Suncadia

First off, I work for Suncadia, biased?, probably, however I have a little story to tell.

I have lived in Kittitas County, lower valley, for 15 years and started at Suncadia many years ago. I’m not the only “local” who jumped on the bandwagon and benefited via employment from an L.A. based company.

Further, I started a company that worked primarily at Suncadia as well, and have since sold it. There are, and continue to be many needs and thus, opportunities for “locals” to start their own business that serves Suncadia and its inherent needs.

Having been there for years, I have seen small, medium, and large “local” corporations, companies, and individuals working at the resort. From concrete and trusses to flowers and catering. The list is nearly endless and the Resort has JUST BEGUN!

Will resort guests and owners spend time in Ellensburg, Cle Elum, and Roslyn (Kittitas too……..vying for some business development)? YES! I have first hand experience of residents and guests traveling outside of the Resort. Many have expressed their disappointment of shopping opportunities! How things will change over time, how things will change.

I remember how the Daily Record ran a series of stories about Bend, and the change that occurred with the resort growing in Sunriver. I think they were subliminally passing a message of what might happen, to at least some extent, to the Kittitas Valley. Where? I don’t know. I know where I would like it but that’s a different subject.

I know some business owners, and unfortunately we haven’t seen their posts yet. What I think they would say is “we have had Suncadia customers, and BRING ‘EM ON”!

Suncadia will eventually be the 2nd largest employer in the County. Currently employing 400+. Infact, I was told the other day that 150 new employees were starting next week!

One last comment. Suncadia employment = benefits + holiday + vacation + family medical + family dental + family vision + free golf + employee memberships + 401k matching + many great people! Hard to find a job in the county that offers all this……..and I’m sure I left off a few of the benefits.

I’ll be interested to see how the “true” locals (as I am not), respond to my post.

Regards,

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19 Responses to Suncadia

  1. Baldeagle says:

    A true American Kittitas. You’re right in line with the American culture today. Where everything is about money and whatever it takes to serve “me.” Don’t take offense Kittitas because it’s not intended that way. It’s just a plain fact of where America is going and nobodys going to stop it – especially me. It has become a measure of success and “happiness”, hasn’t it? I was happier with the upper county the way it used to be. It’s just another place to drive through now for me. Sad.

  2. Kittitas says:

    Serve me? America has ALWAYS been about the land of opportunity, the land where you could own your own land, forrest, island, or business. If America did not have second homes for Americans, we would buy them in other countries.

    I don’t even know how to respond……I don’t even have time to respond……..I’m an American, you?

  3. Salvia Nation says:

    I would like to see how many of those new 150 people are getting paid more than $8.00 an hour, how many of them get all the benefits, are full time, and are local people. I’d also like to see information about the real salaried jobs, say more than $35,000 per year (I know they pay some of the top dogs REALLY good money) but how many of them are locals? And of those top dogs, (say, $70,000/year or higher salary) how many of them live in Suncadia, in other parts of Upper County, in Lower County, and how many of them commute from Issaquah or North Bend. More than four hundred employees, I know exactly one person who works for Suncadia, and I know a few business people locally who have benefitted from their presence, but not many. This summer, the lodge and everything will be open, and I think we will see some of them coming down here to shop, and probably complain that there’s not… whatever their little hearts are entitled to have right this second. I hope it’s better than that… we’ll see, I guess.

  4. lordoflys says:

    Suncadia, perverse in name itself, added tons of tax-based revenue to local coffers with the predictible result of actually raising taxes, especially land taxes. The gentrification of the upper county has enriched mostly new residents drawn by the money spent. Long-time residents, especially older folks, have been economically hurt. Service jobs have increased and actual hourly wages have gone up and will continue to do so as middle and lower-classed residents are forced to flee the area. These jobs will be replaced by illegals from the lower valley and other transient residents forced to relocate for many reasons. The gap between the “haves” and “have nots” is growing and will become a chasm, as is happening all over the United States. Be careful. Sometimes you get what you wish for.

  5. poet1 says:

    I was up at Suncadia for a couple of hours this summer and was grieviously disappointed with how the splendor of God’s touch was treated. Houses inches from each other-why leave Seattle for this? Just how many elk had to die and have to keep dying for the “beauty” of the man-made golf courses? The employees didn’t seem particular elated with their jobs and the Suncadia-ites weren’t sporting faces of happiness and euphoric contentment? All I can say about this developement is that it is a monsterous, hideous, and shameful defilement of a beautiful mountain.

  6. cinemahog says:

    I too worked for Suncadia. I was privileged to work along side some of the hardest working people I have ever seen. For the most part they were in good spirits and happy for the great income. Problem: Once the “off peak” season hits a good majority of these hard working people will have little to no hours, or will be “let go” all together. That is the problem with big resorts like Suncadia. It’s either feast or famine. While the economy is CURRENTLY well stimulated by the resorts presence, once the snow falls it’ll be a different story.

