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Alanna’s Journey into Ski Area Management

How Alanna Moe combined her love of the outdoors and her passion for business into a career path.

alanna moe riding her mountain bike


When Alanna Moe looks back at her childhood, she knows that there were teachers and classes that helped to push her toward what she is passionate about. She also knows that the biggest driver in her eventual career path took hold when she was outside of the classroom, and more importantly, outside. 

Growing up, her dad was a mountain bike coach and manager at Buck Hill in Burnsville and Alanna started participating in outdoor sports like skiing and mountain biking when she was ten years old. She loved being outside and practicing her skills and brought her passion to school, first as part of the Girls on the Run program in elementary school and then to running cross country, skiing, and mountain biking in middle school. Though she did well in school, she found that she just wasn’t excited about the classroom like she was about her extracurricular activities, and even started talking about quitting altogether. 

“At one point I really did want to drop out when I got my license and just do what I wanted to do,” said Alanna. “I worked with my parents on some different things that I could eventually do after high school and learned about programs in ski area management. I made that my goal and have worked towards it and stuck with it ever since, and I am glad that I did.”

Sticking with school, Alanna also found other interests including business and getting involved in leadership roles, serving on the student council in middle school and eventually joining Burnsville Strong and Link Crew at Burnsville High School (BHS). Her passion for business was sparked by another interest, thrifting for fashionable vintage clothing. 

“I ended up starting an Instagram account to sell the clothes I had accumulated from thrifting and it grew pretty quickly from something that my friends would shop to a full business that ships to 20 states,” said Alanna.  Running a small business as a teenager is no easy feat, especially with such a full schedule of extracurricular activities. When Alanna started at BHS, she found ways to grow her business and learn as much as possible to set her up for success in the future.

Through an independent study with Mr. Christopher Lunde focused on hospitality and tourism, Alanna learned how to manage a hotel, using online simulations to run the numbers, manage employees, and track profits. Starting Your Own Business connected even more as she worked with a group on a business based on her clothing business, creating business plans and pitching the idea to local business leaders who analyzed the viability of the plan. 

“Those business classes sparked my interest even more,” said Alanna. “I really like being able to create something that is your own and then be able to produce it or grow it to be available to others. The classes really helped me think about how to achieve my goals.” 

Those goals haven’t changed much since middle school, as Alanna wants to eventually manage a ski resort, become a coach, or a combination of the two, preferably in Colorado. To do that, she will begin at Gogebic Community College in Michigan to complete a two-year program focused on Ski Area Management. The program is incredibly hands-on with students living in dorms and working at a ski hill housed on campus. “We toured Gogebic and it was the only place I applied,” said Alanna. 

The school has a transfer option for students to attend the University of Northern Michigan to roll into a bachelor's in business focused on ski area management after two years, which she is considering. Until then, Alanna will continue to combine her passions for the outdoors, business and leadership. To inspire the next generation of girls like her, she is also mentoring an all-girl mountain bike program called the Little Bellas where she can give advice and counsel to others.

 “I have always said that I don’t do the indoors very well and that I just can’t work inside. My advice to kids like me who may not see the right path for them yet is to stick with it, get involved and find that connection in school to what you are passionate about outside of school, try different things and dive into what excites you.” 

- Alanna Moe

Elementary School

Alanna attends Vista View Elementary School and is part of the Girls on the Run program.

Age 10

Building on her love of the outdoors, she starts skiing and mountain biking.

Middle School

Attending Nicollet Middle School, Allana runs cross country and is part of the mountain biking team.

Age 13

Feeling that school may not be for her, Alanna works with her parents on possible paths for her future, quickly finding ski area management.

Age 14

Realizing she could turn her passion for clothing into something bigger, Alanna starts a small business selling vintage clothing on Instagram.

11th Grade

With more elective options in her schedule, Alanna begins taking business classes to help her current business and teach her skills for her future. 

alanna moe with her classmates in business class

12th Grade

Alanna is awarded a District 191 scholarship for women and girls going into a two-year tech or trade program.

Fall 2023

Starting at Gogebic Community College in Michigan, Alanna will complete a two-year program focused on Ski Area Management with tons of real-world experience built in.

alanna moe with her mountain bike and skis

The Future

With the option to transfer into a program at Northern Michigan University to earn a bachelor's in business in ski area management, Alanna hopes to manage a ski resort, preferably in Colorado.