Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Mammoth Mountain takes care of its employees

The following article was posted on "The Industry Report - for the mountain resort Industry":
December 27, 2006
Feeding The Holiday Spirit At Mammoth
By Craig Altschul
So, you're one of about 1,000 brand new season employees ready to go to work (or ski or ride) at Mammoth Mountain, Calif. The problem is the early season was the biggest bust in a decade and there wasn't much terrain that could be opened.
Uh-oh. No paycheck. Rent due.
Here comes Santa Claus. In a better-than-gesture that ought to make a phenomenal first impression, Mammoth Mountain forgave early rent bills in its employee housing units, and fired up the kitchens in Canyon Lodge for dinner this Christmas.
They've done it virtually every night since late November, culminating just before the big holiday rush with a Christmas dinner for 800 workers.
"They probably ate better this month than they will all season," Jack Copeland, director of human resources for the resort told The Industry Report. "We're not talking peanut butter and jelly, either. The Christmas dinner was tri-tip and swordfish."
All in all, Copeland says Mammoth served 13,300 complimentary meals. Most didn't have wheels, so the bus runs were made bringing them up the mountain. That, too, was a good thing, as the bus drivers got some hours in.
Mammoth employs about 2,400 people every winter. About 1,000 of those return every winter season and usually have both transportation and digs. But, the newbies wouldn't have been able to make it without help from the resort.
"We didn't want them going home," Copeland said. "We let them ski and snowboard during the day and the energy was really positive, when it could have been otherwise. That's the energy we want to see as the resort fully opens."
Can anyone say "class act?" Well, we can.
Written by Craig Altschul on December 27, 2006 01:00 AM

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

"Hotels Train Employees to Think Fast"

Does this sound familiar?

"Our guests value the design of our hotels, but what they really remember are the people," says Michelle Crosby, human resources chief at lodging giant Starwood (HOT). "Their loyalty was often to a specific (employee) who'd gone out of their way for them."

We can absolutely love our vacation 'digs' - whether it's a lodge in Denali, a guest ranch in Colorado, or a resort on the coast of Maine, but if the employees are friendly, attentive, interesting, and helpful, if they make us feel at home, if they're passionate about their surroundings and we can see that they too are really digging the 'digs', well, it's all those things that will keep us coming back and make us want to spread the word.

Read about the massive training initiatives some of the big hotel chains are implementing to keep their employees passionate and thinking on their feet.