Vail Resorts Announces its Largest Investment for Upcoming Winter––Its Employees

SnowBrains | | Industry NewsIndustry News
vail resorts,
CEO Rob Katz with a range of employees. Photo by Matt Nager.

Vail Resorts recently announced the largest single investment the company will make ahead of this coming ski and snowboard season: a wage increase for many workers, including a $15 minimum wage at several of its world-class resorts such as Vail Mountain, Breckenridge Ski Resort, and Park City Mountain.

“Talent and staffing is critical to our ongoing success. We are thrilled that, coming out of the uncertainty of last winter season, we are in a position to make such a substantial investment in our employees.”

– Lynanne Kunkel, Chief Human Resources Officer

Effective for the 2021/22 winter season, the Vail Resorts’ hourly minimum wage will increase to $15.00 per hour at ten of its resorts across Colorado, California, Utah and Washington. The company will also be increasing the minimum entry wage an average of 37% across its Eastern resorts. This includes raising the minimum wage to $15.00 per hour at destination resorts in New York and Vermont — Hunter, Stowe, Okemo, and Mt. Snow — in line with the rates set for U.S. resorts in the Rockies and the West.

The investment in wages goes beyond just those employees working at the entry-level. To ensure the wage increase has a positive impact on even more team members within the organization, the company will be adjusting earnings for hourly employees who earn just above minimum wage to account for the raise across its properties.

Recognizing the importance of rest and recovery as part of employee health, the company will also be offering paid Sick Time Off to all seasonal full-time employees who are not already eligible, which is in addition to COVID-19 Emergency Sick Leave (ESL). This means all seasonal full-time employees in the US will have the same paid Sick Time Off benefits as year-round full-time employees.

Vail Resorts’ mission is to provide an Experience of a Lifetime to employees so they can, in turn, provide exceptional experiences to guests. This enhancement to wages and sick leave joins an already robust family of comprehensive benefits and perks for Vail Resorts employees that helps to bring the company’s mission to life, including:

  • Epic Wellness (Mind, Body, Wallet): Vail Resorts is committed to the health of its employees. This program provides abundant resources to support the mental, physical, and financial health of employees to help them achieve success not only at work but throughout various aspects of life. As part of Epic Wellness Mind, employees, their dependents, and household members receive six counseling sessions at no cost, preferred providers/therapists, and a wide variety of mental health tools.
  • Free Employee Ski Pass: Employees, and their dependents, receive a free season pass, providing access to skiing and snowboarding at many of Vail Resorts’ world-class mountains.
  • $5 meals/Food and Beverage Discounts: At select resort restaurants, all active Vail Resorts’ employees – both seasonal and full-time – are eligible for a daily $5 meal, in addition to a 50% discount on additional meals. This incredibly popular program was introduced during the 2018/2019 season and continues to be successful among teammates.
  • Lodging and Retail Discounts: Vail Resorts offers eligible employees discounted lodging rates at properties across the portfolio. Employees are also eligible for Vail Resorts Retail discounts and discounts from the company’s retail partners including Helly Hansen, GoPro and many more. In addition to these great deals, employees qualify for pro deals, providing them with discounts from top outdoor brands.
  • Additionally, during the 2019/20 season, Vail Resorts provided $1.8 million in employee educational scholarships and emergency relief grants through its EpicPromise Employee Foundation.

To learn more about who Vail Resorts are as a company or review open positions, please visit

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12 thoughts on “Vail Resorts Announces its Largest Investment for Upcoming Winter––Its Employees

  1. Yes raises for some. But not for all??
    I’ve worked my but off for 17 years with small raises. Now the newbies get a $5-8$ raise. If the company cared it would be equal across the board raises.
    But now I’m just a few dollars above people
    Who just stared. Seems fair???

  2. Vote with your wallet, stop buying the epic pass .
    Let Northstar go back to local ownership. It was a way better place to hangout before Vail took over .

  3. Vail is not a good company. We were scammed out of $2000 due to their failure to provide a refund as promised to those that could not use their passes last season resulting from the COVID 19 pandemic. Insurance was a joke and they are a terrible company. No one should support them. Just a joke really, stealing from people to pretend to help their employees. We will not ski any Vail properties ever again.

  4. I worked there for 6 years. Worst managed company I’ve ever seen. They couldn’t care less about their employees. When Covid first hit, they gave all the employees in their housing, 72 hours to get out. That was after borders were closed and all the international employees were stuck here. When I left there, I got the same job for another company in town, and got an immediate 70% pay raise over what I was making there. Fail Resorts sucks.

  5. Dear Vail, I need housing and I am 58 years young. This is far more important than wage, this will be year 9 with my ski area and year 4 with you… year 30 in the ski business. Please tailor to employee needs for the region, money does me no good because with AirBnB there is no rooms to rent.

  6. $15/hr is nothing. I worked for Vail and my experience is they are a horrible company to work for, that doesn’t care about the employees, and is mismanaged by hypocrites. Additionally, I am also a business owner, and we start our workers at $35/hr minimum….

  7. The meal discount is restricted during certain hours 11 – 2. Most of the on hill places start to close down after 2 pm.

  8. They should also invest in their utter failure called Epic Pass. Horrible customer service, call in system. I got my passes two weeks after my trip. Also, 15 an hour means they will just hire less people for 15 an hour so it’s same cost on their books. It’s a lean proposition. They will run lean at 15 an hour.

  9. Not one mention of employee housing
    $15.00 doesn’t go very far when the rent is more than you make in a month.

  10. Marketing at it’s best.
    Minimum wage in California is $14 per hour already and raises to $15 per hour 1/1/22. All they are doing is what is mandated by law.

  11. Now if they would just do the right thing by refunding everyone’s money that couldn’t go because of covid, a lot of people could not travel including myself and my husband we’ve lost $900 because of this, and they refused to give our money back or a credit for next season…

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