DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — As many businesses struggle to find enough employees, the Daytona Lagoon is taking a new approach to make sure they are ready for the summer season. 

What You Need To Know

  •  Daytona Lagoon needs another 100 to 115 employees before the busy summer season

  •  To drum up interest, general manager Tyler Currie is offering $500 sign-up bonuses and increased wages

  • Experts say these types of incentives will likely become more common in the service industry

Daytona Lagoon has it all from water slides, to go carts, to games. However, the one thing it is lacking is employees.

“We are probably about 50 to 60% staffed for our summer staffing but we are probably looking at needing another 100 to 115 employees before the end of this month,” said Tyler Currie, General Manager of Daytona Lagoon. 

Currie expects this to be a busy summer and knows he’s not the only one struggling to get new hires, so they’re taking a new approach by offering big benefits​.

“The first one is we are offering a $500 bonus, so if they are hired before June 1st and work through labor day then they’ll get that $500 bonus," said Currie. 

They are also implementing a bump in wages. Between the two initiatives, he expects this to cost the Lagoon an extra $100,000 dollars in labor. 

“This year we went from roughly $8.65 up to that $10.15 dollar mark so it is about a $1.50 pay increase," Currie said. "I mean, it is a chunk that goes against our budget that we really weren't expecting, but it is really something we felt we needed."

David Cathey, a partner with Unity Search Group, one of the top recruiting companies in the country, weighed in on this issue.​ He believes these kind of incentives will likely become more common, especially in the hospitality industry, which he says is the hardest hit by the labor shortage. 

“So there is a lot of bonuses, there is a lot of subsidized meals, tuition reimbursement and, for the time being, I feel like that is what you are going to see up until September," Cathey said. "And then when September comes there could be a significant adjustment in the unemployment." 

However, Cathey said in some cases the extra expenses could just be transferred to the customer. 

“Any time a cost increases, the domino effect is a lot of that cost is transferred onto the consumer," Cathey said. "So, you can see a lot of increases in prices in products, restaurants, meals may increase their process just to offset that."

As for Currie, he said Daytona Lagoon is planning a small price increase, but he’s already seeing more applications. 

"If they don’t want to work for us, there are other opportunities out here on beachside, all the restaurants are looking for people to work, all the hotels are looking for people to work and I really hope we can get this area all staffed up, that way we can have a good summer all together,” said Currie. 

Cathey said other ways for businesses to attract employees is by laying out paths for advancement. He believes those that come back to work now could see a payoff in the long run by having faster advancement opportunities and bigger raises. 

To apply for a job at Daytona Lagoon, you can fill out an application here.