This is the time of year that gets me most excited. Once October roles around we start to see the return of most of our management team. As you know we operate very much like a city where we have seventeen departments with a slew of different agendas. Like a city we have our own waste water treatment plant, water quality control, education facility, medical care, emergency medical, food outlets, retail shops, snow removal, mechanical maintenance, traffic control and more. Many of the managers and supervisors in these departments work seasonally for us. When I see them come back, it means things are getting real again and … they haven’t gone somewhere else instead. Fortunately for us this team of 50 managers are young, dedicated, and loyal. I have to pinch myself sometimes to make sure I’m not dreaming.
So although we are blessed on the management side of things, filling the entry level positions can be challenging especially when the array of jobs are so diverse. Those of you keeping track know already the job market is struggling mightily. This Friday we are hosting our annual job fair and I am anxious to see how we might be affected. The Food and Beverage industry is suffering the most. Staffing at restaurants in town has been so difficult to maintain that several of Chaffee County’s establishments have closed or reduced their hours of operation. The restaurant industry nationwide estimates that over 25% of restaurant workers have left the industry for good leaving managers grasping for different ways to accommodate their guests. Not so coincidentally, demand for restaurant services after a year of being bottled up has increased. It is like two trains headed toward one another on the same track. In order to keep this collision from happening we are reimaging our services as well by increasing wages, simplifying our menus, reducing the stress levels of our cooks and chefs, and doing all we can to make the work environment more enjoyable. That helps everyone. Hopefully we can get the jobs filled that we need, but either way we’ll surf that wave no matter how big or small. In the end I truly believe you will receive some of the best service and food the entire area has to offer.
I am banking on us being able to hire all we need. There is no other place like us in the area. I know I have said we are like a city but to our employees on the ground we are more like a cross between a circus and amusement park. The job itself is uniquely rewarding due to the fact that most of the folks that visit are here to have a good time. All we need to do is lend an assist. To be a part of that … to help our guests with just that … makes one feel like it is more than just a job. It is being part of something bigger. What could be bigger than making someone’s day? Not much.