BRYCE CANYON CITY, Garfield County —Bryce Canyon National Park attracts over 1 million visitors each year. To meet the demands of visitors and employees, Bryce Canyon City opened the doors to a new employee housing building.
“As with many resort areas such as ours, we have to attract a large amount of seasonal staff,” said Kam Roundy, employee housing manager for Ruby’s Inn. “Housing for employees in the Bryce Canyon and Tropic areas is a huge issue. For several years, our seasonal staff have had an incredibly difficult time finding a place to stay for the season.”
The new apartment building, Bryce Rim Apartments, is the only apartment-style housing in the area that is specifically designed for seasonal workers. The building has a total of 24 units, and includes both family-style housing with two to three bedrooms, as well as single employee dorm rooms. Washers and dryers are also available, along with a commons area that can be used by the building’s residents.
“National parks and resort areas, in general, have a hard time attracting a seasonal workforce, and Bryce Canyon City is no different,” said Roundy. “Bryce Canyon City’s No. 1 problem is attracting seasonal labor. Factoring in the lack of housing, having enough employees is almost impossible. When employees need a place to stay, they either have to stay in a trailer or with someone they know, which many people don’t have access to either.”
Ruby’s Inn — a historic hotel located outside Bryce Canyon National Park — employs over 600 people during peak season.
Ruby’s Inn saw the employee housing problem as an opportunity and decided to build the Bryce Rim Apartments on its property. The entire planning, building and certifying process took less than a year, with planning taking place summer 2016 and construction starting last November. Bryce Rim Apartments received its certification of occupancy on Aug. 1.
“These apartments are the greatest thing to happen to Bryce Canyon City since the stoplight was put in,” said Roundy. “With the new building, Ruby’s Inn will double its available beds for staffing from about 120 to 240. These beds are in addition to the 100 RV spots for seasonal workers.”