News: Labor challenges force Cedar Point to adjust operating calendar

Friday, May 21, 2021 2:54 PM
Walt's avatar

Cedar Point and Cedar Point Shores Waterpark will be closed select days in June

https://pointbuzz.com/News/Story/3337

Last edited by Walt, Friday, May 21, 2021 2:54 PM

Walt Schmidt - Co-Publisher, PointBuzz
PointBuzz on Twitter | Facebook | YouTube
Home to the Biggest Fans of the World's Best Amusement Park

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Friday, May 21, 2021 2:58 PM
djDaemon's avatar

...we've introduced a $500 seasonal sign-on bonus for associates and we're now increasing the 2021 seasonal and part-time wage for all positions to $20/hr, a 100% increase over 2020 wage rates.

Nice!


Brandon

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Friday, May 21, 2021 3:06 PM
HeyIsntThatRob?'s avatar

$20 an hour?! How does one stay in business without raising prices within their services to cover those costs?

Guess we will find out.

My kid entered the workforce at a crazy time.

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Friday, May 21, 2021 3:07 PM

The issue is above and beyond wages though. There’s a culture problem also in addition to schedules and hours worked. Hopefully they solve for all three and this turns the park around.

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Friday, May 21, 2021 3:14 PM
Walt's avatar

As you would expect, some of the social media comments are blaming unemployment payments for the labor shortage. The park's pool for labor is in large part high school and college students. If college students are getting unemployment, let me know so I can sign my kid up!


Walt Schmidt - Co-Publisher, PointBuzz
PointBuzz on Twitter | Facebook | YouTube
Home to the Biggest Fans of the World's Best Amusement Park

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Friday, May 21, 2021 3:17 PM

Actually I prepare taxes for a living and you'd be shocked how many college students are currently on UC. I was amazed, and several had to pay "kiddie tax" because it's unearned.

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Friday, May 21, 2021 3:24 PM
djDaemon's avatar

Walt said:

As you would expect, some of the social media comments are blaming unemployment payments for the labor shortage. The park's pool for labor is in large part high school and college students.

I don't follow Ohio news very closely, but a quick search indicates that Ohio's unemployment is at 4.7%, which is pre-pandemic level, and it's been that way since March.

So while I don't doubt the UI and stimulus play a role, there seems to be more to it than that.

Edited to add, do unemployment numbers include high school and college kids?

Last edited by djDaemon, Friday, May 21, 2021 3:26 PM

Brandon

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Friday, May 21, 2021 3:31 PM
MichaelB's avatar

Walt said:

If college students are getting unemployment, let me know so I can sign my kid up!


My brother and a few friends had no problem getting thousands and thousands from the state. Unfortunately, that ship has sailed.

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Friday, May 21, 2021 3:50 PM
Paisley's avatar

I'm curious what the employee mask requirements will be after the state mask mandate ends in June. That hourly rate is more than I make at the school and one of my kids wants t work there anyway.

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Friday, May 21, 2021 4:01 PM

They could offer $30 an hour and they'd still struggle to staff without international labour. They poached staff from closed parks to get by barely in 2020. This is all very, very sad. The operating calendar is now half of the 2019 level, taking into account hours and days. Add in the early line closure, it drops under half (open-Labour day).


CP Coaster Top 10: 1. Steel Vengeance (37 rides to date) 2. Top Thrill Dragster (190 launches to date, 4 rollbacks) 3. Raptor 4. Millennium Force 5. Maverick 6. GateKeeper 7. Valravn 8. Rougarou 9. Magnum XL 200 10. Gemini

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Friday, May 21, 2021 4:05 PM
Chuck Wagon's avatar

I agree it is sad. Our trip is wrecked. We had a Breakers stay booked for 14-17 June. We'll see what the email says when they send it with what our options are.


-- Chuck Wagon --
aka Pagoda Gift Shop

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Friday, May 21, 2021 4:06 PM
Joe E's avatar

This has possible long-term implications as well. If you are paying $20 this year, is it possible to pull that back to a reasonable level the next few years even if the labor supply market improves? Sure, the internationals will pick up some slack and might take $12-15/hr, but you still need at least half of your employees to be land based for the shoulder seasons.