    I had a good experience working there. Good people and good times made for a nice day at work. And I was actually doing what I got a degree to do! Unfortunately I had to leave because the hours were getting too sparse and I have a family to support.

  7. Clem says:

    First we would continue to be drinking water straight out of the river that had to be extremely chlorinated to the point that chlorine could be tasted though fountain bevarages in town. The sewer system would still be second rate. As far as taxes the tax rate in the Upper County is one of the lowest in the state. If anyone made out on the land boom of the past few years it was longtime property owners who subdivded their property supported by Alan Crankovich and the rest of the County officials. People like Poet1 dont even know whats going on in the upper county. With Suncadia you have a planned development. The rest of Cle Elum Ridge courtesy of Sapphire Skies and the County has been broken up into three acre parcels with dirt roads.

    As far as Elk out at Suncadia I doubt if any were killed or if there was any loss of habitat. More Elk are killed on Cle Elum ridge by hunters often out of season who dont even bother to get out of their pickups. A number of other elk are shot and killed in the Taneum by hunters with special permits who dont even have to walk very far. Before Suncadia that area was owned by Plum Creek who allowed all kinds of ORV activity in the area. I am sure they hauled out a lot of garbage before development. Ok Suncadia and the quite of the golf course or should we go back to the good old days when the area was littered with beer bottles and ORV’s without mufflers ruled the area.

    Suncadia doesnt have to answer to anyone about employment. Not only did the stick millions of dollars into fixing the water and sewer in the upper county but lots of locals are employed there. It would have been a long winter last year without Suncadia. The real problem with the upper county is that the towns of Cle Elum, Roslyn, and S. Cle Elum have done little to improve themselve. The communites faild the bond issue for schools, failed the community center and pool bond. There has been no attempt to fix the streets with a bond issue or make homeowners responsible for sidewalk repairs.

  8. poet1 says:

    Apparently, I touched a nerve. I didn’t realize people held Suncadia in such a “god-like” esteem.

  9. Outrider says:

    I work for Suncadia(S.C.) and unfortunately I don’t have alot of other viable options for full-time work that I’m capable of doing, so you would think I’d be all for S.C. but only if it were so … That’s the unfortunate part. I would gladly give up my job there if I could find something else here in CleElum that was year round, paid a living wage, and I was able to do it. I’m not alone in that, as there are many employees who talk amongst ourselves who feel the same way and are looking for other jobs, but who are still there due to the fact that there aren’t many decent paying, good jobs here, especially if you don’t have the education/experience/training-yadda-yadda. And even for those who do the pickin’ are mightly thin.
    Then, there’s the issues of mostly seasonal work, even the local grocery store and restuarants knock their helps hours back to part-time. So in some ways S.C. has provided jobs, where we need them badly. Even though most of them are $8-$9 an hr. jobs, many without any benefits, and many will be laid off, or changed to part-time &/or on-call this winter. Still it’s a job. Better than no-job.
    On the flip side, S.C. has also brought us increases in property taxes, traffic, needs for services(fire, police, emergency medical), and even greater water/sewers/schools/affordable housing(even for the employees)issues. These things were an issue before S.C., but never as great as they became after the realization of the possiblity of tens of thousands of new people(in a relatively small area for the amount of people, talk about building “cluster housing”)needing, expecting, and sometimes demanding accommodations like whatever it is they are already used to.
    Then, there’s the we are “somebody” attitude I see and listen to all the time from most of the Suncadians that have $$$(and they bring it to town with them) or those that think that working there makes them “someody”.
    I once had a disagreement with a friend about progress. His stance was that we can’t stop it and therefore, somehow, “that” made it a good thing, in and of itself. My way of looking at it is that even if it can’t be stopped, it doesn’t mean it’s a good thing.

  10. shadow59 says:

    I haven’t figured out what’s so great about Suncadia, as though the resort somehow saved us from something, somewhere. I sure don’t hold them in any kind of “God-like” esteem. Some people like to hold Suncadia up as the saving grace who out of the goodness of their hearts graciously gave us clean water, but what they forget is the resort needed and will continue to need, in ever increasing amounts the use of a water/sewer treatment. That it was out of the city of CleElum’s ability to get low-interest government loans (as I understand the arrangements)that a partnership with the resort grew. The resort kicked-in the addition cost(which they get back from the homeowners who use the system)for an even bigger/better treatment plant that could handle the additional needs that would result from the resort tieing in to the plant. That without a treatment plant in-place that could handle all the needs of the local area as well as the needs of the resort too, the resort would have been limited to 3 acrea parcels with septic tanks. Which we can all imagine would have been a nightmare for the future of any resort who’s trying to sell a concept of a four or five star resort. I can’t swear to anything but that what the talk is … correct me if I’m wrong !?!

