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I just got a job offer from Xanterra for Yellowstone. They do not seem very upfront regarding all the deductions they want.

The fine print says I have to pay for some kind of health coverage? I have insurance and don't need that! It also does not say how much I'll have to pay, just that I will. What's up with that? Does anyone know how much it is?

They state I'll have to pay for room and board, but the costs for that are vague also. It's based on how many hours you work. Ok, but how much per hour is it? There's a maximum amount, but does that mean I pay that for 40 hours a week, or do I just pay more per hour if I only work 20?

They also want a credit report???? Isn't that pretty invasive?


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We're waiting for our job offer (did it come via mail, email, or telephone?) from Xanterra. The way I understand it is that you're ineligible for any sort of health benefits for your first year of employment with them. For the dorms their website says 142/pay period is max, and it's kinda prorated in reverse - if you get fewer than 40 hours you pay less than 142. Does that make sense?

They want a credit report, like they want you to provide it? I know some employers check that sort of thing, but I didn't think they told their employees about it - or requested it from them!
xanterra, or amfac as it was known when i worked for them in yellowstone in 1999, is the worst company i've ever worked for -- they work the hell out of you, i.e. 5am-11pm split shifts, and then take a huge percentage of your check for housing and food, leaving you with a tiny paycheck after all that work-- it's too bad because yellowstone is such a beautiful place and the people i met there were great, but working in the park sucks-- my advice would be to find a job in jackson (which is very easy to do during the summer), and find a roommate situation on and spend your summer in jackson-- the higher cost of rent will be offset by the money you'll make in jackson-- or, if you have a car, there's plenty of beautiful places to camp that won't cost you a penny-- there's a hostel in town where you can take showers==
My contract states my hourly wage; $142 food and housing deduction per pay period; and a mandatory participation with Medcor (the seasonal employee health plan) at a "minimal cost." Probably a few bucks every pay period. I imagine this plan covers you for any visits to or needs from the medical facility in the park.

Shannon, my inital contract from Xanterra was by email, which asked for a phone interview. I had the phone interview a few days later, then got a second call from them four days after the interview with an offer for the job.
I am pretty sure that every Park employee has to pay about 60-some cents a day for in park medical services (Medcor). And I'm pretty sure it is not optional. They say that it is just a supplement, and that you should have other insurance. I think it just covers a little bit of stuff that you may need done at the clinics in the park.
Well, I sent them an email and got a reply.

the medical thing is to fund the park clinics and it is $18/month. They were still vague about the housing. They'll give you the max amount, but not anything else. If I work 20 hours do I pay half? No answer....

I was hired as a server, so I asked about a tip share too, since they didn't mention it. I'd have to share 20% of my tips on top of everything else.

I am not going to work there. My whole hourly wage of $4 is gone on housing and medical, leaving me tips only and then only 80% of that!

Forget it!
where are you working at yellowstone? anyone working at yellowstone 2008,email me
Hey, Jeff. In a couple of weeks I'm heading back to Yellowstone for my third season. Last summer I was at Old Faithful, this winter I was at Mammoth Hot Springs and this summer I'll be at Lake--dining room serving, dining room serving and pubtending, respectively. There's a lot of good things to say about the experience, I've had a pretty decent run but am hopeful that this will be my last season. Where are you working?
Credit report? That's a new one. They never did that when I was there.
The insurance thing is for the clinics there at the park. It was only $15:00 a month when I was there two years ago. With it you can go to the clinic for a small copay.
The housing and meals cost was about 280:00 a month two years ago. That's for full time workers. Hope I helped, Ken
The credit report thing sounds strange. I worked for YPSS last year (we run the gas stations) in Yellowstone and we only had to pay like 60 cents a day or something for mandatory health insurance. I don't imagine you'll have to pay anymore than that if you are a seasonal employee. Don't quote me on that since I don't work for Xanterra. I don't remember the housing break down for Xanterra but it wasn't horrible. It depended on the type of room you were in and your status as an employee they have a chart that was posted near their accounting area in Old Faithful with the breakdown of housing costs for each situation. You should e-mail them and ask them for a copy of the chart. One last question, are you going to be bringing an RV to stay in? That certainly adjusts the cost of your housing and it's got full hook-ups. I am guessing you aren't bringing an RV since you didn't mention as such but just thought I would ask since that is a possible way to be lodging over the summer. I don't remember the price per day sorry.
Don't know about Yellowstone, I am coming to the understanding that each place is different. I am at Mt. Rushmore and the dorms are $45 a week plus your meals.
I have an RV my rent is $45 a week. As for the insurance, I also do not need the insurance and I have not had a check from them until Wed. the 25th then I will know if they withhold insurance. Nothing was said nor did I sign any forms for insurance.
I want to go to Death Valley for the winter and it is a different pricing there.
Sorry I could not be informative of your situation, this is my first year and I am feeling my way along. I talk to those that I work with and read all I can to learn anything that might help me before I make that leap of faith.
Did you ever go to Death Valley to work? If so what did you thing, was it a good experience. My husband and I are going to work at Xanterra South Rim Grand Canyon in October 2009. We might work there for 3 months then see about switching to Death Valley. We are just not sure if we will like the desert.
Any info would be appreciated.
Im going into my second summer at Yellowstone, with Xanterra, so I decided to comment on this for newcomers curious about the pay structure.

The insurance and taxes (income, social security, and wyoming state room tax) are pretty minor. I don't have old pay stubs handy for the actual breakdown, but last year, with a 40 hour week, housekeeping take home was around $350-400 per two weeks.

Room/Board fee maximum is how much they take out if you work full time, something like 30 hours or more. If you work less than that, they take out less, so you won't go home empty handed if you didn't make the $140 or so they deduct.

I also think that although you sign a credit report release, it's just part of their standard background check, they never actually ran one on me. They do run a criminal background check, for a specific reason: they have a federal contract, and having federal crimes or outstanding warrants bars you from working in the park. I imagine the credit check is part of that screening, more to cover their own butts than to pry into yours.

Also remember that most positions get some sort of tip pool, at least for food servers, housekeepers and bell staff. I assume servers keep their tips, but Im not sure how sharing with bus staff and cooks works. In housekeeping, the rule of thumb is, if the tip goes from the guests hand to yours, it's yours. If it's left behind with no direct contact with the guest, it goes into the pool. Direct tips gave me an average of $30 or $40 a week, and the tip pool added another $30 or so on average, so I figured total housekeeper income for two weeks at about $500.

It does seem a little low at first glance, but you can easily live in the employee housing and eat at the employee dining room all season and spend none of the money you make, taking home 2 to 3 grand depending on your contract, plus another couple hundred for your season bonus if you complete the contract.


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