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In this episode Nicole and Sarah host Margo Wade, Director of Planning & Regulatory Compliance at Sugarbush Resort. At a high level, Margo’s role is focused on keeping the resort in compliance with operating, land use, technical and environmental permits. The permits range from federal to state and local level permits as Sugarbush spans 3 Vermont towns and uses some US Forest Service land.
Margo gives us an inside look at what it takes to staff a ski resort, seasonally and year round. Sugarbush’s employee population grows from 250 year round staff to about 1,000 in the winter ski season.
The combination of resort staffing and staff housing shortages has been a challenge across the entire ski industry. Margo gives us insights into what is causing this shortage.
Sugarbush houses employees in a variety of units around the Mad River Valley ranging from Sugarbush owned to rented facilities. One important project was transitioning the Sugarbush Inn from visitor use to staff housing. Sugarbush bases workforce housing rent rates are based on employee’s wages.
Sugarbush has a large international employee population that leverage different visa programs ranging from short term cultural exchanges to longer term for more senior employees.
It was so interesting to get Margo’s firsthand views of what it takes to staff a ski resort and the creative solutions Sugarbush is bringing to the industry.
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