Xanterra

www.xanterra.com

Xanterra Reviews

Updated January 26, 2015
Updated January 26, 2015
95 Reviews
2.5
95 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Andrew N Todd
39 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • uh living in a national park of course, meeting amazing people (in 21 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)

  • 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 (in 7 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Fun job, but company does not care about employees.

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

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

    Pros

    I had the opportunity to work with horses in Yellowstone National Park. It hardly felt like work!

    Cons

    The company does not care about their employees. They overcharge for food and housing, pay is low, workman's compensation is a joke! If the company put more care into their employees, they wouldn't have problems filling-and keeping positions filled.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Yellowstone

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

    I worked at Xanterra

    Pros

    You are the only people who get to live in a National Park.
    I had a good manager and assistant managers that cared about me and my experiences with the park.
    Work was fun when there was enough help.
    I had a chance to be interviewed for a management position the following summer.

    Cons

    This company cares only about profits, and they do not care about our personal lives. They often can be heard saying "You are here to work" when I complained about working 21 days in a row in September through October because the higher ups at the location made us due to lack of help. My managers had too also, this decision was made on a level above them. I am sure the people who made that decision only had to work 5 days a week.
    Employee provided food is greasy.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire enough people or do not fire everyone, so that there is enough help at the end of the season.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Resume Builder

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

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

    Pros

    If you are available to work the whole season and have interest in gaining experience this is a great place to work. I've worked for the company for many years starting as a server and have moved into various management positions. I've gotten regular feedback from many of my direct supervisors and have been given the opportunity to grow because of it. I started with the company not really having any experience and am confident in my ability to do the same positions in the "real world" and have the experience to get the position in the first place.

    Beyond that and perhaps more importantly, I have met people that I will be friends with forever. I can travel all over the country and the world and have free places to stay and free tour guides because of the various people you meet working in Yellowstone. Moreover, this place is beautiful!!! The hiking, floating, kayaking, fishing, camping etc. possibilities are endless. I joined the 100 mile hiking club that the Rec Department sponsors and ended up doing over 200 miles that first year.

    The other thing that I appreciate is that there are all walks of life here. Someone for everybody. Musicians coming together for open-mic night or the talent shows, hikers coming together over mountains, WOW enthusiasts coming together over dungeons and dragons in the dorm lobbies (sorry if I didn't get the lingo right.) People of all ages coming together for a walk on the boardwalk, birthday parties at the employee pub, or just reading a book and drinking a glass of wine on the mezzanine and Roosevelt porch. I think it's a really great opportunity and it doesn't get dark here in the summer until after 9:00pm which gives you even more time to play.

    Cons

    So the cons are, they don't let you just come out here and experience Yellowstone... they want you to work too. They're pretty good at getting you two days off in a row but some parts of the season can be short-staffed. Usually that's in the beginning of the season when it's pretty cold or at the end when I can use the extra hours and the extra money anyway.

    The Employee Dining Room (EDR) can be hit or miss, truthfully speaking, but they try hard and there's always the salad bar and sandwich bar and at least I don't have to cook. or burn things rather. They'll let you grab boxed lunches at the EDR on your weekends for camping trips or hikes (or if you're just too lazy to walk over there from the dorms.

    There is no TV and the internet is spotty. No way you could stream a Netflix but you might be able to grab a quick Skype session.

    I came with my friend so I didn't have to worry about getting a roommate but I could see how having to room with someone new could be hard to handle.

    The pay isn't really competitive but people know how much they'll be making before coming out here so can decide whether or not it's worth it to them to make the trek.

    There's not a lot of transportation beyond the occasional rec trip so if you have a car - I say bring it. If you don't, make friends with people who do or practice your hitchhiking skills. Normally, I wouldn't suggest it but hitchhiking is a common practice in Yellowstone among employees and I have never heard of anything happening within the park.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you've never worked in the park, keep an open mind. You're own experience will definitely help you but seasonal work is a hole 'nother beast. Be open to change and be flexible with your expectations.

    If you work here, remember that for many people this is their first time in the park/ first time away from home/ first time with you as a manager etc. Be available and hospitable and that will take you far.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Employees are not respected, not even those in
     middle management, the bottom line is most important to this company.

