Tahoe, Salt Lake, Summit County are pretty much the mecca's. Lot's of different things going on than just the ski areas too. I'd also say there is a fair amount of chance to land yourself into the type of career you want at those spots. SLC might be the easiest. Being a metro area with lots of outdoor companies located or locating there. Summit has it's fair share of snowboard related biz, but the bigger players are almost always based out of Denver. Which isn't a bad location but not as convenient as the places mentioned above. Tahoe suffers from the same. Reno or Sacto would be the more likely spots there.
As far as jobs go in Tahoe, if you go there shoulder seasons, you shouldn't have too hard of time picking up a waiting/bar tending. South shore has all the casinos, definitely more jobs there. North shore has a better overall selection of resorts imo. Kirkwood was the only reason I ever went to the South shore and Kirkwood isn't really South shore either. There is also getting to be a lot of competitive pass pricing for the Tahoe area resorts. If you can squirrel $500-$700 I think you'll have your pick and you probably don't need to spend that much too.
As far as a bus system goes, I don't remember much of one on the North Shore, but I never had a problem hitching around. Keep a can of pepper spray with you, but I doubt you'd ever have to use it.
Don't get me wrong about not mentioning other spots like Mammoth, Jackson, or Aspen. Those are great spots, they just don't have the location that the three above do.
As far as the Burton gig goes, it could be worth your time if you stick to your goals. It is an introduction to the biz. If you can work your way into a decent position, it probably won't be that hard to whore yourself to a different company that is based out of the West. Plenty of guys running their ops out of or nearby to just about every resort in the West. So it could be a classic pay now and enjoy the benefits for the rest of your life type thing. Of course you could also end up stuck in the east, but somehow I think you'd be frequent visitor to the West.