Steamboat Ski Area provides free meals to employees still waiting for work | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat Ski Area provides free meals to employees still waiting for work

Snowmaking crews have been working hard to get as much terrain as possible open at the Steamboat Ski Area, which will in turn get more employees on the clock. Until then the resort is offering employees who have not worked a shift free meals.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — They are ready to start working, but the lack of snow means many of the 1,542 seasonal employees at Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. are still waiting for their first shifts.

"Obviously, we normally have more terrain open at this time," said Loryn Kasten, senior communications manager for Ski Corp. "We are dedicated to helping our employees through this time. Twice a week, we offer heavily discounted meals to our employees throughout the entire season, and during these first few weeks of the season, we have waived the $3 fee that we normally charge to any employees who are not receiving a paycheck because we do not have terrain open."

In addition to the free meals, the resort is also offering $2 breakfast burritos to its employees to help them through a period of time when they are not getting paid on a regular basis.

"We are planning to continue them (free meals and discounts) through this week, and we will evaluate again next week to see if they are necessary to continue,” Kasten said. "We have some employees who have not started their shifts yet; we have some employees that have been cut back on shifts."

The lack of natural snow has slowed the opening of terrain this season, Kasten said, but the efforts of hardworking snowmaking crews and dedicated groomers have allowed the ski area to open additional terrain and get more employees on the time clock.

Steamboat Ski Area snowmaking crews took advantage of prime conditions Tuesday to make enough snow to allow Four Points lift to start turning Wednesday. Additional terrain that will be open includes middle Giggle Gulch, Park Lane, Short Cut, upper Rainbow, Skyline, upper Burgess Creek Lift Line, upper Hurricane and White Out trails.

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The ski area will now have 23 trails open with five lifts operating. Next, crews will focus on getting Storm Peak Express open.

"Our snowmaking crews and our grooming crews have done a phenomenal job assisting Mother Nature in making sure that we can continually open terrain," Kasten said.

Kasten said the bulk of the ski area’s employees are hired in November and December each year in anticipation of cranking up the season in time for the holiday rush.

"We have a lot of staff who have gone through orientations," she said. 

"The ski industry is an industry that is reliant on weather, which we have no control over, but the technology and advancements in technology have made us more confident with November and December openings,” Kasten explained. “It's amazing that Steamboat was able to stick to its opening date, and that we are able to continually open more terrain.”

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.