A large group of Steamboat Ski Area employees gets trained on lift operations and maintenance in the upper portion of the new six-passenger Christie Peak Express charlift Wednesday afternoon. Because of the delayed opening, the ski area has offered free dinners to its seasonal employees.

Photo by Brian Ray

A large group of Steamboat Ski Area employees gets trained on lift operations and maintenance in the upper portion of the new six-passenger Christie Peak Express charlift Wednesday afternoon. Because of the delayed opening, the ski area has offered free dinners to its seasonal employees.

Resort dishes out dinner to workers

Employees receive free meals due to delay

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— Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. has been hosting free dinners for its employees, some of whom have been unable to go to work and earn their first paychecks.

The employee hot meal program began Nov. 21, which was supposed to be opening day at the Steamboat Ski Area. The resort also served a special Thanksgiving dinner to its employees last week, said Heidi Thomsen, a spokeswoman for Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp.

Offering free dinners to employees whose jobs are affected by delayed openings is common at ski resorts, and the Steamboat Ski Area has done it for several years, Thomsen said. With only a few runs open at its resorts, Aspen Skiing Co. currently is doing the same thing for its employees.

Thomsen said it's difficult to determine how many employees have had their work schedules affected by the delayed opening. Even estimates are difficult to discern, she said, because it is unknown which lifts, trails and restaurants would have been open during the past week.

In addition to feeding the ski area's seasonal workers, the hot meal program provides employees a moneymaking opportunity by staffing the dinners, and it provides a social setting for resort employees to mingle.

"It's kind of nice for employees and managers to meet each other and say 'hi' in a nice and friendly environment," Thomsen said. "Upper-level management is helping out with some of the clean up."

The delayed opening has left a number of employees hurting financially, lift operator Gabe Musselman said.

Musselman considers himself luckier than most, not only because he has some savings, but also because he has been in training this week. His lift is scheduled to open Friday.

"I have a second job, so it hasn't really affected me as much as some others," Musselman said. "I feel bad for the other people who don't know when their lifts are going to open."

However, the recent snowfall bodes well for employees still waiting to be called to work, Musselman said.

Six inches of snow fell on the mountain Tuesday and Wednesday, according to the ski area's Web site.

The ski area opens Friday with three lifts servicing about 10 trails.

Comments

RoxyDad 6 years, 9 months ago

The Ski resort should pay the salary of their employees from the originally scheduled opening day - even if it is delayed.

I own my own business and if we don't have work for a day because of equipment failure I still pay the employees!!

Come on - do the right thing, don't be a scrooge!!

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OnTheBusGus 6 years, 9 months ago

RoxyDad has a good point. Either pay the employees or let them work on snowmaking. Looks like that department could use some help with the little snow we have had this year so far.

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AmebaTost 6 years, 9 months ago

Maybe after dinner they could go clean the school. I hear they have janitorial shortage.

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