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Kings Island Raises Pay for Seasonal Associates


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 Kings Island is hiring more than 4,000 seasonal workers as it prepares for May opening. Kings Island announced today that it is raising pay for seasonal associates as it prepares to open for the 2021 season.


Wages for seasonal positions have been increased to $11-$14 per hour. Most starting positions now pay $11-$12 per hour, with opportunities to earn up to $14 per hour as a lifeguard or security team member. Job opportunities are available in all park operating areas, including Rides, Merchandise, Park Services, Food and Beverage, Guest Services, Aquatics, and more. The amusement park expects to hire more than 4,000 seasonal associates in advance of its May 15 opening.


Kings Island offers flexible schedules and many perks for its associates, including discounts, reward and recognition programs, scholarships, free meals, exclusive events and free admission to any Cedar Fair park. “Our seasonal associates play such an important part in helping our guests create lasting memories during their park visit,” said Mike Koontz, vice president and general manager. “Our competitive wages and benefits make Kings Island the employer of choice for summer employment, while helping our associates gain valuable experience and marketable skills for the future. Plus, they’ll make a few new friends along the way.”

 

For more information about seasonal employment and to submit an application, go to visitkingsisland.com/jobs

Have you applied yet?

 

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Given how tight the margins are in the amusement park business I wonder if this is sustainable. Could this be a temporary measure to get employees during the pandemic?

Good for the employees though. I'm sure they're stoked.

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That is a touchy subject.  Can you imagine if last year you made $10/hr, this year you are $13/hr and when you return next year (with another year of experience) at $11/hr?

It is going to take higher wages to convince people to work instead of collect unemployment.  Many people I know cannot find people to work because they make more on unemployment.  Prices have already started to increase in the marketplace. (other things factor into this, too, not just labor).

 

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On 4/19/2021 at 6:52 PM, KI Guy said:

Given how tight the margins are in the amusement park business I wonder if this is sustainable. Could this be a temporary measure to get employees during the pandemic?

Good for the employees though. I'm sure they're stoked.

Well it's just a matter of time until the federal minimum wage is $15/hr which it should be. I think CF is moving ahead and figuring it out now instead of waiting for the shell shock when it happens. 

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On 4/20/2021 at 9:54 PM, BeeastFarmer said:

It is going to take higher wages to convince people to work instead of collect unemployment.  Many people I know cannot find people to work because they make more on unemployment.  

Yes! The unemployment compensation is way, way out of hand at the moment. So many people have no incentive to work right now, it's ridiculous. It was fine for a time, but time to send folks back into the workforce.

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21 hours ago, Oldschool75 said:

Well it's just a matter of time until the federal minimum wage is $15/hr which it should be. I think CF is moving ahead and figuring it out now instead of waiting for the shell shock when it happens. 

I will politely disagree.  $15 minimum wage will kill small business, and the cost of everything will quadruple.  Higher wages, means higher prices.  Something needs to change, but doubling the minimum wage is not the answer, IMO.  If you think it is hard to live on $7.25, $10, or maybe even $12 an hour now, that will be multiplied to the struggle when workforces are forced to pay $15 an hour.  Many that are making less, will not get much a=of a raise, and those at $15 will probably stay there.  So when cost of living skyrockets, the ones making minimum wage will be the ones who suffer.  If you think it is bad now, it will only be worse.  I would suggest, let it be known that I am not an expert by any means, finding a way to utilize a percentage for every business to be regulated by a percentage.  If the top dog (CEO) makes so much, then the lowest man on the wages should be within maybe 60% of that?  Spread the money back through each business so it can be spent elsewhere.  And just so you know, the percentage was a guess, I have no idea what that number should be.  My 2 cents.  

 

Oldschool75, I agree there needs a change, but I don't think it is in minimum wage, with all due respect.  

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^The countries with $15 minimum wage and higher would like to disagree.  They make it work fine, can't see why the US can't. 

There's also little if any correlation between prices of things and higher minimum wages. 

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54 minutes ago, silver2005 said:

^The countries with $15 minimum wage and higher would like to disagree.  They make it work fine, can't see why the US can't. 

There's also little if any correlation between prices of things and higher minimum wages. 

