EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › Economy hurts skiing - Intrawest Layoffs
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Economy hurts skiing - Intrawest Layoffs

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
This may be old news to some but it's just made it to our paper.
Intrawest announcing layoffs at Copper, Steamboat and Winter Park. Says "the drop in business is unlike anything it has experienced in recent years".
I know we have some members who work for these folks. Hope you're high enough on the seniority list to avoid the cuts.
Are there other announced layoffs. Are any ski areas (other than Yellowstone) in trouble or likely to modify their operating schedule this year?
post #2 of 18
Skiing or ski industry?
post #3 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveturner View Post
This may be old news to some but it's just made it to our paper.
Intrawest announcing layoffs at Copper, Steamboat and Winter Park. Says "the drop in business is unlike anything it has experienced in recent years".
I know we have some members who work for these folks. Hope you're high enough on the seniority list to avoid the cuts.
Are there other announced layoffs. Are any ski areas (other than Yellowstone) in trouble or likely to modify their operating schedule this year?
Ironically, we have been told that the surveyors are still very important. However, we no longer get free lift tickets for our friends, and we can't get discount tickets at the window for visitors. We're also not supposed to work more than three hours, which amounts, at our salary, to about $20 after taxes.

Thank you for asking!
post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisamarie View Post
Ironically, we have been told that the surveyors are still very important. However, we no longer get free lift tickets for our friends, and we can't get discount tickets at the window for visitors. We're also not supposed to work more than three hours, which amounts, at our salary, to about $20 after taxes.

Thank you for asking!
Which doesn't really make it worthwhile does it? Gee, do they let you still get discounts in the cafeteria?

I didn't work security at my Resort for the money. It was always for the free family pass and discounts for equipment, food and passes for friends.

Take that away and all you're going to get for employees are illegal immigrants. We'll soon need to be bilingual to get on a lift.
post #5 of 18
We still get discounts at the cafeteria and at the Cooper-owned shops. However, we no longer get discounts on sale merchandise. I can still get a pass for Mark, but I can't help anyone out with free or discounted lift tickets.

FWIW, my boss, who had seen large groups of Epic people in the cafeteria, as a result of free tickets from Copper employees, really tried to argue our case, based on the amount of money that is spent in the cafeteria and restaurants as a result of these freebies. Obviously, she lost.
post #6 of 18
This happened Intrawest wide the week before last. It wasn't just Steamboat, Copper, and Winter Park. I heard 311 people were laid off. People from the top down were affected. I talked to an affected individual last week. I know nothing more.
post #7 of 18
The biggest hit at Intrawest was in sales (particularly destination sales). No big surprise there - it's the 3rd time in 6 years they've done it, maybe even the 4th. A lot of other positions were at corporate in Vancouver - I think the Tech Centre got hit. Intrawest "reorganizes" departments continuously so this isn't very surprising. As usual, I'm sure there was no effort to actually identify and keep their good employees.

All of this is resort industry wide and not Intrawest specific or even ski specific. Bookings are down dramatically. As a result, there's some killer deals to be found out there, or soon will be. Now that the snow is falling, I recommend starting to shop around. Vegas has some great deals right now. (I know that's not related to skiing, but that's where I take my vacations.)

I think what you're likely to see this year is a combination of a few things: full-time, year round resort positions are not going to be filled if people leave, seasonal hirings will be dramatically cut back, and then as a result you'll see operation hours cut back.
post #8 of 18
The local whistler paper had a comment on it, Interwest in Vancouver had some, and in Whistler it was more vacant positions not being filled, instead of "layoffs".
I think this is just the start of Fortress cutting out waste and maximizing profits.
Big PO here is they "suspended" the Interwest staff xmas party, anyone at other Inetwest resorts see that as well?
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by TAH View Post
I think this is just the start of Fortress cutting out waste and maximizing profits.
I think you meant minimizing losses as Fortress currently has no profits to maximize.
post #10 of 18
That's weird. You'd think they'd be upping the deals, freebies, bait, to promote activity, to get bums on seats as it were. Not cutting back such stuff.

What, do they think that, with everyone tightening their belts, people are going to pay full price? Filling the resort with people who will spend money would make more sense. Tempt them in with cheap carrots, and once they're in, tempt their wallets out. This is marketing 101.
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ant View Post
That's weird. You'd think they'd be upping the deals, freebies, bait, to promote activity, to get bums on seats as it were. Not cutting back such stuff.

What, do they think that, with everyone tightening their belts, people are going to pay full price? Filling the resort with people who will spend money would make more sense. Tempt them in with cheap carrots, and once they're in, tempt their wallets out. This is marketing 101.

Based on what we've heard from Stratton over the past few years, that's not there business model. Raise prices and keep away the day traffic.

Look for more bad news from them in the near future.
post #12 of 18
That model works when times are normal, but when the financial tap dries up, you need some volume. You can't depend on a small pool of whales.
post #13 of 18
Dropping prices isn't going to do much this season. People are hunkering down.
post #14 of 18
I can report that at Stratton they had a new benefits plan that was going to give many employees aditional benefits. However, we suddenly got an email last week explaining that the number of free lift tickets available was going to be cut dramatically (in my case, I went from 10 comp tickets to 4 comp tickets and 8 "discount" tickets, which aren't really that discounted). It also seems that prices at the employee cafeteria have gone up just a bit (but it may just be that I'm worried about money, so I'm watching my costs more closely).
post #15 of 18
I know several big "whales" who have canceled their trips for the season due to the volatility in the markets...so can't count on them either...although a resort like Stratton ought to make a killing marketing their proximity to the big city..."stay close to home, avoid paying $15 per bag to fly to CO, UT, etc."....farmer's almanac is also predicting good snow conditions for the Northeast this year...about average for the rest of the country (not expected to be another epic winter out west)
post #16 of 18
The speculation has been that destination resorts might suck it up with the economy in the toilet but local mountains might do better.

One data point-- Wachusett and Jiminy in MA (mid-sized areas by east-coast standards; small by west standards) have a over a 20% increase in season pass sales this year.
post #17 of 18
I think that none of the Oregon and Washington ski areas are open yet due to lack of snow. No paychecks except for the year-round employees. (What are they doing with the imported workers, either H2-B or students? One area is due for a dozen Argentine instructors, plus other workers, on their college summer break...raking leaves?)

We got a few pennies pay increase, improved discount in the main cafeteria up to 50% discount, tougher requirements for part timers for the season pass--50 hours now vs. 12 days before--, reduced number of free vouchers (8, down from 10) for having taught 60 hours the previous year, never any family passes or discount except the vouchers. Oh, yeah, new parkas instead of the gauzy, worn out ones with broken zippers & missing hood. No changes announced in any of this since pre-season.

While in Colorado last month, I heard the scuttlebutt that Vail's bookings were at the 1988 level!
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by learn2turn View Post
The speculation has been that destination resorts might suck it up with the economy in the toilet but local mountains might do better.

One data point-- Wachusett and Jiminy in MA (mid-sized areas by east-coast standards; small by west standards) have a over a 20% increase in season pass sales this year.
Having only skied at Jiminy and not Wachusett, I was expecting this to happen a while ago. Jiminy has like 5 minute lines the day before New Year's Eve when I went! It is clearly the best skiing in the area with little crowds, not to mention great to the enviroment with their wind turbine! I called this one lol.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Skiing Discussion
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › Economy hurts skiing - Intrawest Layoffs