COVID-19 COSTS JOBS ON SCHWEITZER

Schweitzer Mountain Resort lays off a majority of their employees

The+wintery-view+atop+of+Schweitzer+Mountain+won%27t+be+seen+until+next+year+for+skiers+and+snowboarders.

Olivia Lynch

The wintery-view atop of Schweitzer Mountain won't be seen until next year for skiers and snowboarders.

Wil Auld, Outdoor Editor

As of last Thursday March 19, Schweitzer is officially closed for the season as response to the recent Coronavirus outbreak. Out of their approximately 650 employees, over 400 were laid off indefinitely.

Schweitzer Mountain Resort has always been one of the main employers in Sandpoint. Through almost every recent economic downfall, Schweitzer has pulled through for their employees and stayed in business. Even if they were not making any profit, Schweitzer catered to the financial needs of their employees through economic hardships.

However, this recent crash has led to a turn for the worst not only throughout Schweitzer, but around the entire world. In this recent epidemic, Schweitzer tried to drag out the closure for as long as possible, but finally succumbed to the pressure surrounding them.

The mountain resort has deemed it necessary to take their employees’ health as a priority and shut down the mountain to prevent infection. As they still employ around 150 people on the mountain, it is not shut down completely. However, these are simply maintenance workers, hotel receptionists, janitors and “essential” employees such as managers and directors.

This epidemic of business closure due to the Corona outbreak is not only an issue in North Idaho.

According to UN labor organizations, over 25 million jobs could be lost globally, and this is not including employees quitting or those transferring to work at home formats. This estimate comes as the COVID-19 outbreak has forced multiple countries into a state of lockdown, and many other implementing restrictions on the movement of citizens. Workers are expected to lose $860 billion and $3.4 trillion in labor as a result of increased unemployment.

Whether these numbers represent North Idaho or not, the fact remains that our job opportunities are decreasing rapidly and the closure of Schweitzer Mountain Resort is the most recent and detrimental example.