WINTER PARK, Colo. (KDVR) — Winter Park Resort is looking to send the first lift chair up come Halloween this Monday after a good amount of snow came down in the high country.

“We’ve got good snow and it’s been cold enough to make snow,” said Jen Miller with Winter Park Resorts.

She said they decided to open just mid-week this past week with the change in weather. She said that as a resort, when it comes to staffing, they are feeling confident to handle the crowds for opening day.

“We are looking at 85% staffing right now,” Miller said.

With staffing challenges, ski resorts boost pay, benefits

Miller said the two previous seasons, especially following the pandemic, there were staffing challenges and it was unpredictable on how many people they would be able to hire.

“There were some challenges. We had to shift staff around to food and beverage to make sure we had the right numbers,” Miller said.

But this year, with changes to the hourly wage for employees, she said they are feeling confident and have had a steady flow of applications coming in.

“We’ve raised our base salary to $20 for returning employees and $18 to $19 for new incoming hourly employees,” Miller said.

They aren’t the only resort raising wages to keep a hand in the game when it comes to hiring. Representatives with Arapahoe Basin told FOX31 and Channel 2 on Friday that they now offer $20 an hour for base wages. They said that wage has caused an uptick in applications.

A-Basin also said that right now, they have 25 open jobs and are currently 90% staffed, but this is better than they have been in years.

Just down the road at Keystone, representatives with Vail Resorts told FOX31 and Channel 2 said they established a $20 hourly minimum wage earlier this year. They said they also expanded employee perks and benefits to include free mental health resources and career development programs.

“We believe this investment has had a significant influence on our hiring and retention rates heading into this winter. We’re incredibly grateful to all of our team members who are working hard and gearing up for a fantastic season,” the resort said in a statement.