Xanterra Reviews

Updated October 16, 2014
Updated October 16, 2014
86 Reviews
2.3
86 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
(no image)
Andrew N Todd
35 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • uh living in a national park of course, meeting amazing people (in 19 reviews)

  • Meeting people from all around the world, very fun, great people-skills building (in 11 reviews)


Cons
  • If you work as a cafeteria worker or similar low pay grade positions, the winter will suck (in 8 reviews)

  • You have to be pretty hard up to work there, or just don't care about being paid and want to live in a National Park for free (in 6 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Beautiful place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Cashier in Grand Canyon, AZ
    Current Employee - Cashier in Grand Canyon, AZ

    I have been working at Xanterra as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    Good for seasonal work, close to the nature, great benefit and good co-workers. The companies offer discount for employees to use in facilities within the company. It's a big company located in many locations. When I worked there I felt like I was working and on vacation at the same time.

    Cons

    Lower pay compare to other companies and the work schedule is not fixed. I worked as a cashier in one of the company's restaurants. Sometimes you have to come as early as 5 am because that is when the restaurant is opened.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    The job itself was amazing, management made everything else a nightmare.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Customer Service in Williams, AZ
    Former Employee - Customer Service in Williams, AZ

    I worked at Xanterra full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Meeting people from all around the world, very fun, great people-skills building. Lots of opportunities if you enjoy nature, exploring, and travelling.

    They are very conscious about their environmental impact. They have some fantastic policies and ideas for being "green". I am far from your typical "tree hughing hippie", but they talk the talk, and they really do walk the walk when it comes to recycling, using cleaner products, water and electricity consumption, and sustainability. Seriously, their "Ecologix" program is worthy of every award they've gotten. The Environmental Director at my location is absolutely fantastic and a great guy. Worth every penny they pay him, in my opinion.

    Cons

    They treat their lower end (read: the ones busting their tails every day) employees like absolute garbage. They micro-manage every detail of your job. Creativity, new ideas, and constructive criticism is not allowed, and you will be punished accordingly for not towing the company line. I was discriminated against and terminated despite following all written company procedures. My manager, when she terminated me, said "it doesn't matter" when I said I followed all written procedures. I had a very strong case for a wrongful termination lawsuit, but I have other family and very close friends that either work for Xanterra in other positions, or have their own business that relies on Xanterra's blessing to operate. I have no doubt that had I pursued legal action, retaliation would have occurred against them. Various departments are managed by nothing but "yes men/women". Nobody has the stones to question decisions made by upper management. But obedience is rewarded with promotions and raises. My manager got 3 promotions to positions that didn't exist before. She was compensated very, very well. She could take vacations on a regular basis, much more than any of us.

    For benefits, they have a very tight hold on what you are eligible for. When I was hired, we could accumulate 96 hours of sick time as a full time employee. A couple years ago, they slashed that by half, only allowing 48 hours. They claimed this was offset by giving us "free short-term disability." The problem with this is that short-term disability only pays 80% of your normal wage (and we were all minimum wage), still has medical benefits deducted, and taxes deducted. Also, certain criteria must be met to claim this. You couldn't just get sick for 3 or 4 days (happens a lot given the exposure to worldwide travelers) and use this. 48 hours with our schedule (11 paid hours a day) only gave us 4 days off for illnesses a year. 4 days. Really?

    For wages, longevity as an employee is not rewarded. I was hired at $7.25/hour when minimum wage was $7.15. The following January 1st, MW went to $7.25. I then got my yearly "review", and got an $0.11 raise (for "meeting or exceeding company standards" in every category). The following 1/1, MW went to $7.35. My next yearly review got me to $7.43. The following 1/1, you guessed it, MW went to $7.65. My wage went to $7.73, keeping an $0.08 gap. Upon my yearly review, I received no "performance wage increase", amd the reasoning given was "you already got your raise when minimum wage went up." The following 1/1, MW went to $7.80, and now my gap was gone. Over 4 years of full time service, and I was worth the same as the person hired yesterday. No loyalty for tenure. "Perks" for tenure always got moved to just longer than most of us had been employeed.

    Overall, the suits in the offices are so out of touch with the working class making the company their profits it's not even funny.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Nothing I say to them would make a difference. Management needs to totally be cleaned out, and open competiton for those positions allowed. Put the best people in position to use their best skills to make the company profitable while also ensuring employees are happy and taken care of.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Working in Yellowstone

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Xanterra as a contractor (more than an year)

    Pros

    Working in a National Park is mostly great. You get weekends to go explore. For the most part, you don't have chores or errands or anything major like that when you get off work. You get to meet people from all over the world.

