COLORADO SPRINGS — Business is starting to pick up again for hotels in the Pikes Peak Region, but having enough employees on staff right now is a challenge. News5 finds out what's going on and why a job in the hospitality industry could be waiting for anyone who is interested.
There are many places looking to hire new employees right now, one of them is the Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott near the North Gate of the Air Force Academy. The labor shortage has been tough, but managers here tell me it's opening up doors for people to not just find a job, but a career.
Cheryl Tracey is the general manager of Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott in North Colorado Springs. She says times have been tough as she tries to lead her staff through the lingering challenges from the pandemic.
"I spent 12 to 16 hours a day working," said Tracey."You're working on days off. You are up cleaning rooms. You are doing whatever needs to be done to make sure we can accommodate the occupancy levels and accommodate the guests."
She has worked in the hospitality industry for years and says she's seeing signs of brighter days ahead, but staffing remains a challenge.
"It was unlike anything we had seen to see occupancy so low, or nobody staying. Now it is springing back up all of a sudden, very quick, and not having the staff to accommodate," said Tracey.
One of the staff members keeping the hotel going is Bradford Scroggins. It's a career he loves, but one he never expected.
"Actually I was a firefighter at the time and there were citywide cutbacks and of course everyone was complaining and I had to find a way to pay for college and there was one Marriott in town and I started as a maintenance man," said Scroggins, who now helps to manage the Colorado Springs hotel serving as the director of sales. "I started cleaning toilets and scrubbing tile floors, but I knew that's not where I wanted to end up. I did develop a passion for each different segment of the hotel and how it works."
He says if you're willing to put in the work, it can turn into a career you can be proud of.
"We put in a lot of effort to keep this place rolling," said Scroggins. "I am able to get up and come and say this is actually my career. This is what I do."
Both Scroggins and Tracey say they'll personally help you get started if you have an interest in starting a career with them, or in the hospitality industry. They say it's worth applying even if you don't have prior experience.
"Those that may be thinking well I don't have that kind of experience, I can't do that, don't let that detour you from coming and applying and let us give you a chance," said Tracey.
"I would willingly give anyone who wanted to come a hotel site tour," said Scroggins.
For more information about job openings at this location or to speak with managers about a potential career in the hospitality industry you can call the Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott in North Colorado Springs at 719-488-4644 or visit https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/cossm-fairfield-inn-and-suites-colorado-springs-north-air-force-academy/
To search for job openings in the hospitality industry in Colorado and to find other open positions in the state visit https://www.connectingcolorado.com/g_app_quick_js.html