Enchanted Forest Water Safari offers free housing to entice domestic workers

It's the place where the fun never stops, and lately, neither do the hiring headaches.

Posted: May 7, 2021 6:02 PM
Updated: May 7, 2021 6:05 PM

OLD FORGE, NY - It's the place where the fun never stops, and lately, neither do the hiring headaches.

Enchanted Forest is excitedly preparing to open for the season, after being silenced by the pandemic last year. But they are facing a serious hiring challenge: most, if not all, of the 80-100 international workers who each year help form the backbone of their staff....aren't coming.

"Many of the embassies are still closed so they're unable to get their visa appointments," says VP & Director of Marketing, Katie Wojdyla. "So some of those positions are in dire need of being filled."

In an effort to lure more regional and other domestic employees, Enchanted Forest recently decided to offer the free, on-site housing normally used by the international workers, to domestic ones. A sign in the nearly-empty parking lot trumpets the new offer.

Hiring challenges aren't unique to Enchanted Forest. The Town of Webb faces its own struggle.

"The unemployment situation has hurt us," says Town Supervisor Dave Berkstresser. "We've been looking for a month for a full time position for our DPW and we got one application, was all. This is for a town business for a town job year round with benefits, so it has become a problem."

For the town, it's a cyclical problem made worse by the pandemic.

As they struggle to hire, Enchanted Forest management also works to understand new COVID guidelines.

"Right now, what we understand is, guests will have to wear a face mask to enter the park. In an aquatic setting, it will be not required because they can't wear masks in a pool or on a water slide," says Wojdyla.

The upside up north? Enchanted Forest managed to keep all their full-time employees working in spite of being shut down last year. And-the new attractions kept under wraps by the pandemic will be unveiled this season.

"There's the mamba strike, killermanjaro's revenge and serenghetti stampede, so for individuals looking to work this summer, this is an exciting summer, maybe you can even be the first to operate those three rides," says Wojdyla.

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