Big Cottonwood Canyon, Utah- One of the biggest stories from this ski season is patrollers across the United States unionizing. Ski patrollers at mountains like Eldora and Whitefish have voted to create a union this winter, while others (Keystone and Palisades Tahoe) are going through the voting process. Yesterday, Solitude Mountain Resort became the latest to form a union.

On Monday, it was announced that ski patrollers at Solitude Mountain Resort have voted to unionize. The vote was 70% in favor, 10 people voted against, and four went uncounted. If no challenges arise from the vote’s outcome, their ski patrol will officially become a union. After that, Solitude’s ski patrollers will enter contract negotiations with the Utah ski resort’s owner, the Alterra Mountain Company.

The Solitude Ski Patrol Association plans to join the United Professional Ski Patrols of America, also known as CWA Local 7781. They also represent ski patrollers and lift maintenance members at Park City Mountain Resort, ski patrollers at Stevens Pass, and Crested Butte’s ski patrol, among others.

Robbie Kosinski, who’s a ski patroller at Solitude, said the following to TownLift about this vote:

We’re excited and very proud of the results. We’re ready to work with our members and the resort to create a contract that benefits ski patrollers, Solitude, and our guests.”

There are numerous reasons why so many ski patrollers are unionizing: the pay is lackluster, housing prices in the local community are rising, and the risks in this position are plentiful. Solitude’s ski patrol wages currently start at $21, which is insufficient to handle living costs in the rapidly growing Salt Lake Valley. Crowds at Solitude have grown in recent years, meaning that patrollers are under more pressure to open terrain as quickly as possible, heightening their danger.

Jeff Carroll, who’s the vice president of marketing and guest experiences at Solitude Mountain Resort, issued the following statement to TownLift:

“We respect the decision made by Solitude Mountain Resort ski patrollers to have the Communication Workers of America (CWA) union represent them. Our focus remains on supporting all employees at Solitude, including our patrol team.”

Image/Video Credits: Solitude Mountain Resort, Nico Nolan

RELATED: Eldora Ski Patrol Set To Unionize After 29-to-3 Vote In Favor

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