Ski Areas Find Seasonal Workers in Short Supply
Thanksgiving is the traditional start of the ski season in the United States. There's usually enough snow around for resorts to open by now but ski area's needs something else. Seasonal seasonal workers who are becoming harder to find Wyoming. Public Radio's Maggie. Mullen reports David Bird with the National Ski Areas Association says for a Long Time Ski Resorts had one big incentive to attract all the workers. They needed a season pass. Those days are long gone. That's true says Lauren. Duke with steamboat Springs Ski Resort in Colorado. She says it's tough to hire with unemployment around four percent nationally. The resort industry usually trends with the economy. Here at the base of the steamboats Christie Peak Express. Lift Duke says that means resorts have to do more. I think everyone in the ski industry is always looking for ways to make their workplace the best workplace steamboat has increased base wages to twelve dollars and fifty cents an hour about a buck. Fifty above Colorado's minimum wage wage seasonal workers. Stay on for nine to eleven months. You benefits like health insurance and paid time off and parental. Leave those only on for the ski season Get perks like warm lunch or dinner for three to five dollars and discounted lift tickets for friends and family. Plus their season pass committee used at other resorts in the area. deb Hallway. A twenty six season veteran of steamboats ski patrol says she seen affordable housing become more of an issue the amount of reasonable rental properties thirties. I think is certainly diminishing over time and and That's tough as second. Homes and services like AIRBNB VIR B O or reducing housing stock doc and resort areas more resorts are offering workforce. Housing steamboat offers some staff rentals for three hundred fifty two four hundred and fifty dollars a month. About two-thirds it's cheaper than the lowest end local free market rentals plus steamboats units are right next to the resort. Norma Nickerson says I kind of proximity is important. You'RE NOT GONNA drive from Denver all the Way Vale. Every single day as a worker Nickerson directs the University of Montana's Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research. I know that some of the ski resorts have said well. If we don't get full staff were in were right on that edge and then of course somebody gets sick or they can't be there for few days. The the administrative people are out there doing those jobs just to fill in. And when that doesn't cut it she says resorts cut down on services like reducing restaurant on ours enclosing particular runs. You're leaving money on the table. They don't WanNa do that. But they're forced to another wrinkle. In Industries labor market resorts have traditionally nations depended on foreign workers in the US on J. One visas but it trump administration executive order placing restrictions on that program. Means that pool of employees has also been reduced. David Bird says it's not just a problem across the rockies. What I hear a lot from ski area owners and operators and it's true grew from large resorts down to small resorts? We're not feeling close to all the jobs that we have better available and if you do land one of those jobs you'll still get the season pass but ski resorts now know that alone. Just isn't a sweet enough deal anymore for N._p._R.. News Maggie Molin in Laramie. That story came to us from the mountain West News Bureau.