WAYNE COUNTY, Pa. — Settlers Hospitality manages several hotels and restaurants in Wayne and Lackawanna Counties. Now that restrictions have been lifted, CEO Justin Genzlinger expects to have another busy season. To thank the employees who have stayed with them through the pandemic and to bring on new employees, they've increased the base pay to $15 an hour, along with an expanded benefits package.
"This is a permanent move for us, not a temporary one. And it's one that I see being a five-year plus outlook on the northern Pocono Mountains where we live, and quite frankly, I don't think it's ever going change. And we're OK with that." Genzlinger said.
Lora Proztman works at the front desk at Settlers Inn in Hawley. She was thankful to hear about the raise she and the other 300 non-salaried employees within the company were getting.
"It just makes me feel very valued, and it makes me care a lot more about what I'm doing too. It helps me kind of focus more on just the guest experience."
The pay increase is also to help employees offset the increase in the cost of living so they can continue to live close to where they work.
"We can't increase the price of everything, including doubling the price of apartments, and then pay the people that serve all of our visitors all year long, the same wage," Genzlinger said.
Getting through the pandemic was a team effort and Genzlinger says rewarding those who stuck through it was important.
"We did our best to take care of the team during the pandemic, just like they did their best to take care of us as we were reopening. And so, fortunately, that team is still with us, and now we need to grow it in order to accommodate all the demand in the area."
Genzlinger says there are openings for several positions at many of the locations. Find out more at their website.