Mike, I think the comparisons are valid on a couple levels. Employee retention was the expressed reason for the raises at WalMart. Were they compelled by the threat of a national minimum wage increasing to $10 an hour? It's hard to say but the reaction on Wall Street hasn't been a positive one. I am sure other factors like not meeting sales quotas are involved but when those raises are given as a reason given for the stock price falling, I think it's hard to dismiss the sentiment behind that sort of statement. What isn't debatable is how they became the number one retailer using the business model that included minimum wage workers. It was a game changer because other retailers followed suit trying to stay alive.
How that compares to the ski resort workers is pretty obvious, like most folks in the recent past they followed part of WalMart's success story and kept wages down to keep profits up. Now when that model is being seen as outdated worker retention has become a new corporate buzzword. So who really knows where it will lead but the pendulum seems to be swinging back toward a higher wage that will allow the workers to actually afford the products and services they provide others. It's not there yet but with time and enough public sympathy (support for businesses that paid living wages all along) we might see the wage gap get smaller.