Aspen Skiing Company’s (ASC) innovative housing program “Tenants for Turns” is relaunching for the 2023-24 winter season in conjunction with the posting of all winter seasonal positions on July 17. Tenants for Turns incentivizes homeowners in the Roaring Fork Valley who are willing to rent a unit, an ADU, a guest house, a mother-in-law unit, or even an extra bedroom to an Aspen Skiing Company employee. The program, in its third year, helps address the ongoing housing crisis in Aspen and the valley and helped house 150 employees last season.
“Since the program’s launch, we have seen amazing support from the community that provides this housing opportunity to our seasonal employees. Housing is a top challenge in our valley, so it’s imperative we work together to help solve this ongoing problem. We see this program doing just that. It provides housing for our employees, which in turn takes pressure off the housing market, and landlords receive incentives to ski plus income from the rental. And ultimately, our guests have a fantastic experience when we are fully staffed to serve them.”
– Jim Laing, Chief Human Resources Officer at Aspen Skiing Company
Homeowners and landlords who lease a room to an Aspen Skiing Company employee for the ski season can choose from a variety of incentives, including a Premier Pass, 10 single-day lift tickets, or a $1,500 gift certificate. These terms are available only for new leases that take effect after Oct. 1, 2023. Returning landlords will receive an added incentive if they choose the Premier Pass or single-day lift ticket options.
Aspen Skiing Company is asking the community to spread the word about the Tenants for Turns program throughout the valley. ASC employees who are homeowners or landlords are also eligible to apply to the program. Employees whose employment status does not come with a season pass for every household member may transfer their full season pass to a family member.
Interested homeowners, landlords, and employees should visit www.aspensnowmass.com/employment for more information on the Tenants for Turns program or reach out to Aspen Skiing Company’s Talent Acquisition team: (970) 300-7700, email@example.com. The lessor and employee will determine lease terms but will need to contain certain basic parameters to trigger the incentive package upon verification of the lease by ASC.
Aspen Snowmass has been suffering from a housing shortage like many other ski towns in Colorado. The company hopes to ease some pressure on the housing market with this program to help accommodate its seasonal staff. Last year, when the ‘Tenants for Turns’ program was launched, roughly 40 members of staff were able to find accommodation this way.
It is not the first time Aspen Skiing Co had to become creative in a bid to house its staff. In 2021 Aspen built 43 units at ‘The Hub’ in Willits, which have 150 bedrooms. Not only Aspen employees have taken up residence at ‘The Hub.’ The project also attracted teachers and transport workers who were hard-pressed to find affordable accommodation in the Roaring Fork Valley.
In 2016/17, Aspen Skiing Co invested in 40 ‘Tiny Homes’ — trailers that sleep 2-3 people with 1.5 bathrooms and 500 sq ft of living area. The trailers were parked at the Aspen Basalt campground, which the company had purchased in 2008. The little village created by the company is now home to 115 people, all employed by Aspen Skiing Co. Basalt, CO, which is about 30 minutes by car from downtown Aspen and 45 minutes by bus.
Aspen Skiing Co. employs about 4,000 staff over the winter season but admits to struggling to attract staff due to the housing shortage. While the company has a record number of job applications, many cannot accept the job offer due to the lack of housing. Aspen Skiing Co has about 1,000 beds in its portfolio, but it is not enough to house all the employees who require accommodation. The company estimates it probably needs twice that to house all its employees who require a place to stay for the season.
The housing crisis across Colorado and, in fact, ski towns the world over have been exacerbated by the pandemic. Since the pandemic, more and more people have relocated to the mountains, enabled by remote work or emboldened by a decision to change their lifestyle and quit their jobs. This has depleted the stock of affordable accommodations in ski resorts across the globe. How to fix this problem is a question most resorts are struggling to answer.