As the mountain resort industry remains at a standstill amid the expanding coronavirus crisis in North America, Alterra Mountain Company has made adjustments to maintain financial viability.
In an internal memo to all Alterra staff on Thursday, CEO Rusty Gregory said that while the company is well capitalized and maintains a very high level of liquidity to help get through difficult times, this situation is unprecedented.
“While I’m hopeful we will be able to reopen this summer and optimistic that we will open on time for winter, the fact is we don’t know when this will abate,” said Gregory. “We must react aggressively to the prospect of zero revenue for the foreseeable future, continuing to focus on protecting the health and safety of our guests, employees, and communities, while maintaining our liquidity and financial viability in order to do more of the same for as long as possible.”
Operational expenses have been cut across the board, and more than half of the ambitious capital expenditure plans the company unveiled earlier this year have been postponed to preserve cash.
As of April 4, year-round U.S. employees “who are unable to perform their work at either home, resort, or office due to work restrictions aimed at mitigating the spread of the virus will not receive pay. They will remain an employee of their resort or business but will be listed on payroll for ‘zero hours’ and will not be working until these restrictions are lifted,” said Gregory.
The affected employees will continue to receive health benefits, can access accrued earned leave (PTO), and will retain their current seniority and employment status. HR will help with unemployment applications. Canadian employees will be subject to similar provisions and receive similar benefits.
Gregory said he will go without a paycheck until all year-round staff members return to work. All other employees able to continue working will receive their full pay rate for now. As the situation evolves, Gregory said, that may change.