Staffing Ski Resorts Takes Advance Planning

Northern Nevada Business Weekly
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When the Mount Rose and Boreal ski areas opened this month, they needed two elements — enough snow and enough people.

Nature provided snow. Careful planning pulled together a staff on short notice.

Boreal, which opened on Nov. 1, and Mount Rose, which opened six days later, both rely on their fulltime, year-round staffs to get the resorts open early.

This year’s early start was nothing unusual for Boreal, which builds its management plan around a projected Oct. 31 opening each year, says Jody Churick, director of marketing.

The resort along Interstate 80 above Truckee tells its seasonal employees to be ready to roll by the first days of November.

Mount Rose, meanwhile, relies almost exclusively on its management staff during the early days of the ski season when lifts typically are running three days a week.

Most of the 400 to 450 workers who staff the ski area at the peak of the season also hold summer jobs at places such as construction sites or golf courses says Kathy Leggett, the manager of guest services at Mount Rose.

“When the weather turns for them, it turns for us,” Leggett says.

Because Mount Rose opens with a limited weekend schedule, those seasonal workers have time to give their employers notice that they’re leaving summer jobs to head for the slopes.