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  1. #1
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    Oct 2004
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    in the shadow of the white rocks
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    Is it time to revisit the ski industry living wage?

    Iím pretty plugged into the industry & have been hearing all the latest stats about skier visits are wonky, food/bev is down 70%, ski school is under producing...... Iím also aware of just how much of a skeleton crew most mountains run compared to what their online profiles would suggest. This morning on the way to the lifts it hit me (a somewhat dense, more conservative, professional 9-5er):

    Fuck! Ppl are paying $167 for a day ticket, pass sales are thru the roof & on the back end, these billion dollar mega resorts are still making money during ĎRona, canít we compensate resort staff any better?! I mean there are cars in the lot that I canít identify the maker, but weíre given these guys $13 an hour & zero benefits.. Thatís just fucked up.

  2. #2
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    By 2100 the great majority of ski resorts in the US won't be able to operate due to lack of snow and warm temps. The corporate overloads need to make as much money as possible off of those places before they all go belly up. The writing is on the wall and they know. They would run resorts with skeleton crews of slaves if they could.

    Also, there are plenty of people working in fast food or retail who would knee-cap you with a crowbar for the opportunity to earn $13/hour. That's almost twice what a significant portion of the workforce in this country earns.
    "Hakuna matata, motherfucker!"

  3. #3
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    Dec 2004
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    I’m pretty plugged into the industry

    Are you also a Captain of Industry?

    No fucking shit Sherlock, while I tend to agree do you think its just the ski industry? BTW 34 year Veteran of the "Ski Industry"

    Are you aware that a fair % of members of the Armed Services need food stamps to feed their families?

    That a lot people who are working in the Service Industry also need Food Stamps and other forms of Governmental support to be able to make their monthly nut?

    But thanks for bringing it up.
    I have been in this State for 30 years and I am willing to admit that I am part of the problem.

  4. #4
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    Jan 2005
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    Welcome to late stage capitalism

  5. #5
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    Jan 2008
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    I don't pretend to have the answer, but it's a much bigger problem than raising the minimum wage will solve.
    Lower the maximum income would be a start. Global wealth tax would be better, or in addition.
    (As an example--why are there so many people who can't afford to buy or rent a place to live? Because there are enough people who can afford to pay way too much.)
    The only way any of that will happen is when the multimillionaires and billionaires and by now aren't there a few trillionaires begin to fear for their lives.
    See Thomas Piketty "Capitalism in the 21st Century".
    BTW--Vail Corp lost money this year. Or so their accountants say. Whether it's true, who the fuck knows.

  6. #6
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    Apr 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunion 2020 View Post
    Are you also a Captain of Industry?



    Are you aware that a fair % of members of the Armed Services need food stamps to feed their families?

    :
    To be fair, the armed services on food stamps are the ones that couldnít finish HS, got their GED just before or during basic and have never attempted to enroll in higher training or education. They have 8 kids with two or three different mothers non of which graduated HS. And the kicker they drive F350ís, have one or more ATVís, and probably a couple of powder sleds that are in a storage unit because they might move back to that town. Itís an exaggeration but from my experience the ones on food stamps are there because of their life choices and inability/gumption to progress up the most basic pay grades.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boreas View Post
    To be fair, the armed services on food stamps are the ones that couldnít finish HS, got their GED just before or during basic and have never attempted to enroll in higher training or education. They have 8 kids with two or three different mothers non of which graduated HS. And the kicker they drive F350ís, have one or more ATVís, and probably a couple of powder sleds that are in a storage unit because they might move back to that town. Itís an exaggeration but from my experience the ones on food stamps are there because of their life choices and inability/gumption to progress up the most basic pay grades.
    Gross exaggeration I would say. Guess you overlooked a little thing called PTSD?

    Are you saying you personally know a vet on food stamps that has multiple quads and snowmobiles?

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  8. #8
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    If you were going to try to support a large family on an E3 salary, you’re gonna have a hard time....

  9. #9
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    Dec 2004
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    ^^^ such is the price of an all volunteer Military.

