Why Working at Woodloch is Something Special!
For many people in many places, a job is just a job. For a lucky few, however, it can be much more. Speak to the employees here at Woodloch, and you’ll find out where these “lucky few” have been hiding. A little background is needed to understand why working at Woodloch is so special . . .
Woodloch has a unique history which is a large part of what creates such an exceptional staffing base. The fairytale-like origin of Woodloch dates all the way back to 1939 where two high school sweethearts, Harry and Mary, made a life-long pact on a little-known lake, Lake Teedyuskung, in the dense forest in the Northern Pocono Mountains. After the couple wed, the stresses of the “1950’s New York rat race” became a burden on their young family. Mary often thought about the gorgeous lake from her younger days, but her thoughts were quickly consumed by the task of raising her three children. One fine day, Harry saw a for sale listing in the New York Times for a small resort on a private lake in Northeastern Pennsylvania. As fate would have it, the lake turned out to be Teedyuskung!
Set on 12 acres along the lake with two cottages, a main lodge and no running water, Woodloch Pines first opened its doors in 1958 to a full-house of 40 guests. This was Harry and Mary’s home; all were welcome. And because the guest list was originally comprised of their old friends from Long Island, everyone was treated like they were family, including the staff.
As the years passed, the resort grew, and Harry and Mary’s eldest son, John, took the reins in 1981. John had the vision to expand and thus embarked upon the construction of Woodloch Springs, a residential golf course community, just two-and-a-half miles down the road from the Pines. In 2006, sister property The Lodge at Woodloch: A Destination Spa opened and has since ranked among the top five spas in the world.
As Woodloch expanded, the entire Kiesendahl family, which now included grandchildren and encompassed three generations, never lost sight of their original mission to “treat all guests as if they were company in their own homes.” Additionally, as staffing numbers increased to keep up with the ever-growing resort, John and his family made sure that they too were welcomed and treated like family.
Visit us, and it quickly becomes apparent that the concept of family is truly at the core of Woodloch and is key to its longtime success. Employees work hard and are passionate about what they do and why they do it. Staff can attest to feeling like they are as much a part of the fun of being on vacation as the guests. It is no wonder that TripAdvisor voted Woodloch as the #1 family resort in the United States. Take a look at some of the reviews on the TripAdvisor website, and you’ll notice a plethora of comments mentioning how “friendly,” “accommodating,” “compassionate” and “caring” the employees are and how they constantly go “above and beyond.”
Woodloch employees are honored with award programs, yearly bonuses, health workshops, dance classes, and use of facilities for staff and family on Sunday evenings; this includes a full gym, basketball, pool, and game rooms. Woodloch was voted “The Number One Place to Work in Pennsylvania.”
Woodloch generates the most tourism dollars in the Northern Pocono Mountains area and attracts welcomes nearly 100,000 visitors per year.
On top of all this, Woodloch is very important to Northeast Pennsylvania’s business economy. The all-inclusive resort has always felt strongly that the community is as much a part of the family as, well, the family. Family-owned and operated for 60 years, Woodloch consistently strives to make a difference in the community whether it be on a local, national, or global level. This effort begins with its staff.
Woodloch is the largest employer in Pennsylvania’s Wayne and Pike Counties, employing over 1,200 staff members. It is worth noting that nearly 20% of Woodloch’s employees have at least 10 years of dedicated service, and 80 of these staff members have worked for the family resort for at least 20 years. Considering that the hospitality industry is well-known for its high annual turnover rate, with recent estimates at over 72%, this is certainly a notable accomplishment.
As our President and C.E.0., John Kiesendahl, summarizes, “Simply put, we couldn’t do it without our staff. We have a beautiful property with wonderful amenities, accommodations and food, but without our employees, we couldn’t achieve the level of success that we have over the past 60 years. We take tremendous pride in our staff and feel it’s necessary to acknowledge what they bring to our business.”