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

    I have been working at Xanterra full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Beautiful places, meeting people from around the globe, recreation opportunities, wildlife viewing

    Cons

    Poor housing (bed bugs and overcrowding in summer), poor pay, expensive yet substandard food, inconsistent application of company policy across departments, lack of support from corporate offices, lack of communication overall.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Spend some money to improve living conditions for your employees, either improve food service or make it free, pay more attention to what your HR department is doing (or not doing). Give your Directors better training, so that the unit managers are not more knowledgeable than the department heads! Corporate needs to better support the properties.
    You need to do a better job of walking the talk where the Core Values are concerned. You work people to death in the summer and then cut their hours in winter to the point where they can barely survive, while you maintain a healthy profit.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good work/life balance

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

    I worked at Xanterra

    Pros

    1. good work/life balance. Once you finish your work, you can go home or have a drink at the bar.
    2. friendly manager and colleagues. People there are quite nice.

    Cons

    1. Salary is not competitive.
    2. The personal growth is limited.
    3. Sometimes, it is quite boring to do the routine job.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I think they should provide more training to workers.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Fun job, bad pay

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

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

    Pros

    Paid vacation
    Lots of new people
    Wild animals

    Cons

    Not a well-paying job
    Terrible Management
    Spoiled-brat co-workers

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat your employees like you would like to be treated. And WORK

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  8.  

    Know what you're getting into

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Yellowstone National Park, WY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Yellowstone National Park, WY

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

    Pros

    You get to live in a national park! Also, your co-workers can be some of the best friendships that you make. They are usually pretty good about giving you time off to explore.

    Cons

    The pay is terrible for all the work that you do. They take so much out of your paycheck for horrible food at the employee cafeteria. Upper level management is far and distant.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Upper level management - Get your head out of the clouds and stop dreaming! There is a difference between having an idea look good on paper and actually having it work!

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    Extremely inconsistent work experiences in some of the most beautiful places on earth.

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

    I worked at Xanterra

    Pros

    Living and working in a National Park, experience our national lands and all their past and present culture on a level few will ever see. Benefits tough to stay eligible but decent. Room and board, although spartan it's one less thing to worry about. Commutes are non exsistent. Low cost of living. Very easy to advance to higher position. Entry level to assistant manager in one season, witnessed this on several occasions. Ability to transfer between Xanterra's conncesion parks or stay put at year round parks, excellent way to maintain adequate hours to retain benefits, while still have the ability to travel. Most locations have a community type center with gym and recreation staff that provides guided activities, gear rental and other events for employees, quality of these facilities can vary greatly between locations, for instance Grand Canyon NP has a commercial grade gym for a fee, Lake(Yellowstone NP) has a poor gym for free with broken equipment. Good way to attempt to acquire a National Park Service position, work for Xanttera, volunteer for NPS and NETWORK. Employee discounts on certain items at company stores, restaurants and lodging. Employees may also be able to secure a dorm room for visiting family.

    Cons

    Very inconsistent practices, from one season to the next most employees are turned over giving for a very inconsistent work environment. This is true with managers as well, one season good consistent boss next a new untrained and haphazard manager. Promotions or coveted positions are often not doled out on merit, someone with a friend of stature could be hired over a veteran of the company. Many positions must be acquired through contact with former bosses, acquaintances and so on. Living conditions can be trying on the first year employee trying to adjust. Xanterra provides housing, meals, recreation and many other services for employees, not to mention guest services all of this under the watchful eye of the federal government in NPS. There is such a high rate of turnover in the base jobs with Xanterra that the personnel who remain year after year tend to have an apathetic attitude towards issues of unfairness in hiring/promoting, poor housing/dining etc. Running their business in a national park setting has given the corporate culture a skewed perspective since most decisions are made by NPS and NPS has from what I have witnessed in the last few years taken little interest in employee issues.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Really, National Park Service is ultimately the manager of the parks systems and the companies that operate there. A professional class.of seasonal employee needs to be created to stop the massive turn over of talent. More pay and benefitsthat stay with you. A way to maintain a job or benefits inbetween seasons. Perhaps a way to maintain benefits between different parks/different companies so that there are more opportunities for winter work. Promote and award winter jobs based on merit. Perhaps a few more concession players into the game would better working conditions and increase wages when different companies compete for the employees. I just don't think Xanterra as a unit has the corporate will to affect meaningful change, perhaps NPS prodded on by a study by the GOA perhaps could make some in roads to real change.

  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    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
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    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 a 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

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