ski employee shortages to come
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oldensign - DCSki Columnist
June 30, 2008
Member since 02/27/2007 🔗
437 posts
This morning I heard an angle on the "Gas to Ski" issue that I had not considered before.

We have talked a lot on this site as to how we are going to get to the slopes to be customers this winter. But how are folks going to get to the slopes to be employees? NPR had a sanitation worker from Somerset PA that worked at mountain resorts- probably 7Springs- 20 miles from his house. He was saying gas cost were killing him. Gas cost over 1/3 of his pay check. He said that some workers in his shop from Ligonier had quit to find work closer to home.

Most resorts are strapped for workers this is only going to make it worse. This could be a real issue this winter across the country as most areas are in very rural areas and working driving 20-30 minutes to work are the norm. The small areas are really going to suffer.
KevR
June 30, 2008
Member since 01/27/2004 🔗
786 posts
Yeah with energy prices going up and if they stay like this (or continue on a long term upward trend) -- you know that means the costs are going up for every one all at once. So its going to mean many changes that will take a while to settle in. Ideally we'd be able to make up the bulk of those higher costs in various not so painful ways: some simple behavior changes ... carpooling, exchanging some things for others, new technology, etc...
It seems likely ski resorts will raise ticket and food prices and maybe they'll have to raise their labor pay scales too to offset employee transport costs somewhat. On the other hand, on both sides of the equation - from produce to consumer, some folks will work closer to home if they can find the work, others will carpool or take the bus to work... there are a myriad of things that will take place as everyone adjusts to a new economic model.
If we squeeze out more efficiency in a sense -- we may be able to close the gap if will on these higher costs... and in some ways things will seem the "same"...
If not, then ... well let's not think about that one too much ...
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
June 30, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
We need to change our mass transit and transportation paradigms, plain and simple. If the resort areas are going to survive, Government and private sectors need to coalesce to ensure the ability of workers to get to their workplace.

I heard the report also, but one thing that I was aghast is that the word "carpooling" was never used. Nor it even entered into the conversation. Don't want to make conjectures but I'm sure there are other folks in the same predicament in the nearby areas with roughly the same schedule. Carpooling is a valid option.

I recently read that 97 percent of all commuting trips are one-person car trips. If this number was reduced by half, it would make a dent in the gas demand.
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
June 30, 2008
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,107 posts
Perhaps the resorts will hire more workers from outside the US. Snowshoe and Wintergreen now do this big time and put the folks up in "dorms" at the mountain.
And Snowshoe could run a bus to the base of the mountain to a parking lot to pick up local workers and save all some gas.
The Colonel \:\)
Roger Z
June 30, 2008
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
 Quote:
I recently read that 97 percent of all commuting trips are one-person car trips. If this number was reduced by half, it would make a dent in the gas demand.


But gas demand IS down- over 3 percent in April, and that was before the big spike in prices in May and June. As a matter of fact, it's returned to 2002 levels, which is HUGE when you factor in population and income growth. We are back under 20 million barrels a day of oil consumption for the first time in six years.

Interesting study by Deutschebank concluded that the entire increase in global oil demand this year was going to come from countries that subsidized their gas prices. The Washington Post editorial where I read that concluded that the simplest thing to do to cut demand would be to eliminate subsidies in places like China... of course, I say "simple" with a grain of salt. We've all seen how happy American corn and sugar growers are to get rid of their subsidies, I can imagine how a government trying to help (ostensibly) out people living on a dollar a day or less feels about cutting their subidies.
KevR
July 1, 2008
Member since 01/27/2004 🔗
786 posts
Call me a hopeless optimist but folks will adapt. I'm assuming of course that the rapid increases in price we've experienced in the last few months levels out, and we will then have time to adapt. On my end, we've made various minor changes but they have an effect -- we don't necessarily run the AC all the time now and we try to combine our trips, I've slowed down to mostly speed limit levels most of the time and I watch my accelleration starting up from a stop. And we now drive the cheaper and more efficient of the two cars almost all the time.

There are other things we've done not directly related to driving: the other day we were shopping and my wife got out the coupons, it wasn't much but as I was checking the tally I noticed we'd saved $4. I thought ... well that's a gallon of gas isn't it...
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
July 1, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
Humans are very resilient and will adapt and make changes where necessary. Just came back from Cambridge MA where I attended a course, and the real estate patterns are roughly same as in DC. The inner city and the immediate suburbs with mass transit and easy commute are still hot if not even appreciating. The farther suburbs are in the sink. And resort property is slow but selling.

I am sure that the folks in WV who commute alone in their cars/trucks will find a way to economize. We will make social changes that are necessary and frankly, overdue.
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
July 1, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
 Originally Posted By: The Colonel
Perhaps the resorts will hire more workers from outside the US. Snowshoe and Wintergreen now do this big time and put the folks up in "dorms" at the mountain.
And Snowshoe could run a bus to the base of the mountain to a parking lot to pick up local workers and save all some gas.
The Colonel \:\)


The BIG problem is that Congress, in their usual paralysis, has failed to act on the H2B visa legislation and since last year, the entire program has been in disarray. Let me do a search and see the latest. But all major resorts are hurting
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
July 1, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
Here it is. http://news.moneycentral.msn.com/provider/providerarticle.aspx?feed=AP&date=20080427&id=8548022

This means resorts will have to do with either less staff or hire more locals who will have to travel for miles.
Bodyflight.net
July 1, 2008
Member since 02/19/2008 🔗
28 posts
Hi All, just thought I'd checkin mid-summer and see what's happening. I'm already planning how to "adjust" to the gas prices... we drove a TON last year.

First plan is season passes to the "Wolf" for the bulk of our skiing, maybe one trip to Snowshoe and one main trip to Utah. That's all we'll be able to do this upcoming year.. that's about $3k in skiing, which will be about half what we spent last year.

anyway, I'm off doing summery things, like building a hen house, & summer gardening.. watching Skiing on Netflix as much as possible. Can't wait for snow...
oldensign - DCSki Columnist
July 2, 2008
Member since 02/27/2007 🔗
437 posts
Deer Valley takes action...more to follow

FROM SAM:

DEER VALLEY EXPANDS EMPLOYEE HOUSING

June 25, 2008

There are 2 posts about this article.

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SAM Magazine-Deer Valley, Utah, June 25, 2008-Deer Valley will double the ski resort's seasonal employee housing for the 2008-2009 winter. Given the pricy real estate surrounding the ski area, where many homes are valued at more than $1 million, the resort won't build slopeside accommodations for its seasonal workforce. Rather, the ski resort will rent 50 cabins from a popular nearby summer destination, the Heber Valley Park and Resort. Located seven miles south of Deer Valley's Mayflower lift, the cabins are expected to house 200 employees. The ski area employs approximately 1,500 to 1,700 seasonal staff each winter.

"Helping our seasonal employees find housing during the winter months is always a challenge," said Deer Valley Resort president and general manager Bob Wheaton. "We feel that the agreement with the Heber Valley Park and Resort is a great fit.

"It's a large enough project that we feel we will establish a true Deer Valley employee 'community' there, which we're really pleased about," Wheaton added
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