Local Ski Resorts Needing More Snow And More Workers

DULUTH, Minn. — Those job numbers ae part of the challenge facing many employers, including Spirit Mountain.

Not only does the hill have to create some more snow, it has to find additional people to keep the facility totally operational. The current plan is to start the season being open 5 days and 4 nights a week, with hopes that they can find enough staff to open for a sixth day.

“We’re short of what we’d like to have. We rely on about anywhere from about 150 to 300 part-time employees every winter, to fill all the shifts we have during the week. Everything from lift attendants, or liftees, to folks who can work in our food and beverage, or rental, or giving instructions, or selling tickets, so we have a huge hiring challenge like every employer. We are dealing with record low unemployment, a demographic shift and some changes that the pandemic brought to the whole economy. So, we are still very actively recruiting. We have a very robust recruitment plan, and we are continuing with those efforts so that we can fill all our shifts,” said Spirit Mountain’s interim executive director, Ann Glumac.

Glumac says their biggest need is probably left operators, because a minimum number are required to be able to run the lifts safely.

Meanwhile, up the St. Louis River a ways, Mont du Lac Resort is also approaching crunch time. Manager Mike Ohara says he thinks their staffing is in pretty good shape… at least for the start of the season.

“Well, I think everyone is probably always hiring. You know, we’re looking with our expanded hours, like I said, we’re open Tuesday through Sunday for skiing. We’ve added a nine o’clock on Saturday morning, once we’re open full time. So, an hour earlier than we used to be. Tubing, bar staff. I mean we’re always looking, but I think we’re sitting pretty good right now, at least for opening for the next few weeks, and then we’ll just take a look at what we can add,” said Mike Ohara, manager at Mont du Lac.

Both hills are keeping an eye out for employees, the skies, and the calendar. Their target opening day is the Friday after Thanksgiving.

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