Alterra Announces Furlough For Year-Round Employees

Alterra Mountain Company, which owns 15 North American ski resorts, has announced that all year-round employees that can not work due to the closures brought on by the COVID-19 outbreak have been furloughed for the foreseeable future. The announcement came in the form of a letter written to employees from CEO Rusty Gregory.

“Year-round employees in the U.S. who are unable to perform their work at either home, resort or office due to work restrictions aimed at mitigating the spread of the virus will not receive pay,” Gregory said. “They will remain an employee of their resort or business but will be listed on payroll for ‘zero hours’ and will not be working until these restrictions are lifted.”

Alterra began seasonal layoffs early due to the COVID-19 outbreak. On March 14th, the day it was announced that Colorado Governor Jared Polis ordered the state's ski areas and resorts to close on March 15 as a measure to help stop the spread of the virus, Alterra laid off 17,000 employees. This was almost a month earlier than seasonal employment normally ends.

There has been no word given as to just how many year-round employees are affected by the furloughs. However, Gregory did say that his own pay will also change until the year-round staff makes a return to work.

“While I will continue my work as your CEO, I will go without a paycheck until each of our year-round staff returns to work,” Gregory wrote. ” All other employees able to continue working will receive their full pay rate, with the understanding that this situation is fluid and we need flexibility to react as things change. While it is my fervent intent to avoid reducing anyone’s full pay rate for work going forward, we do not know how long this crisis will continue, and it is imperative that we ensure that our finite resources last long enough to get us to the other side of this pandemic and fully open for operation when the time comes.”

Beyond this, Alterra has also begun to cut operating expenses throughout the company, including nearly 50% of planned capital improvement projects, which were announced just four days prior to the closing. That initial announcement was about a plan to spend $223 million company-wide on capital improvements.

This announcement on how Alterra Mountain Company is handling the financial end of the COVID-19 closure comes after Vail Resorts, Inc. made a similar announcement regarding employment status and pay, as well as the cancelation of their own improvement projects.

Photo: Stratton Mountain, Vermont, An Alterra Mountain Company Property - Credit: Stratton Mountain Resort/FB


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