Meet Team Targhee: Alison Arbelo
Night Auditor, Front Desk Agent, Activity Center Supervisor, and Guest Services Manager. Since she started working at Grand Targhee during the summer of 2014 Alison Arbelo has done a little bit of everything. These days she carries the title Director of Housekeeping, and if we are lucky she will have a Grand Targhee name tag for years to come. But why is she here? Why Grand Targhee?
Originally from Pennsylvania, Alison moved to Summit County, Colorado with her then boyfriend, and now husband Jeremiah. After a short stint in banking, Alison figured she would give seasonal work a try and started into the world of guest services. It wasn’t long before she made her way north to the Tetons.
“We actually came out here on a road trip. I won a three-night stay at the Snake River Lodge, and so while we were in Jackson Hole we came over here and we really liked it. Then we came back and vacationed here a little bit, and decided this is just as good if not better than Colorado, so we stayed. That was 2012.”
Over 9 years later Alison and Jeremiah are still here in Teton Valley. They have put down roots and added another member to their family. Their daughter Emily will turn five this year on Halloween, and is already giving mom a run for her money on the slopes.
“Emily is learning to ski up here. I couldn’t even keep up with her last year. She loves skiing in the trees, going through the Mouse House and the Bat Cave. She loves Otter Slide and all those quick little turns. I love seeing how much she loves it and how she is excelling at it. Growing up in Pennsylvania I didn’t have these opportunities so I’m super stoked that living here and working here gives her opportunities that I didn’t have. This is an ideal place to work when raising a kid.”
Yes, Teton Valley is a great place to raise a kid and plenty of ripping skiers have learned how to make a turn on Shoshone, but that doesn’t explain why Alison has remained a Grand Targhee employee. She’s been here for over seven years and has held five different job titles. She’s had a wide variety of experiences at the hill and is certainly well versed in the inner workings of the Ghee. Yet once again it is a common theme that has brought her back year after year.
“I like the people most of all. I’ve worked with some really great people. Plus the support I get. When I had no staff this winter everyone from other departments jumped in. That was huge.”
Many of those great people have been part of Alison’s housekeeping staff over the years. This year just like every year, her staff consisted of some of the hardest working folks on the payroll. If you have ever worked in housekeeping then you know how tough the job can be. Here at Targhee the bunk beds and flights of stairs in the Sioux Lodge don’t make it any easier. Her team usually consists of about thirty-five employees from all different walks of life including some of the only international employees we have here at Grand Targhee.
“Working with people from China, Turkey, Peru. It’s really cool to see them interact with everyone from America as well as us taking something away from them. When I first started nobody on my team really snowboarded or skied. I noticed last year once we opened up the lessons and they didn’t have to be in a group, more of my staff has got out there and taken advantage. It’s fun to see people who have never skied, come out and try it. It makes the job so much more enjoyable for them to have those perks.”
While she is one of the people here who sets the tone for work ethic, she also takes advantage of those perks. You’ll often find her getting a quick lunch lap in on the nordic track or biking on Jolly Green Giants.
“I’m a unique Targhee employee because I’m like the only one who’s not a diehard skier or asking when’s the powder coming? I like to hike here, I like to run the trails, I like to ride my bike. I’m more of a summer person really.”
In addition to the perks of being a Targhee employee, Alison has also taken advantage of her opportunities while here. She’s taken anything and everything that has come across her plate head-on. This past year she oversaw our property management and readied our employee housing for its summer inhabitants. From choosing artwork for the Targhee Lodge to measuring for blinds and picking out carpets in the Teewinot Lodge she does a little bit of everything.
“I like the workload, there is always something to do. I don’t really have time to be idle and I enjoy that. Every day is different and that’s fun. I’ve learned to be very flexible.”
Good people, fresh air, a little bit of unpredictability, and places for kids of all ages to run wild. I guess that’s why you work at Targhee.