Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari add accommodation for seasonal workers

SANTA CLAUS, Ind. – It takes at least 1,500 seasonal workers to run Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari every year, and truth be told, Leah Koch-Blumhardt would rather have about 2,000.

Reaching these targets takes ingenuity. For many years the park has run a bus service, with more than a dozen pick-up points throughout the region. But this program only provides about 30% of Holiday World’s staff. The park needs people from further afield to reach the level it needs.

Koch-Blumhardt, Holiday World’s communications director and fourth-generation owner, said young people interested in the park from as far away as California always ask the same question first: “Where would I live?”

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Holiday World is putting a lot of money behind an answer.

The park on Tuesday announced a $6.7 million employee housing project called Compass Commons. The three-story building will house 136 workers, who must be at least 18 and live more than 50 miles from Santa’s Park.

The dormitory-style project will include a large kitchen, laundry room, security features and common areas on each floor.

An artist's depiction of a sleeping area in planned Compass Commons accommodation, which Holiday World officials hope will house some of its seasonal workers.

Construction has begun and the building will be ready for occupancy when Holiday World opens in May 2023.

Koch-Blumhardt said Compass Commons will be a good recruiting tool for the park. Holiday World has directed those from outside the region who may want to work in the park next summer to the park’s housing website, holidayworld.com/housing.

She pointed to the difficulty employers everywhere have in filling positions.

“We haven’t been immune to the staffing issues that the rest of the country is facing,” Koch-Blumhardt said. “We decided to be more proactive.”

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