Mike Thomas
As the economy struggles, resorts around the nation are facing major setbacks, and with no immediate change on the horizon, employees are now faced with an untimely ultimatum: find a new job or lose your benefits. Tip your bellmen; they need it now more than ever.

Sundance Resort, which is a fifteen-minute drive up Provo Canyon, was recently named second among all U.S. mainland resorts, by the Conde Nast Traveler’s 2007 Readers Choice Awards. Despite the accolades, and the allure of a unique resort that is so commonly associated with the Hollywood elite — as well as its boast of a wide range of activities from skiing in the winter to mountain biking in the summer — it has still seen major decreases in the last year.

Allison Green, who is the reservations manager at the resort said, “We have seen a dramatic change in call volume over the last year, as well as higher rate resistance.” It seems those that still haven’t checked off a winter getaway for the year are taking full advantage of the opportunity to have custom rates drawn up. Green explained that Sundance has had to drop rates to meet competitors, and offer new incentives such as free dessert and breakfast to the Foundry Grill and Tree Room (the two restaurants located on the property). She explained that the true test will be the high season — from December through February — to see how the economy has affected business.

In a resort like Sundance many suffer from the downtime. Some have lost benefits, on top of a lower monthly salary. The bellmen at the resort don’t have a high hourly wage because they work primarily for tips, which coincidentally is an area most vacationers find it easy to cutback on, since it’s the one thing that is completely at their discretion.

So for those planning a getaway for the holidays, keep in mind that, without your generous tips, the same people who carry your luggage, dig your car out of the snow, and fix your broken television at 3:00 a.m. make just enough to drive to and from work.