Ski Cooper recently announced that it will raise its company minimum starting wage to $15.25 per hour. Recent economic challenges and changes in the labor force and demographics combined with Ski Cooper’s strong financial performance of late, are among the several factors that prompted the increase.
“Cooper’s recent successes, including significant increases in skier visits and revenue, have left us in a very solid financial position,” Ski Cooper CEO Dan Torsell said. “I believe firmly that the fruits of these successes need to be shared with the people who make them possible. I could list a dozen reasons why current economic and market conditions make this a good move, but the simple fact is it’s just the right thing to do. Our people make Cooper what it is, especially the folks out there on the front lines every day, and we intend to take care of them.”
This new company minimum wage of $15.25 per hour exceeds the Lake County living wage figure of $14.26 per hour for a single adult as calculated by the MIT Living Wage Calculator, and outpaces most ski resorts in the state, including Vail Resorts, whose minimum wage this season is $15 per hr. In addition to increasing the company minimum starting rate, this move will also provide for wage increases in all pay grades for returning employees.
In recent years Ski Cooper has consistently set its company minimum wage above the mandated Colorado minimum wage, and competitively, according to ski industry standards. Cooper has been on a considerable growth trajectory, setting all-time revenue records for the past seven years and substantial year-over-year visitation increases each ski season for the last nine years (excluding the 2019/20 ski season which was cut short due to COVID-19 shutdown orders).
The increased minimum wage will take effect for all non-tipped positions for the 2021/22 ski season.