Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon National Park’s El Tovar hotel lobby, seen here in 2015, still looks pretty much as it did when the hotel opened in 1905.(Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times)

As families in California and beyond prepare for their summer vacations, hotels and restaurants throughout the West are short on staff, including many in popular national parks, according to a report by the Los Angeles Times.

Industry veterans say this is partly because the pandemic recovery has put workers in high demand everywhere. But it’s also because tens of thousands of foreign student workers, who often take positions in Yosemite, the Grand Canyon and other popular destinations, are still unable to enter the U.S.

“I can’t remember a year where we‘ve had this many vacancies at this point in the season,” said Matt Morgan, vice president and co-owner of Colorado-based Coolworks.com, which tracks hospitality jobs and other seasonal positions in national parks.

What does this mean for travelers?

“Anywhere you go, you’ve got to be prepared to be patient and be compassionate. The folks that are there are probably working really long hours because they’re short-staffed,” Morgan said.

“I would expect long lines at times,” said Sonny Taylor, vice president of Janus International, a visa sponsorship agency that matches international college students with hospitality jobs and internships in U.S. parks and elsewhere. “There are definitely still a lot of empty jobs in many parts of the country, especially in the hospitality sector.”

Click here to read the full report by the Los Angeles Times.