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900 Positions Available at $18/hour at Kings Island


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Kings Island, the region’s premier amusement park, today said it now has 900 positions at $18/hr. for the 2021 season. Positions available include Food & Beverage, Lifeguards and Security associates. All other positions available at the park (ages 16+) pay $15/hr.

“For the Cincinnati and Dayton area, Kings Island has been a preferred employer for so many since the parked opened in  1972,” said Mike Koontz, vice president and general manager. “This increase in pay will help us remain the employer of  choice and continue to deliver the fun and memorable experiences our guests expect from a visit to Kings Island.” 

The availability of labor continues to be a challenge for many industries. In addition to raising pay for select positions, Kings Island recently raised wages for all other positions (ages 16+) to $15/hr. Additionally, today the park is introducing a new bonus program where these associates are now eligible to earn up to a $3,000 bonus. 

Seasonal job opportunities are available in all park operating areas, including Rides, Lifeguards, Food and Beverage, Merchandise, Park Services, Guest Services, Security and more. 

Kings Island offers flexible schedules and many perks for its associates, including discounts, reward and recognition programs, free meals, exclusive events and free admission to any Cedar Fair park. For more information about Kings  Island’s seasonal and full time employment opportunities and to submit an application, please visit 

www.visitkingsisland.com/jobs


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Interesting.  Last week they were fully staffed, now they need 900 new employees.  Will the folks hired as lifeguards, food service and security before this announcement get an automatic pay bump to $19/hr?  Will returning folks get more than the minimum starting wage for these positions since they have the experience, skills and certifications needed?

Will the rest of Mason and surrounding areas bump their pay up to match these rates and then lower them back down once the season finishes?  

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30 minutes ago, King Ding Dong said:

On pointbuzz a post claimed the base pay at CP was raised but a substantial portion of the $20 hourly rate is classified as a bonus which indicates they at least hope to lower compensation in the future. 

So they just kick the staffing problems into next year...

If the parks don't offer at least the same amount last year, I see the shortage being even greater then.  Who likes doing the same job for half what they got paid last year?

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The parks are gambling on the J1 visa program being back next year where they can pay international students much less, back to the $10/hr level - it’s a big gamble because they can see via social media that the parks can afford to pay much more if they want to, and may decide not to come to the US in 2022 for less than $18-20/hr.

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^ I am not an expert, but I dont think they afford to pay much more.  And they don't want to.  They HAVE to.  Remember, that $20/hr employee actually costs the company at least $30/hr if not more.  That extra money could have been put to much better use paying off the debt the company incurred last year.  

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I am confused on the wording. Does Kings Island have 900 positions still available or are there 900 positions total that are getting $18 an hour including the ones that have already been filled? I am glad Kings Island is trying to address staffing issues, but I worry we may not see major capital investment for years.

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2 hours ago, FUN&ONLY! said:

I am confused on the wording. Does Kings Island have 900 positions still available or are there 900 positions total that are getting $18 an hour including the ones that have already been filled? I am glad Kings Island is trying to address staffing issues, but I worry we may not see major capital investment for years.

The way I read it was they are looking to hire 900 for that position, but I could see where the confusion might come from. 
 

Also, I want to point out that, although many of us aren’t exactly happy with how the park has responded (or in some instances, didn’t respond) to the incidents last week, at least they’re putting their money where their mouth is on the staffing issue. Of course, the notorious problem is that some companies raise wages but not budgets, so it’s fewer people doing more jobs or the same amount of people, all getting less hours. I suppose with a large hiring campaign and doubling the hourly pay, if we continue to see understaffing and closed locations we will know the truth. 

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Anybody know if King's Island has dorms, how much it would be and if there is an age limit? Trying to do the math to see if its worth driving an hour 45 min and about 220 miles round trip. I would love to work for the park but I really would need a path to get full time rather quick. I can't go without funds in the winter. If this could be a foot in the door with some some way of getting full time after 1-3 seasons I might consider it.

