Vail Resorts WFH (work from home) hot spots become the new company towns. Resorts have a new customer: their own employees. It’s so hard for mountain residents to find affordable housing that resorts are building their own apartments for workers.
Not just the slopes: An auto-shop owner in Breckenridge built apartments on top of his garage. Employers in FL, WI, and TN have also developed staff housing.
Last resort… In the past two years, high-earning remote workers have ditched big cities for the mountains, beach towns, lakeside spots, and other desirable WFH destinations. The result: rental prices in attractive locales have soared, pricing out the lower-paid service workers who keep those economies humming.
From mountains to sea: Colorado ski town Crested Butte declared a housing emergency in June, and rents in warmer resort hotspots in Hilton Head, SC, and Orlando, FL, surged 24% in the past year
Not all work on Zoom… Many companies are offering remote options to keep workers through the Great Resignation.
But hospitality businesses like Vail need staff. So Vail’s becoming a landlord to hold on to talent, not to create a new revenue stream.
It’s a throwback to the early 1900s, when big employers like Hershey, Steinway, and Kohler built entire “company towns” to house workers, though with mixed results.