SNOWMASS VILLAGE - Every winter local businesses must find and ultimately hire hundreds of employees. Kellie Ulrich is the human resources director for Snowmass Hospitality, and this winter she is looking for 45 new workers to staff the company's lodging operations. To find these employees she is holding a job fair Nov. 15 from 3-6 p.m. at the Base Village Conference Center in the Capitol Peak building next to the Treehouse Kids' Adventure Center.
Ulrich moved to the Roaring Fork Valley almost 20 years ago. She grew up skiing in Michigan, graduating from Michigan State University with a degree in secondary education. Her brother was already living in Aspen at the time, and Ulrich remembered how much fun she had on a high school spring break trip to Vail.
"I had skied all my life in Michigan at small resorts like Pine Knob," Ulrich said. "And I had wanted to come back to the mountains."
Showing up in Aspen, she needed work so she began working at the thrift shop Gracy's and teaching biology as a substitute teacher at Aspen High School.
In 2000, Ulrich got a job with the Aspen Skiing Co. and was based in Snowmass in the old administration building in Lot A. She began in the purchasing department but eventually transferred to human resources, where she worked for four years.
In 2007, Ulrich was hired by Related WestPac to be the office manager and executive assistant at the 132 West Main Street building in Aspen. It was a time of great expansion for the company, and Ulrich soon became the human resources director. Now she handles the human resources department in Snowmass Village for Related Colorado and Snowmass Hospitality.
"I think of myself as a representative of the employees," said Ulrich. "I set up programs to benefit employees and to ensure that they are getting what they need to do their jobs."
Programs that Ulrich administers include: benefit programs like 401(k) retirement plans, health insurance, payroll options, vacation benefits and motivation/ incentive benefits like employee of the month programs. Guest survey recognition programs are another motivational benefit employees receive under Ulrich's administration.
"At Snowmass Hospitality we hand out surveys to guests and ask them to rate us," explained Ulrich. "If an employee is mentioned by name in a survey, that name is put in a hat and each month we pull a name and recognize someone."
Ulrich also manages the worker comp programs, family medical leave, unemployment and short-term disability.
Each winter Snowmass Hospitality needs to fill about 40-45 seasonal positions in Snowmass. Many of them are for front desk staff, bell staff, parking garage attendants, housekeepers and maintenance personnel. There are also approximately 65 full-time year-round positions with Snowmass Hospitality.
To find staff, Ulrich places ads in the local newspapers, holds job fairs like the one this Thursday, places ads on the radio, and uses social media and word-of-mouth. If a current employee refers a new employee they can receive a bonus of up to $200.
"The really positive thing about a job fair is that it is one-stop shopping," Ulrich said. "On the spot, you can fill out an application and meet with a manager for the job that you applied for. It's really important for us to have a quality employee that can attend to our guests' needs."
At the job fair on Thursday in Base Village, Ulrich has a number of needs, but specifically she will be looking for additional housekeeping and maintenance staff. The positions are in Snowmass.
Like most local companies, Snowmass Hospitality offers a competitive pay package for seasonal employees that includes benefits like a two-day-a-week ski pass for full-time employees or a $600 bonus at the end of the ski season instead. Seasonal employees also receive two paid days off and a 401(k) retirement benefit that is matched by the company.
When she's not hiring new staff in Snowass, you can find Ulrich and her husband Dale at Snowmass events like the Thursday night concerts or Mardi Gras, or at home with their rescue dog Nellie and four chickens. She thinks they will be part of Snowmass for a while.
"Snowmass is such a small little town. I love the closeness of the community," said Ulrich.
If you're looking for a job with Snowmass Hospitality you can apply a couple of different ways. You can visit Ulrich at the Related and Snowmass Hospitality offices on the top floor of the Snowmass Center or attend the job fair. You can also call Ulrich at 970-205-1935 or reach her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve Alldredge is a former associate editor/reporter for the Snowmass Sun. He now runs a local communications company whose clients include Related Colorado.
He can be reached at email@example.com.