Vail Resorts to Increase Employee Minimum Wage by 11.3% Despite a ‘Challenging Snow Year’

Steven Agar | | Industry NewsIndustry News
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Vail to increase the minimum wage for employees. Credit:

Thanks to new US tax law, Vail Resorts will increase the minimum wage at its US and Canadian resorts and has announced a 40 percent increase in its quarterly dividend to shareholders, reports Vail Daily.

During a Thursday, March 9, earnings call, Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz said the company will see a cash savings of about $40 million in the 2018 calendar year. The savings will allow the company to increase its minimum wage in the United States from $11 per hour to $12.25 per hour. In addition, the Vail Resorts Board of Directors recently approved an increase in the quarterly dividend paid to shareholders.

Katz said the “investment in wages is critical” in an era of low unemployment and rising prices.

The wage and dividend announcements came during what company officials call a “challenging” snow year, with lower-than-average snowfall at most of the firm’s US ski resorts.

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Taking some DEEP turns at Vail, CO. Image: Jack Affleck/Vail

Despite the snowfall, Katz said the company’s focus on destination visitors has helped maintain the strength of the bottom line.

Across the company, mountain revenue is up 2.6 percent from the same quarter in the 2017 fiscal year. Still, revenue has declined in other company divisions, including lodging, dining, and transportation.

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