Cedar Point is doubling its starting pay and offering sign-on bonuses as it looks to staff up the park for its 2021 season. At the same time, the park announced that it will be closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for the first four weeks in June as it looks to lessen the load on its current workforce.
Located an hour west of Cleveland, Cedar Point doesn't have a huge local population to help staff the park. As a result, Cedar Point long has relied upon college students and international workers to come to Sandusky, Ohio for the summer to work at the park. That typically makes the first weeks of the park's season in May a bit tough for smooth operations, as many workers have yet to arrive. But this year, with international borders mostly closed and a surge of openings nationwide allowing workers to be picky about the jobs they choose, it's been especially tough for Cedar Point to fill available positions.
As I wrote earlier this month, the unusual labor market right now is all about timing. With countless employers looking to staff up at once as the nation opens up from pandemic closures, workers have plenty of choices.
"The employers who are filling positions right now are the ones who are paying not just way above minimum wage, but offering pay way above their competitors'," I wrote. "They are offering flexible full-time hours, generous benefits and - most important - a positive, supportive and even nurturing work environment."
Cedar Point is trying to meet that standard with an aggressive wage increase.
"We've added more than 300 full-time, year-round positions - with benefits - to our food & beverage team, 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," the park announced on its social media accounts today. And it's playing up quality of life issues, too.
"Associates enjoy the one-of-a-kind 'office' of Cedar Point as their workplace, complimentary tickets for family and friends, special events throughout the summer, the chance to forge friendships and learn new skills that extend beyond a summer job, all in effort to carry out Cedar Point's mission of making people happy," the park said.
To preserve a positive work environment, Cedar Point is planning to reduce its operating calendar in the month ahead, so that its current employees are not spread too thin trying to cover too many shifts.
"While we've ramped up these recruiting efforts, we continue to adjust our operating calendar based on the availability of seasonal labor. As a result, Cedar Point and Cedar Point Shores Waterpark will be closed select days in June."
Checking the calendar, the park is now listed as being closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for the first four weeks in June. Traditionally, Cedar Point operates daily in June and July, as families from throughout the Midwest roadtrip to the park for their summer vacations. But the last thing that any well-run destination wants to offer guests is a bad experience. So Cedar Point is making the tough call that it's better to cut hours than to cut service as it looks to entice more workers to the park.
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