This goes beyond CP as well. The labor market itself might have just taken care of the fight for $15.

That Gold Pass Calculus is probably not looking that hot right now either. I’m sure it was based on $10 hour for your biggest expense, not $20. They can sell cheap passes and pump up attendance all day long, but it’s not going to cover this.


Gemini 100- 6/11/01

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Friday, May 21, 2021 4:27 PM

As I said earlier in another thread, the smart option for them would have been to start the season with a modified schedule and limited attraction availability. Instead the park opted to choose revenue over providing a great experience and thus we end up with , what is essentially a cluster-f of operations and park schedules. I’m not positive that things will get better anytime soon. But I do know I would not want to be working in guest services right now.

Last edited by mgou58, Friday, May 21, 2021 4:27 PM
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Friday, May 21, 2021 4:32 PM

Good news for my daughter, who is there working as we speak. I'm hoping to see those comp tickets as well. A very welcome bit of news to a sad situation.

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Friday, May 21, 2021 4:36 PM

Yikes! Very unprecedented, and very sad--especially for those who already had vacations planned with non-refundable elements (e.g. time off from work, rental car fees/airfare, etc.).

I do wonder why the park didn't better anticipate this scenario and publish a reduced operating calendar to begin with, given that the labor shortage isn't new news. Yes, operating hours are subject to change without notice, but from a customer relations perspective, adding days at this point would've been much better than removing them.

Hopefully next year is different, but I do think the park needs to continue to address its staffing issues long term. I'm not sure what the solution is. One thing I do think about, though, is how most Cedar Point coasters operate with a crew of 10+ people, whereas Six Flags can and does operate many of its coasters with a crew of 2 or 3.

On the bright side, $20 an hour is a great wage for a student or part-time job seeker! I'd definitely take advantage of that for a weekend job if I lived closer to the park. (But the fact that few people live near Sandusky is probably half the problem.)


Thrills Around the Corner!

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Friday, May 21, 2021 5:01 PM

I realize that it is not a year long job, but $40K on an annualized basis to be a sweep? Holy cow.

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Friday, May 21, 2021 5:08 PM

$20/hr?

Awww man.... Dippin' Dots are going to be $30 this year!!

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Friday, May 21, 2021 5:16 PM

This will definitely help pull in the college kids. $20/hr is finally better than what they can pick up at most local burger joints for a summer job. There is now more incentive to look at working at the park again when you only have 3-4 months to work as many hours as you can.

Sadly, Sandusky and the general area doesn't have the population density that some other areas of Ohio do so it'll be hard to encourage people to work there who live 30-45 mins or more away.

I joked before about considering part time weekends. But at $20/hr it's almost worth a daily commute from Cleveland for 2 days a week. I do have a new roof I'd like to pay off quicker lol

Unfortunately, I don't see things getting truly better until internationals can come back, 2022 maybe the earliest. And like those have mentioned before, do you back track from this? You'd alienate thousands of people who made one wage and no expected to make a lesser wage, even scaling back to $18/hr could push a lot of people away.

Hopefully this helps, we all want to see the park do better. We have all wanted the park to be staffed better. And I believe we all want people to make a livable wage regardless of age or skill level.

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Friday, May 21, 2021 5:17 PM

If you adjust minimum wage for inflation, it would actually be closer to $24/hr. It's not that people are making "Insane" amounts of money to "be a sweep", it's that we as Americans have gotten used to our time and effort being devalued to the point where we think $7/hr to do ANY job is "reasonable."

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Friday, May 21, 2021 5:46 PM

That is the same debate my wife and I are having. So if a sweep makes $20 what should a ride op make? More than $20 right? And if a ride op makes $25 what should a team leader make?

And I feel bad for the seasonal mom & pop ice cream stands in the area. If I can get seasonal work for $20 why would I sell ice cream for $10?

This has the potential to have a very large cascading affect.

Last edited by Shades, Friday, May 21, 2021 5:46 PM
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