Silverwood Theme Park will raise its wages this year as a result of a competitive labor market and higher minimum wage in Washington.
The amusement park north of Coeur d’Alene is one of the region’s largest seasonal employers, hiring about 1,200 workers to staff the park from May through September.
Silverwood’s starting wage will be $8.75 per hour this summer, a 25-cent increase; jobs requiring more responsibility pay a higher wage, said Mark Robitaille, director of marketing and communications.
Washington’s new minimum wage of $11 an hour, which took effect Jan. 1, has influenced what Idaho employers are paying, Robitaille said. In addition, Kootenai Countys unemployment’s rate is less than 5 percent, increasing competition for workers.
“We’re seeing increased wages throughout the region, including Coeur d’Alene, Hayden and Rathdrum,” Robitaille said. “Businesses are having to pay a little more.”
Silverwood will hold a hiring fair from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds. The park is advertising for positions from ride operators to life guards, food workers, housekeepers and sales clerks.
“We used to predominately hire high school students,” Robitaille said.
Teenagers still make up part of the workforce, but the park also attracts workers from young adults to seniors, he said.
Silverwood is the Northwest’s largest amusement park. Its four roller coasters and 220 acres of rides and water park attract visitors from the U.S. and Canada.
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