ELYSBURG, Pa. — The rides are quiet right now at Knoebels Amusement Resort, but behind the scenes, there is a lot of activity at the park in Elysburg.
Knoebels is hiring and starting that push early.
"Unfortunately, last year we were not able to open all of our attractions. More than ever, we want to give our guests a great experience," said Jon Anderson, Knoebels' director of human resources.
Last year as a hiring incentive, Knoebels gave away a car. This year the park is adding $1.5 million to its payroll.
"We've increased all of our rates across the board along with a new bonus incentive program. So those team members who go above and beyond for us have the ability to earn even more money this summer," Anderson said.
Last year, Knoebels had just over 1,500 employees, which was 300 short of what it needed to staff the park. Spokesperson Stacy Ososkie says that the park's hours will be reduced this season as a result of staffing. The park will be open from noon until 8 p.m. Before the pandemic, it was 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
"We are hopeful that with a little luck and some interest from some brand-new applicants and excitement from returning team members that we'll be able to fill all those shifts that we need for seven-day-a-week operation," Ososkie said.
Ideally, Knoebels needs at least 350 employees to have all rides open for a full eight-hour day.
"Last year, we were between 190-200, so we only averaged about 40 rides a day open, which we weren't happy with," Nick Riccio said.
Riccio started as a seasonal employee five years ago. Now he is assistant ride operations manager.
"You're looking for a career. A ride operator is a good place to start, obviously with me. You can move up in the company," Riccio said.
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