Montana hospitality industry seeing effects of worker shortage – KTVQ Billings News

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BOZEMAN — When’s the last time you stayed in a hotel or motel? If recently, then you probably noticed some effects of the worker shortage.
“A lot of hotels and motels are either scaling down what they offer so maybe they’re not doing their full breakfast if they do a continental breakfast. They won’t necessarily take care of rooms the same way if people for 3 days, they’ll just service the room in between guests. They won’t service it while guests are staying there,” said Jacob Klatt with the Royal 7 Motel.
Luckily for this Bozeman motel, they’ve been staying afloat.
“We’ve been able to stay just ahead of it to where our offering to our customers has stayed the same. We treat the stay over rooms. We clean the stay-over rooms,” said Klatt. “Our breakfast is still pretty big, so we’ve been able to make it where I think a lot of people have scaled back.”
Scaling back services can be more of an inconvenience for guests, but it’s evidence of the bigger issue: the worker shortage.
“We have a lot of applications come in, and out of the applications that come in, I would say half the people don’t answer their phone. Out of the half that do answer their phones, I would say 50 percent of the people I hire and agree that they will start don’t show up for their first day of work,” Klatt said.
And in the end, businesses have to increase wages, which increases prices.
“It continues to exacerbate the problem of the employee shortage. Yeah, Bozeman has some work in front of them to how do you continue to take care of the local Bozeman community so that people want to stay here, can afford to stay here and that small businesses can get the help they need to service the tourism industry,” Klatt said.
It’ll be interesting to see how things continue to change for the hospitality industry.

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