A significant issue faced by ski resorts is finding a solution to enable employees to continue working at the resort while being able to afford housing. Ski resort towns are notoriously expensive, the tourist attraction of skiing and a quaint town experience creates a perfect storm for a high cost of living. Most resort employees are seasonal workers that receive an hourly wage, typically a wage that is not nearly enough to live anywhere nearby the resort.
The resort needs these employees, placing the onus on the resort to find a solution to this problem. Some resorts do supply employee housing for a nightly rate; however, there is limited housing that is insufficient to support all of the employees in need.
The Housing Resource Center (HRC) at Mountainlands Community Housing Trust (MCHT) launched the pilot program Workforce/Employer Rental Incentive Program (WE RIP) to strive towards a solution for the workforce housing crisis. Todd Bennett, Deer Valley’s new president and COO, immediately recognized the housing crisis and has been working towards a solution for the winter since he began his journey with the company several months ago. With an urgent crisis at hand, he volunteered at Deer Valley as a guinea pig for WE RIP.
The program will create an incentive for property owners to provide housing to Deer Valley Employees by offering the homeowners a season pass or 10-day passes. The person willing to rent a room or property needs to apply to the program to initiate the process. After being verified, their rental will be listed on MCHT’s website and will be able to be accessed by employees. The employees will then be responsible to reach out on their own to the homeowner or landlord.
The unit’s rental agreement must start after December 12th and offer a minimum of a 12-week lease. In the future, MCHT is hoping to increase the lease minimum to somewhere around 16 weeks.
The homeowners or landlords can rent out a room or rooms in a house, condo, apartment, studio, townhouse, guest house, or mother-in-law apartment.