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Xanterra Reviews

Updated December 27, 2017
51 reviews

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2.0
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Andrew N Todd
17 Ratings

51 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • I spent two summers working for them in Yellowstone National Park as a Room Attendant and Server (in 71 reviews)

  • Room and Board was 15 dollars a day and taken directly out of my check (in 12 reviews)

Cons
  • The job is low pay and the hours are long (in 19 reviews)

  • Long hours in management, no compensation for working the extra hours or going the extra mile (in 13 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Unprofessional management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Server/Waiter in Yellowstone National Park, WY
    Former Employee - Server/Waiter in Yellowstone National Park, WY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    If you're working for Xanterra, chances are you're in one of the most beautiful places in the world. The opportunity to live and work in a national park is invaluable, however, I recommend you do so through a different company. Pros of Xanterrra include location and the fact that lodging and food are provided. However, there are many more companies where these amenities are offered.

    Cons

    Management is pretty much always hired internally, causing most of the higher roles in this company to be obtained through popularity rather than effectiveness or communication skills. Also -- this company will do anything to make sure you don't receive your end of season bonus (3$ for every day you work if you finish your contract). Beware of last minute firings as a thinly veiled attempt to save money at the end of the season.

    Advice to Management

    Advice to higher management: hire people with experience and skill rather than those who have stuck around the longest amount of time.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Employees Not A Priority"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Grand Canyon, AZ
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Grand Canyon, AZ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Xanterra full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    beautiful location
    low cost housing
    exposure to international culture
    easy to get around

    Cons

    lack of genuine concern for employees by top-level management
    high cost food
    employee cafeteria is abominable
    elimination of perks for employees because they don't contribute to bottom line

    Advice to Management

    It doesn't matter. They don't listen.

  3. "Great people, terrible company"

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

    I worked at Xanterra as a contractor

    Pros

    You get to meet some of the most amazing and wonderful people from all over the country and world. It's a great place to work for maybe 3-4 months but anything more than that, I don't recommend it.

    Cons

    Food is terrible. But most of all, the company does treat its employees like they're nothing but "abled bodies". Yeah there are policies but

    Advice to Management

    Please invest in your employees. Some of the people that I met that worked there have so much potential but you keep firing them.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Great location, not so great job"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

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

    Pros

    Living in a beautiful place, getting meals, and a place to sleep

    Cons

    The treatment of some of the employees felt unfair and caused high turnover rates

    Advice to Management

    Communicate better and show more respect for employees


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Xanterra needs Management Tweeking"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Residency Coordinator in Yellowstone National Park, WY
    Current Employee - Residency Coordinator in Yellowstone National Park, WY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Xanterra full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    A place to stay and food

    Cons

    Treated like a number More expected from you as days pass feel like a mule

    Advice to Management

    Get Corporate Involved and become more personal with employees and treat them individually


  6. "It's almost cool"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Anonymous Contractor in Yellowstone National Park, WY
    Current Contractor - Anonymous Contractor in Yellowstone National Park, WY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Living at Yellowstone is awesome. You can move up fast so that's good for the resume.

    Cons

    Housing is run down. Expectations are high. Pay is really low. Training doesn't happen. Turn over is really high. Have to work six days for weeks at open and close but nobody tells you that up front.

    Advice to Management

    Train people and pay them better and they won't keep quitting or not coming back. Invest in your company and employees if you want a return


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Realities of the south rim"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Xanterra full-time

    Pros

    Servers can make good money.

    Cons

    Restaurant and hotels are in poor conditions. Management is grossly incompetent. Nothing is done well. Oh, employee housing is dreadful as well.

    Advice to Management

    The culture of excellence has been dismantled. Own it. It's casual low end dining place now. El Tovar's best days are behind it.

  8. Helpful (3)

    "Come for the beautiful Scenery, Stay for the crippling burecracy"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Night Auditor/Front Desk Agent
    Current Employee - Night Auditor/Front Desk Agent
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Xanterra full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Beautiful scenery - some of the most exotic locations in the United States.