 Here is my problem with the higher minimum wage.  I have a good 15 years in the workforce and started off at minimum wage.  Granted I do make well above that wage now but my pay will not raise equally in value.  If you want to make more than minimum wage you need to out there and make yourself worth more the than minimum wage.  People need to stop expecting things handed to them its not what America is based on.

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My idea of a minimum wage should be a wage you can live off of and only work 1 full time job to do it.  It should also be tied to inflation.  Shouldn't matter where you work.  Tying people's alleged value to where they work needs to be a concept that needs to be reframed.  The concept of work and wages needs to be drastically changed.  

Also, countries with higher minimum wages aren't devoid of small businesses. 

This'll be the last post I make on the matter to not get too political and whatnot.  

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^The issue with this is some jobs do not return 15 dollars an hour in value. If $15 is mandated you will simply see less employees to make up the difference.

The game will be changed to keep the doors open on a given business.

This is part of the reason I don't like u-scan at Kroger or touchscreen ordering at McDonald's. I think that a job to get started is better than no job at all. 

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I have two teenagers, and the oldest is trying to tell me I should pay her more to mow the front yard, but the youngest is fine with my current offer. So the older one finds me very frustrating, but the other is happy as can be if he can get the job. They have not yet figured out how to unionize, at which point they'd just get fired, and I'll mow the lawn myself...lol. Certainly neither one needs a "living wage"...they're just kids. But they are able to enter the workforce and learn what it means to work. 

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4 hours ago, flightoffear1996 said:

 Here is my problem with the higher minimum wage.  I have a good 15 years in the workforce and started off at minimum wage.  Granted I do make well above that wage now but my pay will not raise equally in value.  If you want to make more than minimum wage you need to out there and make yourself worth more the than minimum wage.  People need to stop expecting things handed to them its not what America is based on.

It's not being "handed to them" if they are working for it. It's not a handout. It wouldn't be a big change if we kept minimum wage up with inflation but we haven't. Now it's a much more painful fix. There is no need to raise other workers pay that has kept up with inflation, this pay has already raised.

(The rest is not pointed at any person just a statement on it's own)For decades we have lived off others suffering, be that underpaid minimum wage workers here or sweatshops abroad. It needs to change.

Don't short change workers and belittle them as beggars just because they work a minimum wage job. This isn't a political concern but an ethical one.

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Certain folks will actually earn a minimum wage, the others will be unemployed. So the question becomes what do we do with those who can't work it? They get left out of the system entirely. Because they aren't worth $15/hour, they can't even make $10/hour because it's illegal to employ them at $10/hour. What then?

As talks of minimum wage going way up continue, I am watching closely because I'll take on a 2nd job at those high rates. Which will almost certainly leave people less educated/experienced without employment. You see the problem?

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34 minutes ago, bjcolglazier said:

Certain folks will actually earn a minimum wage, the others will be unemployed. So the question becomes what do we do with those who can't work it? They get left out of the system entirely. Because they aren't worth $15/hour, they can't even make $10/hour because it's illegal to employ them at $10/hour. What then?

As talks of minimum wage going way up continue, I am watching closely because I'll take on a 2nd job at those high rates. Which will almost certainly leave people less educated/experienced without employment. You see the problem?

Everyone is worth $15 per hour. While you may take a second job many will give up their second job since they won't have to work two jobs. Given employment needs I don't see a job shortage. 

 

To answer you question, no I don't see a problem here.

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10 hours ago, matt112986 said:

Everyone is worth $15 per hour.

I believe this comes from a good place. I don't want to see people out on the street either. However, here are some points to consider in addition to the one I raised earlier. 

1. How do you arrive at $15? Why not $20 or $25? If it's the arbitrary living wage, how do you determine that amount? Different people and households have different needs and spending habits.  

2. Realize that whatever increase in low end pay will undoubtedly result in more expensive labor at middle and high income positions. If I'm working a somewhat "skilled" job at $16 an hour and minimum wage shoots up to $15 will I still be happy at $16? Of course not! I would expect my wage to increase relative to minimum wage. I would need to make $21 or so to maintain my relative level of pay. To pay for all of this the value of the dollar is cheapened through inflation. 

