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Article about Park City & employment

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

I'm not sure if this goes here.

But this article says that many businesses in Park City need seasonal employees.

The situation is probably similar in the Cottonwood Canyon resorts.
post #2 of 15
I love the way they don't give the main reason for the shortage: horrific real estate prices, made worse by the madness during Sundance. Wages are the same as anywhere (ie low), but housing costs are sky-high.
post #3 of 15
It's safe to say that you could find 5 -6 or more people sharing living accomadations to save on rent. I seen this every year i was living / working in Park City.
It's just not happening in Park City, it's happening here in Tahoe, Jackson, Vail, Aspen, any major ski resort area.
It's a yearly thing and it will continue to go on, till some one wakes up and realizes ,that with out these hard working employess, who are making sacrfices, to have some fun for a season, are paying thru the nose to squeak out a survival.
Park city does have a organztion that helps the seasonal employee find affordable housing. But if you don't start looking at the end of the season, your going to be in a struggle for the next season.
I think the city fathers in all resort towns should be able to come up with a law that prohibits out of this world rents for the seasonal employee. They all ready can make laws regarding where vacations rentals can be located.
Some resort do offer some dorm style iving arrangements for employess, but thats about it. No kitchens,(unless the rules have lossend up) no cooking in rooms. So the person is having to eat all thier meals in over priced resturants.
The other side to this, resort such as PCMR,DV and The Canyons, do have employee only shuttles to and from PC, from SLC, Provo,Odgen.
Sundance does not dictate what a home owner charges the seasonal employee. It's only a two week thing, wheres as the seasonal employee is in town for 5 maybe 6 months.
In all the surveys i hadfilled out about affordable houseing, not once was Sundance listed as a cause to the high rents. If the Sundance Film Fest, was to pick up and move to another place, the rents would still be ski high.
The first place i rented when i lived in the PC area was out at Powderwood at Kimbill JCT. I rented a furnished one bedroom one bath, for $600. a month during the ski season. It dropped to $525. in the off season.
Now days that same condo would go for $800.00 a month. The manager I had worked for , had a 2 bedroom condo there, he paid $200,000 to buy it, sold it for $265,000 when he was ready to buy a stand alone home.

In short resorts and other employeers need to pay better wages. But then they would pass those cost onto us the consumer, to offset the higher wages. When i left in 2003 Burger King was paying as a starting wage $10. hr.
As for BCC / LCC 90% of the resort employees live in the 'burbs' of the Salt Lake Valley.
post #4 of 15
Those Powderwood Condos might be selling for $300,000 to 400,000 in this current market. 3 bedroom Homes in the Park meadows area are renting for $1800+ for seasonal rentals. Last May I was looking fora yearly lease and one bedroom condos were asking $1200 or more. The resorts, and local goverment need to come up with some sort of plan for seasonal workers. All Employers in Park City are now hurting for workers.
post #5 of 15

I think the city fathers in all resort towns should be able to come up with a law tha

thats a classic one, tahoetr! and there ought to be a law on how much skis cost, lift tickets, accommodation, etc. even the commies have given up that kind of "planning"
post #6 of 15
and how are you going to feel when the people running the lifts, serving the food, and cleaning your condo are all illegal aliens because the American workers have been priced out of working for the resorts.

Oh, and before anyone comes back about how if it wasn't for the tourists, we wouldn't have a place to ski, if it wasn't for the seasonal workers, you'd still be skinning up the mountain for two runs per day.
post #7 of 15
The link you refer to is a summary of this article that appeared in the SL Trib, http://www.sltrib.com/search/ci_4724313

Park City scrambles to fill jobs for season
Low unemployment leaves resorts, other businesses with shallow pool of applicants
By Christopher Smart
The Salt Lake Tribune
Article Last Updated:11/26/2006 02:56:37 AM MST