  11. CleElum1 says:

    Not to mention with 3 acre parcels and sewer tanks, they would of had to drill wells for their water needs. Doubt there would fo been a resort at that rate. Yah, I can really see a “vested” interest in a water treatment plant!

    The low interest gov. loans is something CleElum as a city could have done on their own without any involvement with Suncadia!

  12. CleElum1 says:

    The word is as many as 80 some odd people have been laid off thus far, with the potential total amount to be around 40% of the resort employment base.

  13. reesadee says:

    I know 2 people that work there, yet I haven’t heard if they still do. Both of my friends started there in May so I am pretty sure that if the “low man on totem pole” process applies to Suncadia, they are both out a job.
    Will they be offered their position come spring? Probably not. If they were, would they take it? Probably not. Once bitten, twice shy.

  14. CleElum1 says:

    I hope your friends are still there. Most people are walking softly and holding their breath. Talking about the lay offs in whispers, quietly amongst ourselves. I have worked with some really good people there and am almost as concerned for them as myself, but I expect to be layed off by the end of Oct. I’m not a salaried person, so there will be no severance package and most others layed off.

    As for the “totem pole”, this is as much, in my opinion, a major cost-cutting/bail-faster or we’ll go under type of lay off, so the totem pole reasoning is used when its convenient and works. Then, when you can’t say last-hired-first-fired, you find another reason.

    When it comes to a re-offer of employment in the spring, it all depends on the position and what the economy does.

  15. OldTimeRoslyn says:

    So sad to read so many bitter locals who don’t have better things to do with their time than to rant about issues when many don’t even have the right information. Suncadia is no evil empire. It is certainly imperfect as it brings both benefits and liabilities. In many ways, the long-term complainers who, at the same time, celebrate our town’s coal mining history are hypocritical. Roslyn was created by a large company who was the predominant employer and, in many ways, less perfect than Suncadia. Uninsured mine workers literally risked their lives and long-term health for low wages and very hard work. A resort has its good and bad sides but in many ways is the best hope for long-term improved health and even sustainability of our beloved community. Not a perfect answer but I don’t see any of our community elders offering alternatives that would have mitigated the slow slide towards collapse that we experienced since the ’60′s when the last mines closed. I’ll stand up any time with the contributor who works at Suncadia. Good for him/her for having the courage to express something positive about an organization that is part of our community – for better or worse – who must be struggling to survive in these uncertain times. We should all hope they survive and ultimately flourish.

  16. Clem says:

    Unfortunately I wasnt born and raised in the area so I am something of a “second class citizen” Roslyn and Cle Elum seem to spend so much time looking backwards at the “good old days” that little is done to prepare for the future. The Pioneer Festival in Cle Elum which uses taxpayers money to celebrate King Boleus and the Pioneer Queen is a perfect example of the inward looking nature of the upper county. I really wonder if Cle Elum cant find something better than the Boleus King? That my rant for the day….lol.

  17. CleElum1 says:

    that is the question that is too late to ask.

    I , as a Suncadia employee and one who’s username is known to fellow employee’s, have to be extremely cautious in what I express concerning where I work. That being said and doing my best toward that end ….

    I would be suspect of a methodology that compares the worst of an industry, i.e.: coal mining, to the best of another industry, i.e.: a mega resort. There are obviously good and bad in both.

    While coal mining in the past didn’t always provide health coverage, some did and the hosp. was built by the coal mines. It was an industry that a single paycheck from the mines provided for the entire family. A family with usually more children than what the average family has today. While it wasn’t an extravagant lifestyle, it was adequate. That’s something that can’t be said for the vast majority of resort jobs.

    Of the issue of health care, I know of not only seasonal workers but many others at the resort who have worked at the resort for year’s full time and are still considered temporary and without healthcare. The full time employee’s who have worked there for years without the benefits of healthcare has just recently been brought to my attention.

    When it comes to “life in the area – before the resort and after” I would have to say that I have lived in this area and another area that have both seen the changes of time. Both of more or less equal size and essentially the same in most other regards.

    The other town watched thousands of jobs in the woods, at the mills, sand & gravel, and house building/ roads construction go away. They went from a “open 24 hrs restaurant” to a “not open 24 hrs. restaurant”. From two grocery stores, to one with limited hours of operation, while most other businesses limited they’re hours as well, and some just went out of business all together.

    The only major difference in these two towns that I can find is that this one I’m in now has a resort. Having seen both of these towns then and now, I think people are happier in the other town, IMO, because I still go there and find this to be true.

  18. Angel Girl says:

    Good choice of words!!!

  19. 4WheelingPlus says:

    I am guessing/assuming that if all the Kittitas County lands were opened back up to off roading like they were before the “resorts” came to town, there would be a lot more money floating around our local Kittitas County communities.