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McCall Suffers From Shortage Of Summer Workers, Affordable Housing

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Boise Weekly reports McCall is facing a shortage of seasonal workers to staff its hotels and restaurants this summer.

One look at the classifieds in the most recent McCall Star-News gives a good idea of the extent of the shortage with listings for summer housekeepers, accountants and landscapers to name a few (including a water ski spotter position). At least one company will pay housekeepers $15 per hour.

“The official population of McCall is a little over 3,000. That number nearly doubles in the summer months and during a holiday, such as the just-wrapped Fourth of July, thousands more flock to the resort town. It should be a boom time for area hotels, restaurants and taverns, but business owners say they are facing the nearly impossible task of hiring people.” – Boise Weekly

According to Jim Thackeray with the Department of Labor, the glut of jobs is connected to a shortage of affordable housing in Valley County. There have been some apartments added to the housing mix with more on the way, but:

“'Right now, there are probably a lot of people from the Treasure Valley or other states who would love to come work in McCall. They love it here. It's beautiful, and it's a wonderful environment to be in, but they simply can't find a place to live.’” –Jim Thackeray as interviewed in BW

On the banks of Payette Lake, the Shore Lodge still has a number of summer openings, everything from concierge to bartender to security guard. So the upscale hotel has come up with a unique solution to the affordable housing problem: management has acquired enough space in McCall to house more than 100 employees and their families. With rent starting as low as $175 for workers, Shore Lodge managers hope to attract high-caliber employees who will help them raise their level of service and notoriety.

Find reporter Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill

Copyright 2017 Boise State Public Radio

Frankie Barnhill was the Senior Producer of Idaho Matters, Boise State Public Radio's daily show and podcast.

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