Aspen Skiing Co has reinstated last year’s ‘Tenants for Turns’ program to increase the pool of available lodgings for their staff. As part of this program, Aspen Skiing Co offers homeowners and landlords who rent out a room to an employee of its company either a full season pass, ten single-day passes, or a $1,200 gift certificate for any Aspen Snowmass product or service.
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 their 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.