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Vail Resorts unveils $175M plan to boost employee pay and staffing

The effort seeks to increase employee compensation and bring staffing up to pre-pandemic levels.

DENVER — Responding to a barrage of guest criticism about understaffed and overcrowded ski hills, Vail Resorts (NYSE: MTN) announced Monday that it will spend $175 million next season to boost employee pay and bring staffing back up to needed levels.

Combined with the $320 million capital plan that the Broomfield-based company previously announced for the upcoming off-season, that means Vail Resorts will put nearly half a billion dollars toward improving employee and guest experiences heading into the 2022-23 season.

> Video above: Skiing isn't cheap. How did it become so expensive in Colorado to hit the slopes?

Chief Financial Officer Michael Barkin said he expected the employee costs to be offset by increases in revenue, particularly in areas like food and beverage services where coronavirus restrictions and staffing shortages have left income down 27% season-to-date versus the same period two years ago before the pandemic hit.

Company leaders expressed a strong belief that these investments not only will be able to retain the 47% growth in season-pass-sales customers they attracted this year with discounted pricing but will fix the issues that generated national criticism. They resisted calls from one analyst who asked if they planned to hire a public relations firm to do damage control and said, in fact, that they have seen improved guest-satisfaction scores on surveys since the Omicron wave died down and day-to-day staffing levels have risen.

> Continue reading this story on DenverBusinessJournal.com

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