Housing in Jackson: staffing shortages, businesses adjust hours

JACKSON, Wyo. — Several businesses in Jackson Hole are adjusting their hours of operation, with many closing an extra day of the week due to staffing issues.

Both Trio and Local are closing on Saturdays beginning June 12 due to staffing issues. The popular restaurants, owned by Chef Will Bradof and Chef Paul Wireman are located in downtown Jackson and serve hundreds of guests per night.

The announcement came via Instagram yesterday, June 7. The posts stressed that the closures are temporary measures, “but we have to prioritize the health and happiness of our employees.”

 

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A post shared by localjh (@localjh)

Both restaurants are hiring for positions in the front and back of house at both properties. Trio has been open since 2005 and Local has been open since 2012.

General Manager Jessica Wireman discussed how the decision was made after polling their employees, “We are happy to respect their needs.”

“We’ve been here for a long time and we have a really great core staff that we want to work with,” said Wireman.

Chef Will Bradof said, “It has not been that difficult of a decision to make. The nature of our job is that we are constantly problem-solving. We can only do what we can do and we decided to drop another day to give the staff we have reasonable working hours.”

Cafe Genevieve also recently announced that they would not be able to serve dinner due to a lack of staff. “Due to a lack of staffing, Cafe G will not be open for dinner this summer,” the restaurant announced via Instagram on May 20. They will be open 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

 

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A post shared by Cafe Genevieve (@cafegenevieve)

Local, Trio and Cafe Genevieve are not alone. The Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce released data from a recent survey compiling responses from 250 members across small, medium and large businesses.

According to the survey findings, over 50% of respondents are considering adjusting their operations due to the staffing shortage whether through reducing hours or days (32%), adjusting their product (19%), or closing their business entirely (5%). Mentioned in the “other” category often is leaving Teton County, whether it be allowing remote work or moving their office entirely.

About 85% of employers have increased their wages, 36% offer a referral bonus, and 27% offer a sign-on bonus, says the Chamber.

The restaurant industry isn’t the only business sector affected.  The Teton County Library and the Rec Center recently announced that they too would temporarily adjust their hours of operation due to staffing issues.

As of June 1, The Rec Center will reduce Monday through Friday hours, closing at 6 p.m., rather than 8 p.m. The Rec Center will be closed on Sundays. The Teton County Library will close on Sundays as well, beginning June 13.

“Closing Sundays is the least impactful choice because service was already limited to item pickup, and it has tended throughout the library’s history to be the least trafficked day of the week,” said Deb Adams, Library Interim Director.

Recent cell phone data activity tracks visitors in the Town of Jackson. In the graph below, the blue line is 2017, the red line is 2018, the yellow line is 2019, the green line is 2020 and the orange line is 2021. On June 4, 38,866 visitors used their cell phones in Jackson WY, well above historic projections.

“I am a lifetime resident of Jackson and it is probably the craziest May and June that I have seen,” said Wireman. 

 

The orange line depicts the cell phone usage by visitors in the town of Jackson over time. Compared to years past, the trend is already on track to break seasonal records. Photo: Brian Modena // TMBR

With more visitors than ever and fewer staff available for hire, tourism-driven businesses may face an interesting challenge this summer.

Editor’s note: This article is part of a series on recent housing-related issues in Jackson Hole. To read more articles in this series, click here.

About The Author

Buckrail @ Lindsay

Lindsay Vallen is a Community News Reporter covering a little bit of everything; with an interest in politics, wildlife, and amplifying community voices. Originally from the east coast, Lindsay has called Wilson, Wyoming home since 2017. In her free time, she enjoys snowboarding, hiking, cooking, and completing the Jackson Hole Daily crosswords.

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