WT Spotlight: Devil’s Thumb Ranch and Mikhail Lortkipanidze

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Devil’s Thumb Ranch, located in the Rocky Mountains in Tabernash, CO has been working with CHI Work & Travel for one year now. The Ranch is a highly regarded spa and resort offering upscale accommodations, fine dining and both winter and summer outdoor activities. Sarah Smith, director of Human Resources, has only positive things to say about hiring W&T participants and how it has affected business.

Devil’s Thumb Ranch currently uses CHI to staff their positions in both winter and summer. The students work as housekeepers, dishwashers, prep cooks, bussers and food runners. “Our guests love interacting with employees from other countries”, says Sarah. “We’ve had guests speak in their native language with our employees from their home country or reminisce about their trips to those countries”.

Sarah and the staff at Devil’s Thumb Ranch go above and beyond to make the students feel welcome. It is their company goal to expose the students to some of the fun activities thought the area. During WT Spotlight: Devil's Thumb Ranch and Mikhail Lortkipanidze 1the summer, the W&T participants were able to go whitewater rafting, mountain biking, fly fishing, horseback riding, and even attended a Colorado Rockies game in Denver. Devil’s Thumb Ranch feels it is important to experience life in Colorado outside of work and also get to know their co-workers better.

One participant that has had an exceptional experience this summer is Mikhail Lortkipanidze from Ukraine. Mikhail is a busser/back server at the resort and joined the program to improve his English and experience the American lifestyle. Mikhail felt that you could study English as much as you wanted but to really improve and become fluent, you needed to go some place where you could use it every day.

Mikhail loves working for Devil’s Thumb Ranch and especially enjoys the people he has met and the friendships he has made. He feels like the staff is a big family. Coming from a small town, he also has enjoyed all of the fun activities he’s been able to participate in.

Next up for Mikhail is returning home to finish his last year of university. He needs to make some decisions about his future, and to help him do that he is looking to join an internship program with a global company. He would love to spend more time in the U.S. before returning home to begin his own business. Mikhail says, “I am absolutely sure that the experience that I get from participating in the W&T Program will increase my chance to apply to a good job in the future”.

We are grateful to both Devil’s Thumb Ranch and Mikhail for showing us how wonderful and beneficial this program can be for all those involved.

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