Please remember to say thank you.
by Doyle Ranstrom on Jun 27, 2021
Some of us are lucky enough to live in a resort community and many of us will visit one this summer or next winter.
I was thinking about this when visiting with a friend and fellow owner in the HOA community of which I reside in Montana. We were agreeing to disagree on almost everything until the individual stopped and told me how much it was appreciated I was kind and friendly to the individual's long-term renters. The owner had been a resident in the HOA community, but now was renting the unit to long-term renters.
I thought to myself, wow, that's a really low bar, treating neighbors, whoever they might be, in a friendly manner, is a reason to stop a conversation and say thank you for something all of us should be doing without thinking. A few days ago, I crossed the street to introduce myself to some long-term renters who were living in the unit. As I walked towards them, I had the feeling their first thought was wariness so I think they were pleasantly surprised when I introduced myself and said welcome to the neighborhood.
The reality is resort communities want workers, but often do not want them living communities and make them feel unwelcome residents. An individual recently told me that when the individual and the individual's spouse moved to the resort community years ago, they rented and worked multiple jobs until they saved enough to buy their own residence. And even then they rented a room out for years to make ends meet. However, they still remember the feeling of not being welcome in the HOA community in which they first lived.
So let's be clear, workers doing all types of jobs or services. are what makes a resort community run. Think of it this way, if you own an expensive sports car, how far can it go without gas. Or if you own an elite electronic vehicle, what is its value if it cannot get electricity. Workers are the gas or electricity of a resort community. Without them, a resort community is just a bunch of wealthy people who are wondering who is going to open the next bottle of "fine" wine or make a blonde vanilla latte with extra whip. Or they are looking at tall grass and wondering who will make it shorter.
And workers have to live someplace. Thousands make a long commute every day to work 8-10 ten hours and the commute back. Others want to live in the community in which they work and would like to buy but simply cannot afford to do so. So they rent and this is a really good thing for the community. They spend the money they earn year around supporting all types of businesses that would otherwise struggle during the off-season. They also support and are involved in community activities. In other words, they are part of the vibrant life of a resort community and they should be made to feel welcome. Any program that provides affordable housing for workers is a good thing and not just a benefit to the community to all of us.
We are starting to come out of a very difficult time and the workers often who were often the first to lose their jobs are now returning to work. Please do not assume you know anything about their journey. Just be thankful they are there working now.
So whether if you live in a resort community or happen to be visiting one, please treat the workers with respect and say thank you. Many are working multiple jobs to live in a certain area. And if you can support programs that help them with affordable housing, please do so.