Vail is reducing restaurant hours at Park City Mountain

Park City Mountain is reducing meal times at several mountain restaurants and reducing worker hours, according to employees.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Park City Mountain Resort on Tuesday, January 11, 2022.

Hot food closing times at Summit House, Miners Camp, Mid Mountain Lodge, Red Pine Lodge and Cloud Dine will be moved to around 2:30 p.m., according to a resort staffer. Sanitary facilities as well as coffee and snack stations are also open later.

The weekly hours worked by a food and beverage industry worker working on a J-1 visa have been reduced from over 50 to 32, which is the minimum amount required under their visa contract.

Christian Center of Park City executive director Rob Harter said he sees fewer international students at the center’s Tuesday night dinners, which are usually packed with J-1 resort staff.

“So many international students were hired that some of their time at their main job was cut, and so they were forced to take two jobs,” Harter said. “That’s why a lot of them work dual jobs, and that’s why they work evenings, and that’s why they’re not available like they have been in the past.”

A year-round Utah resident who has worked at the resort for over five years said his hours are also being cut. They said it’s because the company hired so many J1 workers and has to meet the work hour requirements in the visa contracts.

“The funny thing is — once the J1s leave — they’re going to be begging people to work overtime in all departments,” said the clerk, who earns $20 an hour. This is the starting wage for all workers.

“You wonder why they train people every year … it’s the way they treat you.”

Another employee, who works in the food and drink industry, said the change in hours was an attempt to cut costs by letting back-of-house chefs off work 30 minutes earlier.

The employee said he was told by upper management that parent company Vail Resorts is not making as much money as expected this season. Last month, the company told investors that it expects earnings to come in at the lower part of its forecast range for the season.

A separate guest services worker said the resort is reducing the number of staff per shift from eight to six.

Despite a 12 percent increase in skier visits at the 37 North American ski resorts, Vail CEO Kirsten Lynch said in January that visits to Park City Mountain, along with destinations in Colorado and California, had fallen short of expectations.

Sara Huey, Park City Mountain’s senior manager of communications, declined to comment on the reduced operating hours, other than to say the hours are always flexible depending on the ebb and flow of business. She added that as the resort is at full capacity this year, more staff may see discrepancies in their schedules.

Vail is also cutting in other parts of the country.

At Vail’s Attitash Mountain Resort in New Hampshire, the Learning Center’s lift, which serves beginner’s terrain, operates fewer hours on weekdays.

The company also intends to sell 76,000 feet of office space at its headquarters in Broomfield, Colorado, according to the Denver Business Journal.

Investment management firm Baron Funds recently told investors it would sell some of its Vail shares based on the company’s performance, although it remained bullish on the long-term.

This article is published by the Utah News Collaborative, a partnership of Utah news organizations dedicated to educating readers across the state. Vail is reducing restaurant hours at Park City Mountain

Justin Scaccy

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