Colorado ski resorts work to find staff to maintain customer service

Tight housing market challenges ski resorts
Posted at 3:53 PM, Oct 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-21 19:40:45-04

WINTER PARK, Colo. -- Ski resorts across Colorado are working hard to find and hire seasonal workers. The employees often operate ski lifts, work in food services and guest relations.

Hiring can be a challenge. Housing in many ski communities is in short supply and often expensive. Ski resorts are trying to get strong staffing levels so customer service doesn’t suffer.

“I love tubing, so I’m really excited about that. I love snow shoeing, so I’m really excited to get out,” said Winter Park season staff member George Peterman.   

The Michigan transplant is lucky. He’s already found a place to live, a challenge for many seasonal workers who need a short lease that’s affordable.

Winter Park and other resorts know about the struggle. The Grand County resort plans to hire about 1,500 seasonal workers.

“It is very hard. It is complicated even further with a housing shortage throughout the counties where we have ski country,” said Winter Park’s Vice President of Human Resources Paula Labian.  

It's a reality that’s forcing Labian to think out of the box.

“We look for creative options. We look for possibly a bed and breakfast that has a great summer business and would like to help us out in the winter,” she said.

Resorts across the state don’t want customer service to deteriorate because of a staff shortage.

They’re recruiting from across the country and overseas.

“We have also gone out and partnered with some great culinary hospitality companies and have been able to bring over some of the students from India, and from the Philippines and from Bali,” she said.


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