    Meeting people is by far the best part of this. Everyone goes out there either by themselves or with just one or two friends and then they get there and they don't really have much connection with the outside world (slow internet, limited phone coverage, etc.) This forces people to open up and talk to you and 99% of them are good people just looking to have a good time.

    Oh and they do promote from within frequently if that's important to you.

    Cons

    Not making much money really wasn't that big of a deal for me. The biggest problems with working for Xanterra tend to be your after-hours relationship with the company and NPS(Law enforcement).

    Working there, you are on federal land and the rules can be pretty strict. More significantly, the company has a history of firing people based on hearsay. The rangers similarly have a history of writing tickets with little to no evidence. Mostly this comes into play with instances of underage drinking. I have a friend who both got a ticket and got fired because an underage drinker lied about getting alcohol from him to avoid getting into trouble. My friend, who is studying to be a dentist, then spent ~$2000 hiring a lawyer and taking this to court to get his name cleared. The judge threw the case out because there was absolutely no evidence and the case was ridiculous. My friend got his job back a few weeks later but he was out $2000+pay+living expenses for the time he was fired.

    Now, don't get me wrong, this is a great place to work. You just have to avoid a great many situations and it is a little frustrating to have your work and home lives so tied up together.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Can't say much about upper management, but my bosses in housekeeping were the best I've ever had.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review
  5.  

    if you work your way up to management it's pretty good.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Management in Grand Canyon, AZ
    Current Employee - Management in Grand Canyon, AZ

    I have been working at Xanterra full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    If you have management experience or the drive and patience to work your way up it's pretty good here. Management housing here is probably the best out of the whole NP system and cheap. Anything from an efficiency appt to a house is available depending on your position and time with the company. 2 bdrm town house with w/d is $320 a month. No central air but get a you can always get a window unit for 1-2 months a year you need it. Not much to do if you aren't super outdoorsy so a car is a must for your sanity. They do allow up to 2 cats in the appts and dogs in the houses but not in the dorms. Lots of people with kids and there is a K-12 school in the park. Signing privileges (free food) up to 3 meals a day in the cafeterias for yourself or if you are in upper management family etc too. Overall the food isn't too bad, mostly processed Sysco stuff but they have been incorporating more fresh veg lately. Good enough for lunch when you are working or just don't want to cook.

    Cons

    Micro managing or nothing at all. As middle management the higher ups either dictate your every move or you get no assistance from them what so ever. It's a year round park but the majority of entry level jobs are seasonal international workers. That's great for multiculturalism but it's a never stopping revolving door when it comes to training. By the time you get someone trained and up to full speed they are only around for another month or 2 if you are lucky. Then the process starts all over. When it comes to hiring they hire anyone who can pass a felony background check and a pee test. But when it comes to firing people it's nearly impossible. If you show up to work sober, regardless of what kind of worker you are or if you even really do your job, it is nearly impossible to get rid of anyone for horrible performance. Everyone sees it, it starts to effect the performance of the good workers, and overall moral goes down the toilet. I've had people I've written up repeatedly for not doing their job properly for MONTHS on end. Others have to pick up their slack constantly but nope, can't fire them.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Fix the issues with the dorms!!! (bed bugs, cleanliness etc) I know there is nothing that can be done about the number of dorms/beds but the overall living conditions could be VASTLY improved. Focus more on hiring domestic employees. The internationals come here for vacation, work is something they are grudgingly forced to do to keep their visa and often do as little as absolutely possible. Improve the pay and living conditions, provide more activities for people to do so downing a 12 pack and bottle every night isn't the only option for entertainment, kick out the drunks after they cause too many problems, and you'll attract a lot better people and the good ones that do show up won't go running so fast either.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Go in with reasonable expectations

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Yellowstone National Park, WY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Yellowstone National Park, WY

    I have been working at Xanterra as a contractor

    Pros

    You get to live in Yellowstone National Park! It is a great place to move up fast if you are a motivated and hard worker. You can gain a lot of experience in a short amount of time and try out different jobs. The are considerably environmentally aware and progressive in attitudes toward minorities.