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3 hours ago, SnakePlissken said:

Anybody know if King's Island has dorms, how much it would be and if there is an age limit? Trying to do the math to see if its worth driving an hour 45 min and about 220 miles round trip. I would love to work for the park but I really would need a path to get full time rather quick. I can't go without funds in the winter. If this could be a foot in the door with some some way of getting full time after 1-3 seasons I might consider it.

Dick Kinzel started off as a sweep, but CF is the good ol boy network now.  

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6 hours ago, SnakePlissken said:

Anybody know if King's Island has dorms, how much it would be and if there is an age limit? Trying to do the math to see if its worth driving an hour 45 min and about 220 miles round trip. I would love to work for the park but I really would need a path to get full time rather quick. I can't go without funds in the winter. If this could be a foot in the door with some some way of getting full time after 1-3 seasons I might consider it.

Not sure if the pandemic has effected wether or not the dorms are open but the park does indeed have dorm. https://local12.com/news/local/one-team-village-kings-island-building-dormitory-for-employees-will-cost-only-65week

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On 5/28/2021 at 11:33 PM, BoddaH1994 said:

The way I read it was they are looking to hire 900 for that position, but I could see where the confusion might come from. 
 

Also, I want to point out that, although many of us aren’t exactly happy with how the park has responded (or in some instances, didn’t respond) to the incidents last week, at least they’re putting their money where their mouth is on the staffing issue. Of course, the notorious problem is that some companies raise wages but not budgets, so it’s fewer people doing more jobs or the same amount of people, all getting less hours. I suppose with a large hiring campaign and doubling the hourly pay, if we continue to see understaffing and closed locations we will know the truth. 

In the interest of fairness, it seemed as though there was a ton of staffing yesterday. Even the drink stand by The Beast which I’ve never seen open was open. Glad things are working out.

On 5/29/2021 at 5:56 AM, coaster sally said:

Dick Kinzel started off as a sweep, but CF is the good ol boy network now.  

Funny how you mention that. When Kinzel tried to sell the company to AGM (for a steal - while walking away with a golden parachute), Jeffrey Reynor from Q investments bought up much of the units to put pressure on Kinzel for a legit vote. After the leveraged buyout failed. Reynor used his power to affect change within the company including shaking up the board. I think his exact terminology was that they had a “country club atmosphere.” The board consisted of Kinzel’s buddies and other who would not challenge Kinzel’s… vision.  The pressure from Reynor indirectly caused Matt Ouimet to be selected as the next CEO.  Not long after this change, Reynor reduced his holdings. Since Kinzel left, Cedar Fair was able to shore up debts and create record growth. 
 

Kinzel got some good breaks during the 80’s and 90’s, but he was not equipped to run a company the size of Cedar Fair after the merger. The mentality of “they’re at the mercy of us” along with very apparent greed would have driven the company into bankruptcy very quickly. 

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13 minutes ago, BoddaH1994 said:

In the interest of fairness, it seemed as though there was a ton of staffing yesterday. Even the drink stand by The Beast which I’ve never seen open was open. Glad things are working out.

Funny how you mention that. When Kinzel tried to sell the company to AGM (for a steal - while walking away with a golden parachute), Jeffrey Reynor from Q investments bought up much of the units to put pressure on Kinzel for a legit vote. After the leveraged buyout failed. Reynor used his power to affect change within the company including shaking up the board. I think his exact terminology was that they had a “country club atmosphere.” The board consisted of Kinzel’s buddies and other who would not challenge Kinzel’s… vision.  The pressure from Reynor indirectly caused Matt Ouimet to be selected as the next CEO.  Not long after this change, Reynor reduced his holdings. Since Kinzel left, Cedar Fair was able to shore up debts and create record growth. 
 

Kinzel got some good breaks during the 80’s and 90’s, but he was not equipped to run a company the size of Cedar Fair after the merger. The mentality of “they’re at the mercy of us” along with very apparent greed would have driven the company into bankruptcy very quickly. 

Fair enough.  

