought they were off skiing. These tended to be shorter, more service provider style dates. They couldn’t get away all that long. But having an apartment very close to the main street meant they could come by for an hour or two. These guys were usually a bit older and, as much as anything, they wanted a really good massage with a happy ending. Four days of skiing when you are a bit out of condition takes it out of you.”
“At the other end of the escorting continuum there were the party guys. Here the whole arrangement was a bit different. A guy – often a sports guy – would come up to the mountain for a few days R&R. There were a couple of clubs in town which liked to have these semi-celebrities come in because they attracted a whole lot of other people. So those clubs would make sure that there were some “party girls” there to entertain. Some of the girls – and there were about half a dozen regulars other than April and I – were what I would call semi-pros. They were not exactly escorts but they were happy to have their expenses covered and a little extra. They were tons of fun and very pretty and they sometimes went with the guy or one of the entourage; but they reserved the right to say no. April and I had our expenses, drinks and so on covered plus what April called a standby fee. Basically, we were paid our base rate whether we went with the guy or not – but we had to be ready to go. Once again, the escorts were the sure thing.”
“Those parties could get pretty wild. A lot of expensive drinks and tons of great food. Yes, of course there were drugs. Indoor blizzards. I don’t do drugs. Never have. Not a problem for the most part. The other party girls seemed to be delighted to keep the client company. As often as not the party would end with April and I going home and the celebrity either going to bed alone or with one of the other girls. We were the back up.”
“However, on other occasions one or both of us would go back to the celebrity’s suite. And sometimes a couple of the other girls would come as well. Yes, it did get pretty wild. A lot of these guys were egomaniacs and they loved the idea of three or four girls in sexy lingerie prancing around and teasing them. Plus, a lot of these guys saw Viagra as a party drug which meant they could go for hours and with each of the girls. As long as they wear a different condom for each girl I was fine with that. At the same time, April and I both have our hard limits and we stick to them. I think that is the difference between a professional and an amateur.”
“Fortunately this sort of party was not a really regular thing. A couple of times a month. I say fortunately because these were always very late nights. I always think that one the downsides of escorting is that it can be a really unhealthy lifestyle. I’m a girl who likes to be in bed, alone, with a good book by 11 so I can hit the slopes in the morning. The whole party lifestyle thing is not where I want to be.”
“The ski season runs from late November to late April, early May. You have to be a bit of a squirrel hoarding money for the summer. Which I actually like. Taking a few months off escorting every year has kept me pretty grounded.”
“There is a lot more going on in the spring and summer than most people realize. There are two really excellent golf courses, a tennis camp a bunch of outdoor hiking and biking; this is developing into a year round resort.”
“I escort a bit in the summer but usually just for my winter clients who want to get away for a break. I have a couple of summer packages which are fun. This is my third year “up the hill” and I am developing a really pleasant clientele. April is a terrific friend and we have each other’s backs; but there is not too much to worry about. For example, we almost never have “no shows” because our clients are here for only a short time. We also very rarely are asked to reduce our rates. These guys have plenty of money and if they are on a ski vacation they are spending it fast.”
“Initially I was a bit worried that the locals would figure out what I was doing and be, what, judgmental? This has not been a problem at all. I know that a few of the bartenders and wait staff and desk clerks know exactly what I am doing – they don’t care. Plus, the turnover is amazing. People come and live the ski-bum, low wage, lots of skiing life style for a year and then go back to college or a real job. I don’t. Which means I have all the skiing I could possibly want, a great outdoor lifestyle in the summer and plenty of money.”
“April thinks that escorting is something a girl can only do for a few years without getting pretty hard and bitter. Which is bizarre because she has been escorting for six seasons.”
“I don’t think it is the escorting itself which does the damage. It’s the lifestyle. I don’t think I could escort in the city. Even when I was escorting in college and not doing many dates the whole thing was draining me and there was no way to recharge.”
“When I slide off the lift at the summit for the first run on a powder day I am completely recharged. It is a huge gift which I earn with my escorting. The only thing which I will change, slowly, is I want to cut back on the whole celebrity party thing. It is just a little too random. I would much rather spend quality time with a gentleman who is delighted to have a pretty girl he can pay to say yes.”
“It turns out that April has been thinking the same thing and I really was doing the party escorting just to keep her company and to say thank you. If she decides to stop this season I will too.”
“One thing I am looking forward to is a weekend at a resort a couple of hundred miles from here. One of my clients suggested a change of scenery. New runs. It will be fun because we will be travelling together as a couple. I’d like to do more escorting dates like that. I’m giving him a super deal because we’re staying in a really nice hotel and he is paying for the passes and everything. It should be fun.”
“So I will keep doing my snow bunny escorting for at least a couple more seasons. But, during the summer, I have been learning how to guide white water rafting. This year I will be taking my own rafts down river. Huge fun and I guarantee no one in my raft will have the foggiest idea of what I do in the winter.