evacuation question

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evacuation question

Postby res » Wed Aug 22, 2018 11:26 am

Lake McDonald facility has 220 employees. Where would they house that many employees had the site not been closed? I don't think the other sites have that much unoccupied employee housing.
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Re: evacuation question

Postby llholmes1948 » Wed Aug 22, 2018 12:06 pm

I do not know the current status of Lake McDonald Lodge. It seems to me that I read at one time during this fire that the Lodge was evacuated (including the employees). At another point I seem to recall reading that the Lodge was open and running. Maybe someone can clarify that.

In answer to your question I think the plan was to "house" the employees in tents on land, presumably owned by Xanterra, in Columbia Falls. I don't know if that ever happened.

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Re: evacuation question

Postby daveparker » Wed Aug 22, 2018 1:24 pm

The Lodge is closed for the season, that was announced last week on all of the local news stations and in the news papers, so I would imagine most of the employees have left the area or if they need help in other facilities the are helping out there, I know during the past fire seasons the employees were laid off and got their pay. Just depends on the companies policies and I am not all that familiar with this company.
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Re: evacuation question

Postby res » Wed Aug 22, 2018 6:45 pm

Thanks for the replies. The international employees sometimes had post season plans to travel in the States. This closure may have complicated those plans!
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Re: evacuation question

Postby llholmes1948 » Wed Aug 22, 2018 7:42 pm

res wrote:Thanks for the replies. The international employees sometimes had post season plans to travel in the States. This closure may have complicated those plans!


Times have changed. When I worked at Lake McDonald 1970-72 we did not have a single international employee that I can recall. Now there seems to be a fair number. Not sure when this change took place.

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Re: evacuation question

Postby daveparker » Wed Aug 22, 2018 9:44 pm

llholmes1948 wrote:
res wrote:Thanks for the replies. The international employees sometimes had post season plans to travel in the States. This closure may have complicated those plans!


Times have changed. When I worked at Lake McDonald 1970-72 we did not have a single international employee that I can recall. Now there seems to be a fair number. Not sure when this change took place.

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Lyman,

I didn't start noticing it until around the mid 90's and then the parks seemed to start getting a lot of international employees, the first one I ever saw was in Yellowstone and that was 1994-95 at Old Faithful lodge and she was Japanese, which was fine, I speak Japanese so we were able to converse in a language she was comfortable with.

But I see a lot of them these days.
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Re: evacuation question

Postby llholmes1948 » Thu Aug 23, 2018 8:51 am

Dave,

I had wondered about when the change took place. I was away from the Park from 1977 to 2001 (way too long). In the 1970s the hotels were staffed primarily by American college students. This worked out well because the hotel season only ran from about June 15 to the day after Labor Day as I recall. I suspect that once the hotels extended their season, they could no longer operate primarily with American college students because those students had to get back to school right around Labor Day. As a result, the hotel company probably started hiring more local people and international employees at that time. I don't know the present ratio between American college students vs. locals and international employees.

Imagine my shock when I walked into Lake McDonald in 2001 and saw that the front desk was staffed by two bald-headed old men :shock: in place of the college students who used to staff it. Of course now I am getting to be an old man myself (but I still have hair).

I noticed the same thing in Acadia here in Maine. The place used to about close down after Labor Day but now there is a strong shoulder season and year-round. My daughter worked as a waitress at the Jordan Pond House, the only restaurant in the Park, for three summers. There were a lot of foreign workers there and she made a lot of friends. Some of them were very helpful to her when she visited Poland a couple of years later.

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Re: evacuation question

Postby res » Thu Aug 23, 2018 9:45 pm

GPI sent people to countries just for recruiting. Not sure if it is some type of exchange program. Nice bunch of young people. Practicing speaking English was always important to most and also learning American customs. One young lady from Turkey put salads out for breakfast. Apparently, salads were part of the morning meal in her world. She was embarrassed but took it well.

Lyman, I was 60 the first year I worked in the park. One advantage of age for CDL driving is most, not all, of us can pass a drug test. ( at least for the summer )
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Re: evacuation question

Postby llholmes1948 » Fri Aug 24, 2018 6:43 am

res,

What year(s) did you work in the Park? When I worked at Lake McDonald I think there were only about 10-12 employees who were over 50. The manager was in his 30s I believe the first two years I was there.

I agree that the international students I have met in the Park and in Acadia have been very nice young people and my daughter certainly enjoyed working with them. Perhaps if some had been working at Lake McDonald when I was there I would not have received so much teasing about my Maine accent.

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Re: evacuation question

Postby res » Fri Aug 24, 2018 12:27 pm

Lyman,
I worked 2008,09,and 11 driving a red bus. I imagine 3/4 of the drivers were over 50. Getting a CDL is more difficult than it once was although the company trains CDL drivers. (It is better to get a CDL in your home state.) The traditional college kids (males) who were drivers seem less inclined to go through the hassle. The positive is it has encouraged many female drivers.

Many of the older workers at the lodge were involved in maintenance, clerks etc. The more taxing housekeeping and kitchen help were younger. These are just my observations some may have other ideas.

Anyone, any age, who enjoys the park and has the time should apply for a job. Best job I ever had. The additional dorm housing at Lake in 2011 made life easier for us old folks.
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