Ski patrol latest industry hit by worker shortage, low pay

Dec 9, 2021, 9:33 AM | Updated: Jan 4, 2022, 9:14 am
(PHOTO: Credit Park City Mountain Resort)
(PHOTO: Credit Park City Mountain Resort)

PARK CITY, Utah — Utah ski patrol workers, in short supply at resorts across the region, now want better pay for the essential job they perform. 

Tune to KSL NewsRadio’s Dave & Dujanovic Thursday for our conversation with ski patroller David Damschen or watch our live stream, below. 

The Park Record reports ski patrollers at Park City Mountain Resort (PCMR) continue to lack a contract, with wages a key issue in the negotiations between owner Vail Resorts and the union representing ski patrollers. 

PCMR owner Vail Resorts continues to offer its minimum wage to ski-patrol rookies: $12.50 an hour. This is the second season the ski patrollers are working without a contract. The previous contract — covering 200 employees — expired in November 2020, according to the Park Record.

“Those costs are going to get passed on to the customers,” Dave said. 

He pointed out that a one-day (12/10/21) ski pass for adults 13-64 at PCMR is $166.

“That’s just for the ski pass. That doesn’t count the rentals,” he said.

“I don’t want a disgruntled ski patroller coming to rescue me, Dave, or no ski patroller when I have a disagreement with a tree on the run,” Debbie replied.

Dave responded by saying he’s been skiing for 40 years and has never needed a ski patroller.

Powder Mountain volunteer ski patroller David Damschen talks to KSL NewsRadio’s Debbie Dujanovic and Dave Noriega about life on the ski patrol.

Damschen said ski patrollers need to have the an adequate level of emergency medical first-responder skills and be trained to prepare an injured skier for transport off the mountain on a medical helicopter or ambulance or down the mountain on a ski sled.

“If you’re in that situation, you definitely want [ski patrollers] to have those capabilities, and you want them to be well-trained,” Damschen said.

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Ski patrol latest industry hit by worker shortage, low pay