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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
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    About 8% of Seasonal Workers are J-1 visas

    Just came across this article by KSL out of Utah that had this quote from Dave Byrd (Exec. from the National Ski Areas Association):

    The ski industry uses about 8,000 J-1 visas...
    ...In all, the countryís roughly 460 ski resorts hire about 100,000 seasonal workers each fall.
    While I can't find any stats from earlier years, this 8k number has to be an increase from previous years. A bit frustrating that they don't go more into where these J-1 visas are working. That 100k number is also vague, as 'seasonal worker' could refer to any number of high/low skilled positions, and doesn't elaborate on that.

    With the increasing difficulty of hiring/lodging/retaining season staff across the US, I wouldn't be surprise if he is massaging numbers here. That certainly was the case growing up skiing at Big Mtn, where local lifties were almost totally replaced by people from Columbia, Venezuela, etc.

    These foreign workers were always stoked to be there, and were some of the coolest people to bump chairs on a powder day. But I always wondered: Did the number of J-1 employees increase because the resort was too cheap to pay for local labor, or because there simply aren't many people that want to do that kind of work?

    I mean, if you are a skier work at a ski area, bumping chairs on a powder day has got to be torturous. By contrast, most of the J-1 visa holders were not skilled enough ski with confidence, and almost preferred not going out those days.

    Any mag got some numbers or stats on this j-1 thing stowed away?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    truckee
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    11,110
    My impression is that most of the foreign lift ops are southern hemisphere students on summer break and the one's I've talked to (like the houseful that rents the house next to ours most years) are from well off families and living on the family dime. At Tahoe you see help wanted signs for lift ops at the resorts every year in mid season, like you do at every business in town. Used to see a lot of Aussies but no more--now SA's.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Down In A Hole, Up in the Sky
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    25,620
    Yeah, here they are mostly college kids having a lark. There are certainly exceptions, though.
    StokePimpin' ain't easy

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    base of the Bush
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    11,223
    Sounds about right, Sugarbush VT reported hiring 110 this year toward their figure of 1000 winter employees. Unfortunately they get almost every bed of employee housing leaving nothing for ski bums.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
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    Itís not like they get paid any less than any other resort worker. They make just as much as any American citizen.

    Also, seasonal work refers to any position that isnít year round. They can be skilled or unskilled. At my resort we have around 500 year round employees and around 1,500 seasonal employees that come in to work only for the winter.

    I can guarantee you that your favorite resort would be screwed without the J1 help and most resorts struggle immensely when these employees leave mid March.

    Most J1 workers end up in lift ops, housekeeping or food and bev with a select few ending up as retail cashiers or similar front facing positions Iíd their English is up to par.
    Last edited by B.Gillis; 11-15-2019 at 10:59 PM. Reason: J1 positions

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    3,945
    Quote Originally Posted by B.Gillis View Post
    I’d their English is up to par.
    Easy for you to say

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rideski View Post
    Easy for you to say
    Got em

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Posts
    28
    Quote Originally Posted by B.Gillis View Post
    Itís not like they get paid any less than any other resort worker. They make just as much as any American citizen.

    Also, seasonal work refers to any position that isnít year round. They can be skilled or unskilled. At my resort we have around 500 year round employees and around 1,500 seasonal employees that come in to work only for the winter.

    I can guarantee you that your favorite resort would be screwed without the J1 help and most resorts struggle immensely when these employees leave mid March.

    Most J1 workers end up in lift ops, housekeeping or food and bev with a select few ending up as retail cashiers or similar front facing positions Iíd their English is up to par.
    As a former mountain employee, there was no way weíd have been able to operate a very large ski resort without the J1ís. If we had all our terrain open, we would never have been able to run all the lifts at our mountain, and, once the J1ís left; we had to shut down a couple of the lesser used lifts because we didnít have the people to work. Most of the J1ís I knew were very well off and worked the job more as a vacation rather than income. Their parents paid for their housing/food/expenses and their income was just spending money.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    northern BC
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    18,463
    we get a lot of temp workers from the colonies eh

    seen a few hit the jackpot ( both M & F ) when they married a Canadian
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Funland
    Posts
    1,188
    Six years in lodging/hospitality, two for the ski area operations. The ski area won't sponsor visas, so that's a big 0% there. The lodge had been reluctant to sponsor visas, but is now going to refugee camps to hire because of a lack of incoming applications.

    It has been interesting to see it get more and more difficult for these employers to even get applications.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    333
    I see that ski resorts are really stretching the intent of the J-1 program, the proper avenue for such employment is the capped non-agricultural cousin of h2a.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
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    Quote Originally Posted by wordbird View Post
    I see that ski resorts are really stretching the intent of the J-1 program, the proper avenue for such employment is the capped non-agricultural cousin of h2a.
    No they arenít, all resort J1ís are here under the ďsummer work and travelĒ category of that visa.

    ďCollege and university students at foreign universites gain frst-hand experience as they work in seasonal or temporary jobs and travel in the United States during their summer.Ē

    Resorts will also hire H2B visa workers as well. The only difference is the H2Bís arenít attending a college or university.

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