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slow park openings due to budget constraints

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Re: slow park openings due to budget constraints

Postby Jim Davies » Mon Mar 11, 2013 11:09 am

edhaman wrote:How does it cost $30,000 a day to run some snowplows?

That's total saving, not just cost of snowplows. As the article says, by delaying opening two weeks they save $450,000 in seasonal employee costs. That's roughly $30,000 per day.
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Re: slow park openings due to budget constraints

Postby cory1223oh » Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:00 pm

Jim Davies wrote:That's total saving, not just cost of snowplows. As the article says, by delaying opening two weeks they save $450,000 in seasonal employee costs. That's roughly $30,000 per day.


So instead of paying these people to work in a National Park and allow an earlier opening, we should effectively "cut" these jobs and instead pay these people unemployment. Sounds like another great idea by the US government.

Note: I realize the quoted post is stating facts and is not giving an opinion. I'm just giving my opinion on these facts and am not trying to argue here.

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Re: slow park openings due to budget constraints

Postby ajkagy » Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:15 pm

cory1223oh wrote:So instead of paying these people to work in a National Park and allow an earlier opening, we should effectively "cut" these jobs and instead pay these people unemployment. Sounds like another great idea by the US government.


government doesn't run on common sense :-D

If they are worried about money so bad, why not just up the cost of a 7 day and yearly pass a few dollars...depending on the numbers that might just pay for the 2 weeks where they have the shortfall.
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Re: slow park openings due to budget constraints

Postby EatinHardtack » Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:16 pm

cory1223oh wrote:
Jim Davies wrote:That's total saving, not just cost of snowplows. As the article says, by delaying opening two weeks they save $450,000 in seasonal employee costs. That's roughly $30,000 per day.


So instead of paying these people to work in a National Park and allow an earlier opening, we should effectively "cut" these jobs and instead pay these people unemployment. Sounds like another great idea by the US government.

Note: I realize the quoted post is stating facts and is not giving an opinion. I'm just giving my opinion on these facts and am not trying to argue here.



Who said seasonal workers get unemployment benefits? I employ seasonals who cannot qualify for unemployment afterwards, they have to find another job.


Everyone wanted budget cuts. So here they are, and people complain, no surprise. I agree with the above statements that I think it's beneficial to the ecosystem in the long term. This is a first world problem. So the roads are not open, HIKE MORE to get to the goods!
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Re: slow park openings due to budget constraints

Postby peter303 » Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:40 pm

EatinHardtack wrote:Who said seasonal workers get unemployment benefits? I employ seasonals who cannot qualify for unemployment afterwards, they have to find another job.

Summer forest fire fighters did not qualify for federal health insurance until president made a special executive order last summer.
http://www.denverpost.com/politics/ci_21048246/obama-directive-offers-wildland-firefighters-health-insurance

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Re: slow park openings due to budget constraints

Postby TallGrass » Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:49 pm

Doubt any plowing was done after being designated a NP in the 1870s -- call it a throwback experience.
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Re: slow park openings due to budget constraints

Postby EatinHardtack » Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:29 pm

peter303 wrote:Summer forest fire fighters did not qualify for federal health insurance until president made a special executive order last summer.
http://www.denverpost.com/politics/ci_21048246/obama-directive-offers-wildland-firefighters-health-insurance


Good for them, they deserve it!
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Re: slow park openings due to budget constraints

Postby bonehead » Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:31 pm

http://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/roadclosures.htm

"From early November through late April, all roads south through the park are closed to wheeled vehicles."

So why is it unusual for the plows to be idle now?
This discussion is premature to say the least.

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Re: slow park openings due to budget constraints

Postby climbingaggie03 » Mon Mar 11, 2013 11:57 pm

EatinHardtack wrote:
cory1223oh wrote:
Jim Davies wrote:That's total saving, not just cost of snowplows. As the article says, by delaying opening two weeks they save $450,000 in seasonal employee costs. That's roughly $30,000 per day.


So instead of paying these people to work in a National Park and allow an earlier opening, we should effectively "cut" these jobs and instead pay these people unemployment. Sounds like another great idea by the US government.

