Patrick Fagan: Can resort workers hang on after cuts? | SummitDaily.com

Patrick Fagan: Can resort workers hang on after cuts?

Patrick Fagan
Breckenridge

Three recent articles concerning Vail Resorts and the ski Industry in general covered the pay cuts and how the ski industry plans on adapting to the recession. Emphasizing providing services more than profit was called “innovative” and the “fat times are over” article mentioned retaining the guests we have with a higher quality experience. Absent from these articles was the point of view of the employees (I’ve taught skiing at Breckenridge for 17 seasons and neither my wages nor lifestyle were ever “fat”) as well as the idea of retaining high-quality employees. Nearly absent was the point of view of our guests. If these were covered on days I missed reading the paper, please forgive me.

SDN was right that it’s a tough decision and that grading the cuts according to income showed concern and accountability on Mr. Katz’s part. However, a 2.5 percent pay cut combined with price increases can be the difference between being able to stay in a community I love and in a job that I enjoy ” or not. If I am put in this position after years of high quality work for Breckenridge Ski Resort, many others must be in a similar position. For example, 42 percent of the users of the food bank are VR employees, how will a 2.5 percent cut affect them?

Cuts in the contribution to the 401(k), cuts in worker’s compensation coverage and cuts in guest services, have made it that much harder to do my job this season and make ends meet and now I’m expected to do it next year for less? I want to keep living here and teaching skiing, but don’t know if I can afford to.

Many of your readers are VR employees, please cover our side of the story.