Who are you? What do you do at HV and how long have you been working here?
Hello my name is Justin Whalen, I am a certified level 2 snowboard instructor at Holiday Valley! This is my 2nd season being a part of the Holiday Valley family, and my 9th season teaching snowboarding!
What do you like more, summer or winter? Why?
Oh man, now this is a difficult one! I share the same passion of teaching snowboarding with fishing! This past summer my partner and I started a fishing charter business, Hookedon Fishing. We're based out of Chautauqua Lake and run guided trips all spring and summer. We strive to teach and share the passion for fishing with the future generations! It's all about lighting that spark!
What is your favorite thing about your job?
Seeing the enjoyment in people as they learn the sport of snowboarding, especially if they don't have many winter hobbies. It is one of the most awarding feelings when you have a student who maybe struggles in school, or team sports to excel at snowboarding! You can really see the spark in their eye when they achieve success. It is truly awesome!
When you're not working, how do you enjoy spending your time?
I have the cutest dog named Linus, we enjoy long walks and tons of play time! I also enjoy bartending, hunting, fishing, exercising, and hanging with friends!
Most underrated thing to do at HV in your opinion?
Getting an advanced lesson, there is always room to improve. The majority of people think that lessons are only for the beginners, but in reality an advanced lesson can bring your riding to the next level. We can always improve ourselves, specifically in the snow sports world. I find that I enjoy myself the most when I'm being pushed to that next level!
What's your best HV memory?
So many to choose from but, one that really stands out is when I past my AASI level 2 teaching exam. It was awesome, we had a strong training squad who were dedicated to bettering themselves as instructors! We wouldn't have succeeded without the help of our trainers, big thanks to Mike B and Larry S!
In your opinion, what makes HV special?
There are many things that make the Valley special including the multiple high speed lifts, but the general friendliness of the guests and employees stands out to me! It's a rare occasion if you don't see smiles everywhere. It is just a great environment to be in!