    Use to be you enlisted or were drafted and unless you were an officer you lived in a barracks and ate in the Mess Hall and pretty much everything you needed was supplied to you by Uncle.
    I have been in this State for 30 years and I am willing to admit that I am part of the problem.

  10. #10
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    Apr 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skidog View Post
    Gross exaggeration I would say. Guess you overlooked a little thing called PTSD?

    Are you saying you personally know a vet on food stamps that has multiple quads and snowmobiles?

    Sent from my Pixel 4a (5G) using TGR Forums mobile app
    I was focused on active armed forces. In terms of Vets, there are resources, they have access to education, they have far more opportunities at their disposal than a typical Walmart employee.

  11. #11
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    Dec 2015
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    I vote for end stage capitalism.

  12. #12
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    Dec 2015
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    Quote Originally Posted by frorider View Post
    Welcome to late stage capitalism
    Or End stage capitalism.

  13. #13
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    Oct 2004
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    Seattle
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    At our hill, they are having a tough time with staff. When a full pass is only $500-$600, it's not a big enough carrot to get lower waged employees. When minimum wages in the nearest towns are $15, you can't get by even paying that. "Hey, come work at the hill, drive an hour each way for work, stand outside freezing for hours and you'll make less than you would at your local fast food place, but we'll give you a pass worth $500 and some tickets for your buddies". Not a very winning proposition. They'll need to raise it to close to $20/hr unless they can get the Brazilians coming again.

    Plus they jacked the cost of lessons without giving instructors any more. You're going to have a hard time holding onto good instructors when they make 1/10th the cost of the lesson for teaching it. I teach group lessons on Friday nights for the pass for me and discount for all my kids. Saves me $1500 a year and I teach a total of 16hrs. I have another job, so I don't care what I make (honestly have never looked at my instructor wage). I do think the regulars should be making way more than they do, though.

  14. #14
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    Apr 2007
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    One of TGR's better efforts from the sidebar
    https://www.tetongravity.com/story/n...otiate-with-va
    powdork.com - new and improved, with 20% more dork.

  15. #15
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    Jan 2011
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    Alta
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    Donít forget that any ski area under 500 employees is getting a bunch of free money from the government in the form of a ppp loan this year. So besides the cost of your pass youíre (and every tax payer) paying additional money to them via future government debt

  16. #16
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    Can't speak for all ski areas but one I know pretty well and they're hemorrhaging money this year. Sure pass sales were up (more than 50% over previous year) but food and bev which is really their main income generator is down 75%. PPP loan only allows them to keep on what normally comprises a full staff but the food and bev staff are bored silly with no customers. They had to buy (buy, not lease) warming tents, heaters, air handlers, HEPA filters, and whatnot to even be able to open...all at a loss. They're counting on coming out the far side with an appreciative client base that will return things to the old way and make up the losses over a series of years but that's a real crapshoot.

    I doubt many areas are much different, just different scales of losing money....

    On the topic of military folks having to use food stamps. This is not a new phenomenon...was happening in the 80s and continues to this day. All of those things mentioned (3 hots and a cot) are still available but the E3 that decides to get married into an instant family is and will continue to struggle...there was a saying (and I'm sure this hasn't changed either), if the Army wanted you to have a wife, they would have issued you one. We saw it all the time...E3s with flashy cars and the latest tech but couldn't pay their rent or food bills if they didn't live in the barracks.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by MyNameIsAugustWest View Post
    .... food and bev ... down 75% ....
    bullseye

    .
    "we all do dumb shit when we're fucked up"
    mike tyson

  18. #18
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    Dec 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boreas View Post
    To be fair, the armed services on food stamps are the ones that couldnít finish HS, got their GED just before or during basic and have never attempted to enroll in higher training or education. They have 8 kids with two or three different mothers non of which graduated HS. And the kicker they drive F350ís, have one or more ATVís, and probably a couple of powder sleds that are in a storage unit because they might move back to that town. Itís an exaggeration but from my experience the ones on food stamps are there because of their life choices and inability/gumption to progress up the most basic pay grades.
    Replace armed services with railroad / timber industry / construction industry and you've described a ton of the guys around here. The second there's a hint of money in their bank account they're dumping it into aftermarket bits for their bro-dozer.