Want a job in a beautiful resort town in the mountains?
Restaurants, hotels and ski shops in Park City hope you do. With a tight labor market across the state, the availability of workers could be this ski season's biggest challenge for Utah's premiere destination.
The Canyons, Park City Mountain Resort and Deer Valley say they are well enough staffed to rock and roll whenever Mother Nature is ready. Still, the local newspaper, The Park Record, is jammed with want ads. Apply today, they urge, for a job as a bus driver, receptionist, maid, cook, concierge, accountant, chairlift worker, cashier, child-care attendant, heavy-equipment operator and many others.
The paper recently editorialized that the big gambit this ski season - aside from snow conditions - will be finding enough workers for all the positions needed to make Park City hum like the well-oiled machine its patrons have come to expect.
"Local employers are already beginning to chew their fingernails over the dwindling number of applications for a growing number of seasonal jobs," the paper noted.
There are a lot of openings, concurred Tom Anderson, a Utah Department of Workforce Services business consultant for Summit and Wasatch counties.
"We have at least 200 job openings [in Park City]," he said. "Employers have been complaining about a lack of applicants."
Most of the job opportunities are in the service industry, restaurants, ski resorts and retail shops, he said.
There was a time when many of those positions would have been filled with college grads taking a winter off before launching into a career-path job.
As the college ski-bum population dwindled in the late 1980s, resorts were rescued by a wave of immigrant labor. But this year, the job market has apparently expanded beyond the immigrant community's capacity to provide workers.
Among those who have welcomed immigrants with open arms is Park City Mayor Dana Williams. But now, even the municipality is having trouble hiring bus drivers and other positions that are among the best for seasonal employment.
"We're having a really hard time," he said. "I haven't heard a full-on community outcry, but I've heard rumblings from people who can't find enough employees."
One factor in the shortage of applicants is that almost everybody in Summit County already has a job, according to Department of Workforce Services statistics. About 20,916 residents have jobs. Only 484 potential employees say they are without work.
That's an unemployment rate of 2.3 percent.
"Generally, the labor market across the state is pretty tight," said Jim Robson, labor-market analyst for Workforce Services. "Summit County has a full-employment rate. The ski industry has to attract people from outside."
Making matters more complicated for the resort and service industries, Robson noted, is that the construction business is very strong in Utah and pulls workers away from lower-paying jobs.
"The workers are going to go where they can get the best wage," he said.
The Canyons resort, along with Deer Valley and Park City Mountain Resort, each hire hundreds of employees every winter.
That's always a challenge, said Libby Dowd, director of public relations at The Canyons.
Resorts use a number of strategies to fill those positions, including hiring college students from South America who are on summer break during ski season in the Northern Hemisphere.
"We're ramping up, and we have enough employees, but we're always looking for more," Dowd said.
This ski season, The Canyons also has hired workers from New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom and Jamaica, Dowd added. They are looking for an adventure as much as a job, she said.
"They want an American experience and, heck, they get to ski."
Everybody will be open for business, said Bill Malone, executive director of the Park City Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau.
"Just because all the jobs aren't filled doesn't mean things quit rolling," he said.
Park City is on track for another successful season.
"They'll just work more hours and make up for shortages," Malone said.
I'm not to comment on this other than to say that I think the glaring fact is that unemployment in the PC area and in Utah in general is ridiculously low and I'm not going to delve into the housing crunch!:
post #8 of 15
Part of the problem with those Powderwood condos is that they are also being marketed by the week to tourists, which drives the rents up. By the way, I think the way they are advertised is just this side of fradulent. The Powderwood is a perfectly nice place to live, but it ain't a "resort center."

The "nowhere to live" problem is not just a skiing thing. The same thing happens on Cape Cod in the summer. The large businesses seem to ignore the issue, but many small business owners look for creative housing solutions for their employees. Some even go so far as to put one or two up in their own homes.

I guess in a lot of ski areas workers have to live a looong drive away from where they are working.

I'm not sure there is any good solution, other than enlightened self-interest on the part of the entities looking for workers to hire. Maybe some creative zoning to make it easier to do something?
post #9 of 15
Deer Valley has dorms for first year employees, but apparently that is no longer big enough. They all run buses, and a lot of the foreign students used that and lived in SLC etc. They said they had to catch the buses before dawn though, and hang around the resorts long after their jobs finished as they had to wait 'til all employees were finished before heading out to SLC, Heber etc.

I spoke to some Chilean students working in the coffee shop who were very unhappy campers. They'd managed to find a basement to live in, and the owner kindly fitted it out with a fridge and hotplate for them, and then gave them permission to fill it up. So there was 13 of them living in a 2 bedroom basement studio, for the entire season. It was not what they'd been led to expect (their wages weren't, either).

Last season, my rent for December and January exceeded my earnings for those months (previous winter's rent was much more affordable! Thanks to a member of this forum).

There were rumblings that the town council were going to get together with the resorts and make a deal so that staff barracks could be built, but not sure if anything came of that.
post #10 of 15
Ant, I think if I were still in That Condo I could get at least $600.00 for that low level room maybe more. I would feel guilty about it, but would still cash The check
post #11 of 15
Bottom line: No one, not the city leaders (very well respected and sympathetic to the seasonal worker plight - BTW) nor business leader are going to do much more than what is already done as long as there is a steady stream of workers willing to replace one another. When critical shortages in manpower start happening (no - we are not there yet), then city leaders, and business owners will have to start incentivising workers to stay - whether its subsidized housing or better pay/benefits. No other force will change the situation. The dollar rules this country and no one will mess with the status quo until the bottom line is upset. Then action will occur.

post #12 of 15
Powder, I Think Park City is right on the edge of that shortage. At least that is what I hear.
post #13 of 15

I don't honestly know. It's a matter of when enough business is turned away that it starts to hurt the bottom line. Is that happening? No. Is it close to happening? I guess it depends on who you talk to. My sources say no.

post #14 of 15
Originally Posted by Utah49 View Post
Ant, I think if I were still in That Condo I could get at least $600.00 for that low level room maybe more. I would feel guilty about it, but would still cash The check
Yep, reckon you could, easy. Stick a bar fridge and hotplate in the garage, and bingo. Self contained.
post #15 of 15
While they can get people in from overseas, that will avert disaster. Many will only come for one season, but next season more will come. The south americans and some eastern europeans I chatted with maintained that they'd been misled about their earnings, but they were there!

There'll be trouble if large numbers of these people up and leave early, but if they're on sponsored visas I think they'll be reluctant to do this.

To answer an earlier query, Sundance skews things big-time. People with accommodation will make as much in that 2 weeks as they might make over several months, so accommodation which might have been available for staff for the season (like rooms), isn't available.

Quite a few of the O/S people were still couch surfing well into February. I think then they got enough money to get into their own room, but up til then they just didn't have the funds.

Last winter, apparently a lot of the summer workers (from Mexico, mostly) stayed on for the winter. I'm not sure if they were in construction or what. But this apparently caused a lot of problems as accommodation which usually became available for the influx of winter workers didn't become available. Then prices went up with demand.
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