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Hospitality industry labor shortage causing problems for Branson, Mo. businesses

Published: Oct. 20, 2021 at 4:24 PM CDT
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BRANSON, Mo. (KY3) - Despite a successful tourist season in Branson, a labor shortage in the hospitality industry is causing problems.

Days Inn General Manager Tony Morreale says it has been very difficult this year. Most days, his employee is doing the job of two or three workers.

“My housekeeper might be doing coffee in the morning for breakfast and the front desk agent might be mopping the lobby,” Morreale said.

Morreale says he has posted job openings but hasn’t had much success.

”I’ve put ads out there for $15-$20 an hour and people don’t even show up,” Morreale said.

He says he doesn’t think money is the issue.

”I think it’s just a behavioral thing and a mindset coming from a global pandemic. Being pretty much in your home for a full year getting government subsidies has created a whole new behavior,” Morreale said.

To be fully staffed the Days Inn would need at least eight housekeepers. It only has three.

”For breakfast, we have one person, we probably need two,” Moreale said. “For the front desk, we have two people, we probably need four or five.”

Chief Operating Officer for Myer Hotels, Gail Myer, says staffing in Branson is a balancing act.

”There’s plenty of opportunity for people who want to serve others to work in Branson,” Gail Myer said.

Myers says he thinks some of the staffing needs at his hotels have eased.

”We continue to need a few people, but I think the atmosphere is actually better than it was in the summertime,” Myer said.

The hotel is preparing for an increase in visitors next month after things slowed in September.

”October is really busy, but November is indeed the second busiest month behind July,” Myer said.

He says he remains hopeful these challenges will improve next year.

”The one thing I can guarantee you is this community is going to do its very best to serve our guests,” said Myer.

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