Why Montana Is The Hottest Ski And Outdoor Vacation Spot This Winter
For years the mantra of the ski industry has been “bigger is better.”
More terrain, more lifts, more hotels. But that strategy is not working out so well this year and some of the largest resorts are understaffed and unable to handle the crowds, which in turn are fueled by pent-up pandemic demand for travel after missed ski seasons. Resorts and major ski destinations have been hit with a double whammy of being short-staffed and the omicron variant surge, which is decimating the ranks of what few workers they do have.
The general labor shortage is afflicting many industries, but it’s even worse for ski resorts that typically rely on a lot of seasonal visa workers from other countries, especially in the Southern hemisphere, a situation hampered by travel restrictions in the pandemic. As a result, some services have been suspended, operations cut back, even lifts left idle with no one to staff them. I spoke to a skier today just back from one of the largest and most visited resorts in North America who reported operations running at about a third of normal, but with no commensurate reduction in crowds.