The new CEO of the world’s largest multi-ski-resorts operator, Vail Resorts, has announced a $20 (£15.30) per hour minimum wage across the company’s North American resorts, meaning a 30% jump in the average pay rate at the company.
The group currently runs 40 ski areas, 37 of them in Canada and the US, more than any other.
“In my first 100 days as CEO, I have had the opportunity to reflect on what is important, and what our company must focus on as we move forward. Our top priority must be to support and invest in our employees – their wages, benefits, HR support, housing and career development. This incremental $175 million annual investment in the employee experience marks a new direction for our company,” said Kirsten Lynch.
The new minimum pay grade means there’ll be average wage increases across hourly employees in North America of 30%. Entry level patrollers will start at $21 per hour.
The new base wage is part of a wider initiative to also improve human resource services, career development and benefits.
Beginning next winter season, employees will get an enhanced discount of 40% at all Vail Resorts Retail, on top of existing free season pass for employees and dependents as well as food and board and lodging discounts, free mental health resources, and more.
The company is investing $4 million to significantly improve human resource operations, including adding 66 more team members to their HR Services team, an almost 50% increase of the size of that team.
“We are committed to providing our employees with the support they need directly and efficiently, especially with hiring, onboarding, payroll, and case management,” a company statement states, continuing, “Next season, Vail Resorts is expanding its Leadership Development program to its seasonal frontline team members. Anyone that comes for a season will have the chance to build a career with Vail Resorts or move across resorts. Vail Resorts is focused on supporting our employees’ ability to build long-lasting careers in the snow sports industry.”
Vail Resorts corporate office is also moving to flexible remote work, which means team members can spend their days working from a location that works best for them in any of the states where the company operates—including in the mountains.
“Our employees’ passion is what makes our resorts so special and our guests’ experience memorable,” concluded Lynch.