    Cons

    You live and work with the same people. The food is comparable to a small cafeteria. Almost all line level employees and even managers have roommates.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Yellowstone National Park Summer Job

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Hospitality Crew in Yellowstone National Park, WY
    Former Employee - Hospitality Crew in Yellowstone National Park, WY

    I worked at Xanterra as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    The dorms provided for employees are in a very reasonable price and good quality.
    Since most of the staff there were international students and American students, the relationship among staff and managers are quite friendly.

    Cons

    Since the location of the national park is far away from big cities, you probably just get stuck in the park for the whole summer.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    A great place to try different positions

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Data Entry in Grand Canyon, AZ
    Current Employee - Data Entry in Grand Canyon, AZ

    I have been working at Xanterra full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Xanterra hires virtually anyone - this is good and bad. Opportunities for moving up or for simply trying something different are different every day. The cost of living is low, so working here allows you to save money too.

    Cons

    Living in company housing (especially in the dormitories) can be very challenging - the proctors don't hold the troublemakers accountable. Pay is low for the work that you are doing, and the jobs themselves can be boring.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Raise the wages and you'll gain better employees who don't move on when they get frustrated. Improve conflict resolution skills in management, especially in the Housing department. This would help you retain employees, ultimately saving you money.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    2.2 Rating sums this company up

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Housekeeper in Crater Lake, OR
    Former Employee - Housekeeper in Crater Lake, OR

    I worked at Xanterra full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    You get to be in a National Park

    Cons

    Wow there are so many to list I will have to write a Trilogy probably become a millionaire from the reviews lol

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Your rating is 2.2 out of 5 that is really bad and makes sense why you guys are at the bottom of the totem pole

    CEO ( needs to work in the trenches to understand the business )
    Managers below CEO need to work in the trenches to fully understand why CEO is paying them their salaries!
    Underpaid, understaffed company results in undesirable company to spend money at.-get a clue people
    Under qualified and qualified experienced employees are on different pay scales NOT the same - comprendo
    Train, train,train,train,train,train your upper management to understand how to TRAIN their staff

    You guys picked the wrong book. You guys trained your people with the book " 7 Habits of Highly Ineffective People " instead of the one that has companies beaming with pride, success, great leadership etc and that is called " 7 Habits of Highly Effective People " you guys should go get the (latter) of the two if you guys don't want to drown.

    (wow the other companies are bad but this one takes the prize for the worst

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Mostly terrible, with some good aspects.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Room Attention in Yellowstone, WI
    Former Employee - Room Attention in Yellowstone, WI

    I worked at Xanterra as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    Living in a national park.
    Meeting people from all over.
    Some good managers.

    Cons

    1. Human resources has no idea how to hire the correct number of people. It's either too many or too little, depending on the time of the season.
    2. At least $200 is taken out of every pay check for room and board.
    3. The food is not very good, and not good for you.
    4. The dorm rooms are smaller than a college dorm, there isn't even room for a desk. There is no air conditioning.
    5. If you don't have a car, you can't explore anywhere.
    6. Management is very unorganized.
    7. At the beginning of the season, I got 5 days a week, about 10 hours a day. In the middle of the season, I worked about 5 hours a day, on a good day.
    8. The employee pub is overpriced. In fact, everything is overpriced.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't hire too many people. Learn how to respect your employees. Charge less for the terrible food and dorms.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Wonderful area to work but not so good lifestyle

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Housekeeper in Yellowstone National Park, WY
    Former Employee - Housekeeper in Yellowstone National Park, WY

    I worked at Xanterra full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Xanterra has locations next to beautiful hiking areas. Every employee develops a more personal relationship with their co-workers than in other jobs. returning employees earn more money and have more opportunities to advance. You can roommate with your spouse or friends. United in shared suffering.

    Cons

    You are not payed much and if you plan on doing anything outside of where you are stationed be prepared to spend most of it on gas money. There is a heavy drinking culture especially in the winter. The complementary food can be hit or miss. They are not required to switch you positions that pay less then the one you are currently working as. Because housekeepers are payed the most out of all entree level positions it will be hard to switch jobs if you dislike housekeeping. You need to drag around heavy molly carts all the time and the work is ridiculously tedious. The lifestyle is very hedonistic. You will almost never be acknowledged for work well done (other than the worker appreciation dinner). You need to live with co-workers you may not care for. The end of the season is absolute hell because all of the college students head back home leaving everyone else to pick up the pace.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

Xanterra Photos

Yellowstone busses in the snow

+ Add Photo

Work at Xanterra? Share Your Experiences

Xanterra

 
Click to Rate
or

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.