Colorado mountain town facing staffing shortage ahead of summer season

Local News

IDAHO SPRINGS, Colo. (KDVR) — Business owners in Idaho Springs are worried about finding enough workers ahead of what’s expected to be a busy summer tourism season.

Clear Creek County posted on its Facebook page, announcing a roundtable discussion to address staffing shortage issues. That meeting is planned for Monday, May 3 over Zoom.

Meanwhile, some restaurants are already finding creative ways to help bring in qualified workers.

“We’re considering things like end of season bonuses if you start with us and you stick with us until the end of September,” said Greg Dalrymple, owner of Clear Creek Cidery.

Dalrymple said getting people to even apply for openings has been a challenge, let alone hire qualified workers.

As COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, more people are going out. He worries they won’t have the staff to handle a full house by the summer.

“We’re not sure we’re going to be able to fill those spots. You don’t want to do things like close one day a week or things that aren’t good business decisions just because you can’t find employees,” said Dalrymple.

Shane Ishmael, owner of Colorado Adventure Center said they’re experiencing a similar problem. The company offers raft tours and zip lining in Idaho Springs.

“The office side of operations it’s very challenging, to say the least. Over the course of the last two months we’ve been doing a very aggressive campaign to get employees in,” said Ishmael.

Business owners were forced to layoff staff at the start of the pandemic. Many of those workers have since found other jobs or moved out of the area. But some feel the prolonged unemployment is keeping workers away.

“There’s a lot of speculation of things going around. I think the stimulus relief packages have a lot to do with it. I think people have the ability to stay home rather than work,” said Ishmael.

Ishmael said their business model won’t change due to a lack of staff. However, those in the restaurant industry worry the level of service won’t be the same.

Anyone interested in attending the county’s roundtable discussion can find information on their Facebook page.

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