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Housing hinders hiring in Jackson Hole

Housing hinders hiring in Jackson Hole

JACKSON, Wyo. - Despite the fact that many people are looking for work, Jackson Hole employers are having a hard time finding new hires.

Wednesday's job fair at the Hampton Inn Jackson Hole was met with little fanfare.

"It's a little slow," said Heather Falk, Hampton Inn sales manager.

Falk said there are reasons new employees are hard to find during the busy summer months: "Finding places to sleep and live."

They can't all be as dubiously fortunate as Todd Carman, who works in guest services at the inn.

"I live with my in-laws," said Carman.

Carman is one of many seasonal workers in the area who say finding a place to rent is too expensive or just not available.

"Still looking," said Carman. "Trying to find a place that's suitable for us and won't empty my wallet every single month."

"We have 97 percent federally protected or privately protected land," said Kate Foster of the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce. "And that does make housing quite expensive for many people, and that does help to decrease the availability."

The chamber has seen intern after intern quit because they can't find a place to stay.

"We would love to be able to build some sort of bunk house in our basement," said Foster. "Unfortunately, that's not a possibility."

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is taking action to help its workers find a place to live.

"We are building some employee housing in the town of Jackson to accommodate seasonal employees," said Anna Cole of the resort.

But that won't be finished until fall of next year.

Until then, in-laws and creativity will just have to do.

"People are making it work," said Cole. "Some are camping."

The Teton Housing Authority will meet Thursday and Friday to look for a solution.

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