Colorado’s Vail Resorts to boost its minimum wage to $10 |

Colorado’s Vail Resorts to boost its minimum wage to $10

By the numbers

$10 per hour: New minimum wage across Vail Resorts.

$9.50 per hour: Pay for a part-time tubing hill employee last season.

7,500: Estimated number of workers affected.

25,000: Total Vail Resorts employees across eight states.

BROOMFIELD — Vail Resorts Thursday announced that as of Sept. 26, it will raise the company’s minimum wage to $10 per hour, with future increases tied to the inflation rate.

A memo to employees from Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz states that the company works every year to increase benefits and wages.

“For this season, we have decided that one of our primary initiatives will be to support those within our company in many of our entry-level positions, from housekeepers and cooks to retail sales associates and lift operators,” Katz wrote.

Katz’s memo stated that the reason for the increase addresses two issues — treating employees well and remaining competitive as an employer.

While the increase will certainly be welcomed, Katz acknowledged that “entry-level wages are still not high enough. … (It) will not be the last step we take, even for this upcoming season.”

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The increase will affect about 7,500 of the roughly 25,000 people the company employs during peak seasons. The company operates 11 ski areas. It also operates and manages lodging and retail properties. In all, the company has operations in eight states: Colorado, California, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin. Employees at the Grand Teton Lodge Co. will have a minimum wage of $8.50 per hour but also receive an employee housing benefit.

Katz’s memo acknowledged that minimum wage has become a political issue, adding, “Our company is not trying to make a ‘statement.’ We are simply doing what we think is right for our stakeholders — our employees, guests, communities, mountains and shareholders.”

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