    You can live where you work and not drive anywhere if you want.

    Decent 401k for full time employees

    Cons

    There are only a few locations you can be a full time employee - most jobs by nature are seasonal. So the 401k is basically useless to 80% of their workforce.

    Communication - Nobody tells anybody anything, until it becomes a problem, then you should have already known. I almost got written up once for handling something the way I had been taught how in training because the rules had changed and nobody told either the trainer or anybody that was currently in the position.
    Employee housing is really run down and will not be fixed unless someone actually gets hurt.
    Impossible to move up in company past a certain level without being friends with higher ups.

    Advice to Management

    Please fix your housing - no one should have to fall down stairs for you to fix them when they had been reported for YEARS and even your safety guy was aware of them; or wait 7 months for a leaky toilet to be repaired in what took 5 minutes of actual work to do.

    Reward Loyalty better than a pizza coupon every year or so. There is no incentive to do better.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Good for a summer, not for a life"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Reservations Agent in Yellowstone National Park, WY
    Current Employee - Reservations Agent in Yellowstone National Park, WY

    I have been working at Xanterra full-time

    Pros

    -within a national park, so backdoor access to all sorts of hiking trails, nature viewing, etc.
    -depending on your position, you may earn commission and/or tips
    -room and board
    -recreational activities for employees: hiking club, volleyball tournaments, talent show
    -employee pub

    Cons

    -sexism in the workplace
    -very low wages (state minimum wage with room/board fees subtracted)
    -high turnover of employees
    -room and board are simple dorms, low quality meals (occasionally moldy, etc)
    -atmosphere of suspicion and distrust: supervisors and security were constantly watching employees online, in the dining hall, and at work to see if any rules were broken. people were frequently fired for small mistakes or harmless actions.

    Advice to Management

    Seasonal workers should not be exploited. The promise of a fun summer in an amazing location attracts eager young adventurers as well as people in desperate circumstances or without other places to live. Hire more ethical security, improve food and housing, raise wages, and treat employees with the same respect that is shown towards tourists and you will see employee morale and length of employment increase greatly.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Leave yourself an out."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Housekeeper in Yellowstone National Park, WY
    Former Contractor - Housekeeper in Yellowstone National Park, WY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Xanterra as a contractor (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    You meet people from all over the world. A short list includes Ecuador, Check Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Ukraine, Turkey, South Africa, Jamaica,and Taiwan. The location is beautiful, and you get a up-close appreciation of wildlife.

    Cons

    The biggest joke from long-time employees for this section is "everything else" or "the company." I'll try to sum it up the best I can.

    The first thing you'll notice after a week is that the food is terrible. I've had under-cooked where the middle was raw and overcooked to the point of jerky. On top of that, the food is tasteless or over spiced to hide the lack of flavor. There is no middle ground. A term you will get to know well is "EDRdia", a term for the gastrointestinal distress that comes regularly after eating employee food. The real kicker is even if you abandon the food for your stomach's sake, you still have to pay for it.

    Just like the food, there is no middle ground on management. Between high turnover and possible favoritism, getting a good manager can be harder than winning the lottery. If you believe your manager is treating you badly, don't stay silent, but don't expect your job back, either. This includes if you think a manager is favoring employees and you think you'll get in trouble because a favorite doesn't like you.

    The work-life balance balance nonexistent. Even when they talk about having a good work-life balance here, they refer to being sober enough to work the next morning. They rarely talk about taking a breather, getting out of the park, or destressing in a way that doesn't involve alcohol or drugs. Plus it feels like the company is always watching, even when you are off-duty. The people in charge of the dorms (RCs) look like they're running ragged or just don't care. Plus the room walls are thin enough to hear what your neighbor is watching on TV and anything else louder.

    Advice to Management

    I know you were trying to work on employee retention, but it felt like too little, too late. The truth is, Xanterra is not desirable as a long-term working position. Either deal with the fact that high standards is beyond your ability or bring up the standards in the employee's environment.


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