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Snowbasin Resort cancels summer concert series over severe staff shortage

Posted at 8:57 PM, Jul 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-20 00:02:43-04

HUNTSVILLE, Utah — The Blues, Brews and BBQ Concert Series has been a summer staple at Snowbasin Resort in Weber County for nearly a decade, but after the pandemic forced cancellation in 2020, this year there’s another reason for cancellation.

“Canceling the Blues and Brews, it’s a real bummer because it’s a great community event,” said Snowbasin general manager Davy Ratchford. “It serves a purpose in the community. We all want to get out and have a good time and have a drink, watch a show, have a good experience, so not being able to pull off the event has been really tough on our team. It’s what we want to do, but we just can’t do it if we don’t have the staff.”

On Monday, Snowbasin Resort announced that five of the six events, spanning from Aug. 8 through Sep. 5, related to the concert series have been canceled.

“Despite numerous adjustments, increased recruiting efforts and great perks, we have experienced a severe staff shortage in our food and beverage operations,” the resort shared in an email statement on Monday morning.

The resort hopes the staffing situation improves as they plan to host their SnowWiesn Oktoberfest on Sundays starting on Sep. 12. However, an announcement will be made on a later date regarding the status of the event.

“Around the nation and here locally, we’re struggling with getting employees, specifically in food and beverage as a whole during COVID got somewhat decimated, and it’s slow bringing back those employees,” said Ratchford. “Even though we have competitive and great perks for being here in the mountains, we’re just struggling to employees in our system.”

Specifically, for food and beverage roles, Snowbasin was offering a $500 signing bonus along with hourly wages between $14-$23. Right now, the minimum wage in Utah an hourly rate of $7.25.

“The people that make the beer or the bands, everybody else, it’s a crucial ... decision to make because the impacts are real,” Ratchford said about the tough decision to cancel five weeks of live music, food and activities. “I strongly encourage everyone to get out and work, that’s the important part. There’s great well-paying jobs out there. This is a great place to work — all ski industries are. It’s a career if you want it.”

Blue, Brews and BBQ will be a one-day event on Aug. 1, featuring free live music from noon to 4:30 p.m., food, drinks, and family-friendly activities including Wildflower Mini Golf.

The resort is hopeful that seasonal positions will start to fill back up with more events scheduled in the fall and winter bringing back skiers and riders.