    Luckily that's not a problem for the ski hill workers since they're making a smidge over minimum wage and their whole season's wages would barely put a new set of tires on one of those trucks.

  19. #19
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    Oct 2010
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    712

    Is it time to revisit the ski industry living wage?

    Quote Originally Posted by phatty View Post
    They'll need to raise it to close to $20/hr unless they can get the Brazilians coming again.
    .
    Brazilians are a hell of a fringe benefit, although I think most lifties would still choose more money over free dingle waxes.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by MyNameIsAugustWest View Post
    Can't speak for all ski areas but one I know pretty well and they're hemorrhaging money this year. Sure pass sales were up (more than 50% over previous year) but food and bev which is really their main income generator is down 75%.
    Food and beverage is pretty far down the list, at least for Vail resorts ( year ending 2019, mountain segment).
    Lift revenue - $1.03 billion (includes ticket and passes)
    Retail/rental revenue - 320 million
    Ski School revenue - 215 million
    Other revenue - 205 million
    F & B revenue - 181 million

    http://investors.vailresorts.com/sta...f-b2c1411470c6
    powdork.com - new and improved, with 20% more dork.

  21. #21
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    Feb 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by iriponsnow View Post
    Fuck! Ppl are paying $167 for a day ticket, pass sales are thru the roof & on the back end, these billion dollar mega resorts are still making money during ‘Rona, can’t we compensate resort staff any better?! I mean there are cars in the lot that I can’t identify the maker, but we’re given these guys $13 an hour & zero benefits.. That’s just fucked up.
    Lift mechanics make more than that, right? I would really prefer for the people on whom my life depends to make more than $13/hour.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan_pdx View Post
    Lift mechanics make more than that, right? I would really prefer for the people on whom my life depends to make more than $13/hour.
    Nowadays it's mechantronics--2 years of college, mechanical and computer skills.

    A family of four should be able to survive on one full time salary/wage--a roof, basic healthy food, transportation if public not available, health care. The roof and food should not require public support, I'll allow it for health care and public transportation.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    431
    I donít get it... all they have to do is give employees 1 he before open to the public. ďSki hard so you can work the rest of pow day bumping chairs for your buddiesĒ

    Think about how many people would work there for minimum wage?

    Also if they charge for parking, they would millions! Maybe have a free lot without snow removal so poor people can park but let others know why they are paying for parking.

    I donít want to see it but I think these options are considered before they file for bankruptcy.


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  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    235
    Military pay ain't the worst, you may get EBT if you have a ton of kids and are low ranking. May also have to deploy for long periods of time, live where you don't want....but....

    E-3 with <2 years service makes $2,100 a month
    E-4 between 2-4 years makes $2582
    E-5 >4 years makes $2,978

    Add in food per month of - $386

    Add in housing allotment or free if living on base. Housing allotment depends on rates of said base location....where I live with and without dependents
    E-3 & E-4 is $1,365 / $1,734
    E-5 is $1,602 / $1,737

    You should be an E-3 for no more than two years in the military. E-4 maybe between year 2-5, E-5 thereafter if you are investing in yourself, studying for the advancement exam, doing average in the service. I worked with Sailors that made E-5 in 3-4 years. I also worked with Sailors who were still an E-4 at 8 years of service (obviously they were doing too well). So for compensation....not too bad and if you are investing in yourself you can quickly rise up the ranks.

    Pay + Housing + Food without dependents:
    E-3: 2100 + 1365 + 386 = 3851 (essentially 1-2 years service)
    E-4: 2582 + 1365 + 386 = 4333 (2-5 years)
    E-5: 2978 + 1602 + 386 = 4966 (4+ years of service)

    Then add in if you complete a successful enlistment of 3 years you get 100% of your 9-11 GI bill....go to any college in the state you reside for 36 months for free plus get a living stipend of E-5 housing where the college is. There are also a bunch of colleges that have signed on for the yellow ribbon program - essentially matching the GI Bill in grants, like Dartmouth. If you can get in there (to include grad school) you can use your GI Bill and it is free.

  25. #25
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    Vail has been charging for parking for decades

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