Any wage bump for the minimum wage worker (assuming his job is not eliminated) is just a shell game that will only raise his real pay (buying power) in the very short term. After that, it is an increase in name only because his buying power is the same relativeto others and the new value of the dollar.

It holds true whether the minimum wage is raised or not that your work value whether $10 an hour or $100 is directly tied to what someone is willing to pay me which is itself determined by the value I bring to the business.

3. Regarding your point about minimum wage not keeping up with inflation. Minimum wage has kept somewhat close to inflation since 1960. Although the wages have not kept up completely this holds true for wages in general outside of top earners.

https://www.dollartimes.com/inflation/items/1960-united-states-minimum-wage

I don't believe anyone ever made it as a sole breadwinner working a minimum wage job 40 hours a week without assistance. I believe this is a fairly new belief that's caught on in recent years.

4. For heads of household who's only income is through a minimum wage job, taxpayers pick up the slack. Medicaid, Food Stamps, the Earned Income tax credit, and other programs provide resources to people who earn below a certain level. These programs together increase (in free resources, reduced costs, and in tax breaks) what a minimum wage worker receives day to day far beyond the dollar amount on their paycheck.

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10 hours ago, bjcolglazier said:

I have two teenagers, and the oldest is trying to tell me I should pay her more to mow the front yard, but the youngest is fine with my current offer. So the older one finds me very frustrating, but the other is happy as can be if he can get the job. They have not yet figured out how to unionize, at which point they'd just get fired, and I'll mow the lawn myself...lol. Certainly neither one needs a "living wage"...they're just kids. But they are able to enter the workforce and learn what it means to work. 

I never paid my kids an allowance.  When my oldest son asked for one, I told him he was already getting an allowance.  We sat down and I listed all the bills for the house including the mortgage and food costs and divided the number by 5 and (we had 3 kids at home at the time) and told him that WAS his allowance.  I also told him how much an apartment would cost him, etc. and he was convinced he as getting a much better deal at home even without an allowance ;)

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6 hours ago, KI Guy said:

3. Regarding your point about minimum wage not keeping up with inflation. Minimum wage has kept somewhat close to inflation since 1960. Although the wages have not kept up completely this holds true for wages in general outside of top earners.

https://www.dollartimes.com/inflation/items/1960-united-states-minimum-wage

I don't believe anyone ever made it as a sole breadwinner working 40 hours a week without assistance. I believe this is a fairly new belief that's caught on in recent years.

4. For heads of household who's only income is through a minimum wage job taxpayers pick up the slack. Medicaid, Food Stamps, the Earned Income tax credit, and other programs provide resources to people who earn below a certain level. These programs together increase in (free resources, reduced costs, and in tax breaks)  what a minimum wage worker receives day to day far beyond the dollar amount on their paycheck.

The comparison shouldn't be with inflation, rather the cost of living.  How much does that minimum wage get you in today's dollars.  True the minimum wage was $1 in 1960 with in today's dollars is $9.62 (Still above the current minimum wage) but the median value of a single-family home was $11,900 (equivalent to $104,346 in today's dollars).  A gallon of gas was 31 cents.

In 2009 (last time the federal minimum wage was raised, it's been a record 12 years) the minimum wage was raised to $6.55 an hour.  The median price of a newly constructed home was $214,300 and a gallon of gas was $2.35.

Basically the price of the house adjusted for inflation has more than doubled ($104,346 vs $214,300) while the minimum wage adjusted for inflation went from $9.62 to $6.55.  

https://www.businessinsider.com/how-much-us-minimum-wage-and-its-value-has-changed-over-time#2008-2009-22

And to be more precise wouldn't it be nice if what you got paid to do kept up with what you did?  The minimum wage is WAY behind in productivity.   If it tracked with productivity the minimum wage would be $25 (that's where the $25 is coming from).  Granted I think that is way to high, but $15 is a nice compromise.  

https://cepr.net/this-is-what-minimum-wage-would-be-if-it-kept-pace-with-productivity/

Companies like Wal Mart are making out at the taxpayer's expense.  They pay workers sub par wages and sometimes only part time (to avoid having to supply insurance) and these WORKING people still get government subsidies paid for by our tax dollars.  I think that if subsidies were taken away for ANYONE who had a job it would require companies to hire full rather than part time.  Instead of hiring 2 part time people making a combined $15 and hour, they would hire one at $15 and hour and the other would be on subsidies.  

https://www.commercialappeal.com/story/opinion/2017/04/08/walmart-tax-every-american-taxpayer-pays/100188002/

 

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6 hours ago, KI Guy said:

I don't believe anyone ever made it as a sole breadwinner working 40 hours a week without assistance. I believe this is a fairly new belief that's caught on in recent years.