Note: I realize the quoted post is stating facts and is not giving an opinion. I'm just giving my opinion on these facts and am not trying to argue here.



Who said seasonal workers get unemployment benefits? I employ seasonals who cannot qualify for unemployment afterwards, they have to find another job.



Most seasonal park employees (not concessionaire employees but seasonal rangers ect) Do qualify for unemployment. I've had several friends who worked as seasonal rangers, lived off unemployment all winter, then went back to their seasonal jobs next summer. Even ski area employees who sign a form saying they won't collect unemployment can and do draw unemployment.

Not everyone does this, but I've worked seasonal jobs for a decade and a pretty good percentage of seasonal employees draw unemployment whether they are supposed to or not.

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Re: slow park openings due to budget constraints

Postby Dex » Tue Mar 12, 2013 7:17 am

Jim Davies wrote:
edhaman wrote:How does it cost $30,000 a day to run some snowplows?

That's total saving, not just cost of snowplows. As the article says, by delaying opening two weeks they save $450,000 in seasonal employee costs. That's roughly $30,000 per day.



The way to evaluate this cost is the cost per visitor to be open during those days.

Just like hiking 14ers in winter; I'm guessing there aren't many visitors during the days the park will be close.
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Re: slow park openings due to budget constraints

Postby edhaman » Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:43 am

Perhaps I misread the article (although I’d have the defense that the article is not clearly written, especially in failing to mention how long the snowplows typically run and how many plows run), but the very first paragraph is:

“The giant yellow snowplows that wake Yellowstone from its winter slumber every March are idled, waiting for the sun to make up for federal budget cuts that are forcing the park to open late for peak season.”

This is followed in two later paragraphs with the phrases “He could…delay the snowplows ($250,000)” and “The sun would melt and soften the snow, saving $30,000 a day.”

Taken all together, this sounds to me like the author is attributing $30,000 a day to the snowplows alone. However, doing the math, this would come to about eight days of snowplow use, which does seem low to me but I really have no idea how many days the plows normally run.

Let’s say they have four snowplows, and pay their drivers the equivalent of $40,000 per year each. That comes to about $13,300 in total driver salaries for one month of work. I understand that there are about 250 miles of road in Yellowstone. If all 250 miles need to be cleared 20 times in a month, and each truck gets 10 miles per gallon, at $4 per gallon it would cost a total of $2,000 for fuel for the month. This is a total of $15,300 per month, or $510 per day (based on a 30 day month). Even accounting for more plowing, more snowplows, and purchase and maintenance costs, I don’t see how it can come to either $250,000 for the season (or $30,000 a day) to run snowplows at Yellowstone.

I think I did the math right on all of this. If I'm in error in the math or analysis -- I'm always willing to learn.

This all reminds me of how government always says things like “it cost the taxpayers $2 million dollars to prosecute O.J. Simpson,” when the State would be paying the investigators and prosecutors the same salaries regardless of whether Simpson (or anyone else) was charged and tried.

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Re: slow park openings due to budget constraints

Postby winmag4582001 » Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:43 am

EatinHardtack wrote:
cory1223oh wrote:
Jim Davies wrote:That's total saving, not just cost of snowplows. As the article says, by delaying opening two weeks they save $450,000 in seasonal employee costs. That's roughly $30,000 per day.


So instead of paying these people to work in a National Park and allow an earlier opening, we should effectively "cut" these jobs and instead pay these people unemployment. Sounds like another great idea by the US government.

Note: I realize the quoted post is stating facts and is not giving an opinion. I'm just giving my opinion on these facts and am not trying to argue here.



Who said seasonal workers get unemployment benefits? I employ seasonals who cannot qualify for unemployment afterwards, they have to find another job.


Everyone wanted budget cuts. So here they are, and people complain, no surprise. I agree with the above statements that I think it's beneficial to the ecosystem in the long term. This is a first world problem. So the roads are not open, HIKE MORE to get to the goods!


EatinHardtack- [-X If you employ them, they 100% qualify for unemployment after you lay them off. Not sure who told you they don't, but if one of your employees raises a stink about it.... They may end up owning you.

Parks functioned just fine prior to government debt. Like many things, management, not cost, is the problem.
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