GREEN BAY (NBC 26) — Bay Beach Amusement Park is gearing up to open for the season this weekend, but the park will have shorter hours this year due to staffing shortages.
While the park is normally open from 10 a.m to 9 p.m, this season the park will open at 11 a.m and close at 7 p.m.
Bay Beach manager Jason Arnoldli says the decision to shorten the hours was primarily due to a lack of ride operators.
"Obviously we don't want to overwork our staff and have them be in positions where they can't give the best service and really pay attention to safety, so that's primarily why we had to back off those hours during the main part of the year," Arnoldi said.
Arnoldi says the park has tried to get creative in order to mitigate the staffing issues.
“We have a sign-on bonus, we’re paying two dollars more per hour than we were last year, plus an extra dollar an hour bonus on weekends,” Arnoldi said.
While ride operators would normally make $12-13 an hour, they will now be making $14-15. In addition, Arnoldi says the park has partnered with local businesses such as Marcus Theatre’s Green Bay East location and Delaware North to offer more incentives.
“We also are working with Delaware North where if they work during the off-season for us and during the Packers season then they also get a sign-on bonus there as well,” Arnoldi said.
He says the park would need to hire around 25 more ride operators in order to be fully staffed and return to normal hours.
“You have to be 18 to run the rides and we need someone that’s very safety conscious and really great with families in general,” Arnoldi said.
Concessions supervisor Alyssa Smet is about to begin her sixth season at the park. She started working at Bay Beach in high school and has come back every year since. She says she's met some of her best friends through the park. She used to work as a ride operator and describes it as an ideal summer job.
“Each day you are on a different ride so you kind of get to have a little variety in the park, we’ve got everything from the little kiddie rides to the big roller coaster,” Smet said.
She encourages others to apply and says the best part of working at Bay Beach is the camaraderie among the employees.
It’s kind of a team effort even though you are on an individual ride," Smet said. "You get to know people really well because you end up working with a lot of the same people everyday.”
To learn how you can apply for a position at Bay Beach, you can visit greenbaywi.gov.