Actually a single income households with only the husband working was at 38% in 1965, in 2010 it was still at 21%.  

https://taxfoundation.org/america-has-become-nation-dual-income-working-couples/

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While we're on the subject I also believe waiters and waitresses should get the $15 minimum wage as opposed to relying on 'Tips' to make up the difference.  If a server is doing a poor job, they should be trained or let go.  Managers should manage and not rely on customers to do employee evaluations on a continual basis.  A raise in the minimum wage benefits EVERYONE.  More tax revenue as well as more money in the economy.  Someone making $15 is more likely to work harder than someone making $8.  They also have less worries about paying rent, etc.  

https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/economy/reports/2021/02/25/496355/small-businesses-get-boost-15-minimum-wage/

And no, putting the minimum wage at $15 would NOT raise the price of a Taco Bell Burrito to $38. (yes, that is out there)

https://www.statesman.com/story/news/politics/politifact/2021/01/21/biden-raise-minimum-wage-affects-myth-taco-bell-burrito/4245883001/

OK, off my soap box.  In the end we're all in this together.  If it means keeping a roof over someone's head and feeding their child, I'd gladly pay a little more.  As the good book says "do unto other's as you would have them do unto you".  

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6 hours ago, robintodd said:

Actually a single income households with only the husband working was at 38% in 1965, in 2010 it was still at 21%.  

https://taxfoundation.org/america-has-become-nation-dual-income-working-couples/

Yes, my mistake. I accidently edited out some of my original wording trying to shorten the post. I meant to say I don't believe anyone working minimum wage ever made it as a sole breadwinner working 40 hours a week (**Edited to correct). 

A possible difference between you and me is I would be more inclined to say that this person should get a second job, or take on more hours, or at least take on a roommate or two to pool resources and bring down living costs. And this would only be until this person develops more skills or education.

Also I used inflation because I was following on what matt 112986 said.

Lastly, I don't know how you've come to the determination that a minimum wage hike (especially to $15) benefits everyone.

All increased wage costs will be passed on to the customer and will nullify themselves in short time as costs increase prices which customers pay. Seeing the higher prices, they themselves demand a higher wage, and some, a wage increase parallel to the minimum wage increase. Automation and outsourcing are always getting rid of low paying "unskilled" labor. A hike in the minimum wage provides an incentive to get rid of the position entirely speeding up automation and job losses.

This is my last post of this nature as we are getting away from KI in the conversation.

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Last post on this and doing so with respect to all.  Raising the minimum wage will raise the price of all things.  Basic math, if it cost more to produce, it will cost more to buy.  Usually, the price increases more than the raise in cost to make up for future unexpected costs.  That is business.  I am to lazy to scroll back up to see who said they can pay $15 minimum wage in other countries, you are very correct.  But, they are a completely different situation and becomes comparing apples to oranges.  This is all my educated, or as some of you may say, uneducated, opinion.  Take shots at me if you like, but that is what I see.  Now, last thought, is anyone willing to argue for our Social Security?  We can't live on our minimum wage, but Social Security payments average at $8.90 an hour.  In the area I am in, that number is probably closer to $6.92 in the high range.  Our government want to cut that.  Just keep that in mind.

 

Forgive my rant, but thank you Kings Island for making a change in the pay for your employees.  It is a blessing for those that receive it.  Good for you!

