Park City is a ski hive. The town’s workforce are the bees. And Vail Resorts is an ever-powerful beekeeper. Starting this year, Vail will be growing that hive to make room for more bees, which will ultimately produce more honey ($).
Earlier this year, Vail Resorts announced its plan to raise investments in afforable housing for its employees at four properties: Vail Mountain in Colorado, Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia, Okemo Mountain Resort in Vermont, and PCMR in Utah. Together the four sites will provide new affordable housing options to over 875 employees, which amounts to a 10% increase offered by the corporation across its locations. More than half of the employees recieving the new housing will be in Park City.
Vail has entered into a five-year lease with Columbus Pacific Development which will provide an additional 441 employees with access to affordable housing in the new Canyons Village Employee Housing Development. It is located in the Canyons Lower Village adjacent to the Cabriolet lift and the Canyons Village Transit Hub. The long-term company lease begins during the 2022/23 season and has two five-year renewal options. The development is part of a public-private partnership between Canyons Village Management Association, Columbus Pacific, and Summit County, Utah
Vail Resorts announced it will provide additional affordable housing for employees at four of its resorts, most notably Park City Mountain Resort.https://t.co/tkvAbeCFsh
— The Salt Lake Tribune (@sltrib) April 12, 2022
These affordable employee housing investments are in addition to the incremental $175 million annual investment Vail Resorts is making in employee wages, seasonal frontline leadership development, and HR support. The investment includes a new $20 per hour minimum wage for the upcoming season and differential adjustments for hourly employees at all 37 North American resorts, representing an average wage increase of nearly 30% across hourly employees in North America.
Additionally, Vail Resorts is investing more than $300 million into its on-mountain guest experience ahead of this season, with 21 new lifts planned across 14 resorts to reduce wait times. The company’s largest single-year capital investment also includes terrain and restaurant expansions at Keystone Resort in Colorado.
Vail’s investment plan is essentially an extreme makoever on a massive ski industry level. Will it be prettier afterwards? More persuasive for you to come visit? This seems likely. A bigger workforce can mean positive impact for the whole community, creating more jobs and even potentially lowering chair wait times if more employees translates to better management of resort crowds. Yet, one can’t help to wonder what this will cost to you, the suitor—the visiting holiday skier or the Epic Pass local. Will this expansion have an effect on pass prices, the Park City housing market, general cost of living, and so forth?