Better book your ski instructor now if you plan to visit Sun Valley this winter. Resort officials say the new H2-B visa restrictions have put a crimp in hiring so they'll have fewer foreign workers to staff their ski school and other departments this season. The nationwide visa program hit its limit of 66,000 in July (33,000 for winter's temp workers) - the earliest ever.
Matt Parke, Sun Valley Co. personnel manager, told the Associated Press his company has petitioned the U.S. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services for extensions for their current H2-B visa employees or they won't have enough instructors (and other employees) to meet the demands of this coming ski season.
Sun Valley hosts about 400 foreign workers (200 on H2-B visas) out of a staff of about 1,700 during high season. But the Idaho resort isn't the only one who'll feel the pinch this season. The ski industry as a whole accounts for more than a third of H2B visa requests.
The American Hotel and Lodging Association also is concerned about the limit on H2-B visa employees. "Because of these political obstructions, seasonal lodging properties throughout the country continue to be denied access to the temporary workers they need to run their properties effectively during their busiest times of the year," the Association said in a statement to AP. "These shortages put many of those properties and their full-time workers in jeopardy."
Looks like resorts and hotels will be forced to hire domestically from a shallow pool of ‘responsible' ski bums.