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On 4/28/2021 at 5:33 PM, alsoran said:

I will politely disagree.  $15 minimum wage will kill small business, and the cost of everything will quadruple.  Higher wages, means higher prices.  Something needs to change, but doubling the minimum wage is not the answer, IMO.  If you think it is hard to live on $7.25, $10, or maybe even $12 an hour now, that will be multiplied to the struggle when workforces are forced to pay $15 an hour.  Many that are making less, will not get much a=of a raise, and those at $15 will probably stay there.  So when cost of living skyrockets, the ones making minimum wage will be the ones who suffer.  If you think it is bad now, it will only be worse.  I would suggest, let it be known that I am not an expert by any means, finding a way to utilize a percentage for every business to be regulated by a percentage.  If the top dog (CEO) makes so much, then the lowest man on the wages should be within maybe 60% of that?  Spread the money back through each business so it can be spent elsewhere.  And just so you know, the percentage was a guess, I have no idea what that number should be.  My 2 cents.  

 

Oldschool75, I agree there needs a change, but I don't think it is in minimum wage, with all due respect.  

Our whole system is unsustainable.  They might raise the wage, but I guarantee hours will be cut and it will not benefit anyone.  Greed is the reason the lower tier has no money.  Honestly, how much money does one at the top really need?

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3 minutes ago, windshawne said:

Our whole system is unsustainable.  They might raise the wage, but I guarantee hours will be cut and it will not benefit anyone.  Greed is the reason the lower tier has no money.  Honestly, how much money does one at the top really need?

I don't know why people at the lower tier get upset if the highest tier loses some money?  

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I'd like to chime in on this. 

While prices do go up when rages rise, it's not nearly as much as some of you are making it seem. I did a study in college and worked directly with the CMO of White Castle to see if wages were raised to $15 per hour how much the price of products would increase. It was something like 15 cents per burger. Not a lot. 

For real world examples look at places like Buc-ee's, a popular gas station in the south (similar to WaWa). They have starting wages in the neighborhood of $15 per hour for front line positions. They match 401k contributions up to 4% (which is what I get as a ops manager at Disney <_<) and start off with 3 weeks PTO. Their prices are the same if not lower than competitors. Or look at Costco. 

Whatever side of the fence you're on, one thing is for sure: there is an overabundance of jobs requiring little skills, and a lack of potential workers to fill those spots. Looking at before the pandemic, I think we here in Florida were hovering around 4 to 7 % unemployed and we were struggling to fill positions. That's why you'll continue to see these pay increases, other unique benefits like tuition reimbursement, relaxed appearance guidelines (look at the disney look updates that happened last week) because companies are desperate to get people in the door. 

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Sorry for the double post I thought of one more thing I would like to add.

I think in the next 10 years you'll begin to see a dramatic shift in housing. Houses are getting bought up with all cash offers, usually much over the already astronomical asking price and with supply going down it'll only get much worse. I believe the big companies are going to begin building their own housing complexes to solve for this and make them stand out as employers. 

I've been pitching to Disney since I was brought on the need to offer housing AT COST to employees. This solves for so many issues and is another tactic at not only being able to fill open positions, but to fill them with top talent instead of just warm bodies. 

As it relates to KI, it is a much different business, but if I was in their HR department and desperate for people, I'd have to start thinking outside of the box with different benefits otherwise KI will continue to struggle with staffing. 

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8 hours ago, TTD-120-420 said:

Sorry for the double post I thought of one more thing I would like to add.

I think in the next 10 years you'll begin to see a dramatic shift in housing. Houses are getting bought up with all cash offers, usually much over the already astronomical asking price and with supply going down it'll only get much worse. I believe the big companies are going to begin building their own housing complexes to solve for this and make them stand out as employers. 

I've been pitching to Disney since I was brought on the need to offer housing AT COST to employees. This solves for so many issues and is another tactic at not only being able to fill open positions, but to fill them with top talent instead of just warm bodies. 

As it relates to KI, it is a much different business, but if I was in their HR department and desperate for people, I'd have to start thinking outside of the box with different benefits otherwise KI will continue to struggle with staffing. 

Kinda related, maybe not related. Although the trend has been up and down the past decade, A LOT of people buying American property are not Americans. The Chinese are leading the way, but it's coming from all over. I don't know if that is good or bad, but there is a lot of overseas money buying our properties, helping to push prices way up. Of course when "they" buy it, it's no longer "ours". I dunno.

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Oh for sure. I’ve been trying to buy a cabin in the pigeon forge area to rent out on Airbnb for the past 6 months. I’m constantly outbid with all cash offers and the realtor says most of them are international. The market is WILD right now. 

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