I am referring to recent BS about the former Dorney GM's getting promoted into great situations and not deserving it.  The one person got promoted to carowinds the year Fury was getting built and Jason McClure promoted to CP and he has been promoted again to a made up position.  Dorney has always been a dump IMO, not sure how that warrants promotions.  A lot of us could be successful as a gm if we are receiving tons of financial help and building expensive rides to bring in guests IMO.

 

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1 hour ago, coaster sally said:

Fair enough.  

I am referring to recent BS about the former Dorney GM's getting promoted into great situations and not deserving it.  The one person got promoted to carowinds the year Fury was getting built and Jason McClure promoted to CP and he has been promoted again to a made up position.  Dorney has always been a dump IMO, not sure how that warrants promotions.  A lot of us could be successful as a gm if we are receiving tons of financial help and building expensive rides to bring in guests IMO.

 

Well, there’s a lot of unknowns. I worked at Best Buy in college and a lot of the GMs that were the most celebrated were the ones with stores in smaller markets or bad locations. Simply put, it’s a lot easier to continue and to grow success than it is to create something from nothing. Often throwing money at problems is the worst thing you can do. At that point you’re down the money and you still have the same, if not worse, problem. 
 

Maybe that GM made a huge impact on Dorney. We simply don’t know.  Don’t get me wrong, on the surface you do have a food point, but I just feel like we know too little to make serious determinations. 

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On 5/28/2021 at 6:57 PM, Winterfestguy said:

...it’s a big gamble because they can see via social media that the parks can afford to pay much more if they want to

In the short term, yes.  In the long-term,  there's no way, at least under any seasonal amusement park business model we've seen. The overhead with running an amusement park is huge. Lots of labor, lots of utilities, high maintenance /upkeep costs etc and the revenue is seasonal. That means that unless amusement parks are to become something much less accessible to the average person labor costs will have to go down from these high rates in the long-term.

What we're seeing now is a a frenzy to get workers just to ensure the business stays alive.  $18-20 for seasonal amusement park work would have been absolutely bonkers two years ago. CF knows they NEED their parks to have some semblance of a normal year this year or they could REALLY be in trouble. Once a guest breaks the habit/cycle of being a passholder or making a yearly trip, they very well could stay away.

The usual HS and college students will probably happily line up for jobs at something like the old pay rates once the job market (and unemployment) changes, but KI has to pay up now to avoid some seriously bad consequences.

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One structural problem is the usual HS and College student pool has been declining for some time now. The percentage of HS graduates that matriculate to college has more than doubled over the past 20-30 years but the available jobs that pay a college graduate salary has not kept place. Career development through internships, co-ops, research experience etc. during ones education years has become critical unless you want to be making lattes with that fancy $100K+ diploma.

Look at UC’s College of Engineering, internships and co-ops are a required part program. Even being a member of the prestigious Banshee Crew is going to be relatively meaningless to most prospective employers, particularly in STEM fields. This is trickling down even to the HS level with even moderately selective colleges giving significant weight to experiential learning.  

KI and CP were increasingly having labor issues pre-pandemic. The world is changing and the seasonal amusement park business model is going to need to change with it.  
 

 

 

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^this!  Many will make more per hour in their chosen career field as a co-op or intern than the park can pay.  And fast forward to graduation and that results in higher starting pay compared to the graduate that didn't work in their field during college.

But on the flip side, there are also many demanding jobs that some of my RN nurse friends have said CP or KI is paying more per hour than they make and they have joked about working their for summer.

So what is the answer?  More full-time jobs to entice people to work there?  Bigger outreach to high schools?  Couple positions to internships within their chosen field - for example a ride op majoring in marketing would have x% of their time within the marketing department?

And then of course how does CF pay for all of this?  Increased prices or reduced prices and make it up on volume?

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I think the Ohio parks could get more out of the 55+ job market. Parks like HersheyPark, SDC, Dollywood do a better job there. I know the longer operating seasons help, but especially with KI now having an April-New Years season in a non covid year, I think that is an area to make up some ground. Internationals will also be very important next year and beyond, of course. 

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