Hermitage Club submits employment data, looks for local support
WILMINGTON — The Planning Commission was given data as requested from the Hermitage Club, which would be helpful as the company looks for support of its master plan involving the Haystack Mountain resort.
"There's still more work to do," said Zoning Administrator Craig Ohlson following the Feb. 22 commission meeting.
He was referring to a letter in which the Planning Commission could write endorsing the company. The letter would be an exhibit submitted during a Vermont District Environmental Commission hearing scheduled for March 4.
The DEC will be looking at an Act 250 permit application for the company's master plan. The permit addresses environmental concerns. Questions on municipal and economic impact will come up, too.
The Planning Commission wanted more details regarding numbers after reading a growth and fiscal impact analysis written by Doug Kennedy. Hired by the company, he estimates the project at completion will result in over $2 million of annual municipal revenue.
Besides operating hotels, restaurants, a golf course, airport and private ski resort, the Hermitage Club is planning to build a new 93-unit condominium hotel near Haystack. Also being constructed are several townhouses.
Municipal costs associated with the projects are expected to be about $1,016,800 each year after completion. Kennedy calls that figure "quite conservative."
In a recent response to the Planning Commission, Kennedy said the model he used assumes that a 10 percent increase in taxable property in a community will result in a 10 percent increase in the municipal budget.
"It is apparent that the municipal tax revenues to be generated by the project will far outweigh any costs," he said.
As of February, the company reported having 541 employees on payroll.
"We have 116 full-time year-round employees, in which we offer medical, dental and vision coverage options," stated correspondence from Renee Gudz-Mulkey, the company's human resources director. "Of this workforce, 87 reside in Vermont, five in New Hampshire, eight in Massachusetts, two in other states and 14 in Connecticut. Of the Connecticut workforce, four report into the West Hartford, Conn., office and four are dedicated sales representatives who work territories with no specific 'home' office."
As far as Vermonters go, 79 employees live in Windham County. Six reside in Bennington County and two come from other counties.
Altogether, 37 supervisors or managers are considered "local" or residents of Windham or Bennington counties. Fifty local employees are filling "individual contributor roles,"
An international program, which brings people from other countries in for jobs, employed 89 seasonal workers this season. Thirty-four of those employees are ski and snowboard instructors.
"We employ internationals because this line of employ is their year-round profession and career path," Gudz-Mulkey said of the instructors. "In 2016/2017, we are estimating/projecting the same staffing numbers in this job group to be more than 40."
The program also was responsible for the hiring of 19 public area attendants, five room attendants, 15 servers, five dishwashers, six line cooks and five concierge or member service agents. The number of line cooks is expected to reach about 18 next season and dishwashers will go up to 12.
Renee Gudz-Mulkey said the headcount projections will be revisited again in April.
"I would estimate that our workforce would stay near to the same numbers for 2016/2017 with a possible increase in staffing to entire winter operations of about 4 to 6 percent," she said.
Contact Chris Mays at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-254-2311, ext. 273.
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