Deer Valley’s Welcome Night for seasonal workers returns |

Deer Valley’s Welcome Night for seasonal workers returns

Annual event helps new employees feel at home

Pedro Valdovinos spins a prize wheel at the Park City Welcome Night in 2013. The annual event, put on by Deer Valley Resort, is set to return Thursday, Dec. 15, and is aimed at helping seasonal workers get acclimated to Park City.
(Park Record file photo)

Deer Valley Resort and a host of other Park City businesses and entities are gearing up to give seasonal workers a warm winter welcome.

For the sixth year in a row, the resort, partnering with a number of employers in the area, is holding its Park City Welcome Night, an event designed to help seasonal employees, who come from around the world, get acclimated to the town. Though Deer Valley is putting on the event, it is open to workers of any business in Park City who are eager to learn more about the area.

Megan Wagner, recruiting coordinator for Deer Valley Resort, said the Welcome Night is valuable because it brings in representatives from many of the town’s most important entities all in one place. Seasonal employees — ranging from those slated to spend the winter on the slopes, to those who will serve up meals on Main Street — learn about things such as the Park City Police Department, the Christian Center of Park City’s services, the bus system, where to find discount skiing goods and how to get a library card.

“We bring all of those people together as vendors to talk with our seasonal staff about the best way to use those resources and where they can receive information,” she said, adding that about 500 people typically attend the event. “This is basically about how they can utilize their time in Park City the best they can.”

To Wagner, who helps bring in hundreds of employees to Deer Valley each ski season, the Welcome Night is important because it is the first time many of the seasonal workers have ever been to Park City. For many, in fact, it’s their first time in the United States

“It can always be overwhelming to start a new adventure,” she said. “Most of our seasonal staff are coming from either around the country or around the world and have never been to this little snow globe that is Park City. Not everybody knows the best way to start a bank account locally, or how easy it is to get a temporary gym pass, or buy used ski equipment if they want to try out the sport.

“It’s just a good way to bring all of that into one place because four months is not long enough to venture out to all of those places on your own and discover it without this resource,” she added.

Stacie Moore, director of human resources at Park City Marriott, where the Welcome Night is set to be held, echoed Wagner’s sentiment, saying the event is a place for the Park City community to embrace the workers who make the town tick during the ski season.

“Our seasonal workers are vital to our success as a community and we could not function without them,” she said. “It’s intimidating going to a foreign country and sometimes the ‘kids’ come here alone and are frightened, excited and unsure of what to expect from this four-month adventure in Park City. Therefore, we need to be brilliant hosts and welcome them into our community with open arms and lots of love.”

Wagner said the event also helps workers build a sense of camaraderie with their peers. Many of the employees are just out of college or are living on their own for the first time, so getting to know people in a similar situation is valuable. By the end of the event, which also features free pizza, raffles and dancing, attendees have often made friendships that last through the ski season and beyond.

“The amazing thing about the Welcome Night is we hear about it after the fact and hear people talk about how great it is and how much they appreciated us providing that information,” she said. “And as new people filter in for the next season, we already have people asking, ‘Is there going to be a Welcome Night.’ They call it the Park City party sometimes. So it’s really great to hear that this is a great resource and that people are enjoying it for more than the free pizza.”

Park City Welcome Night is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 15, from 4 to 9 p.m. at the Park City Marriott. For more information, contact Deer Valley Resort.

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