Though Santa Fe's living wage rose to $11.80 in March, arts mega-corp Meow Wolf, not to be outdone, announced today that its minimum hourly rate for employees is spiking to $17 per hour in Santa Fe. The raise takes place immediately. Meow Wolf identifies the rate as a "starting wage" in a press release, where it also notes that the $17 will also apply to seasonal and part-time employees.
"Basically it acts an as an entry-level, base wage," Meow Wolf CEO Vince Kadlubek tells SFR. "None of our hourly employees will be paid less than that. And this triggers a domino effect for a lot of our employees; a lot of other people will tick up proportionately."
Kadlubek zeroes in on Santa Fe's housing crisis as a catalyst for the raise.
"We think a lot of about living wage, and we've been committed to $15 an hour, but the way Santa Fe's living wages are going, especially on the housing side—I complain about housing all the time, the cost and the lack of housing, and yet our employees are stuck with the bill," he says. "We need to support the employees here."
Rising attendance at Meow Wolf's House of Eternal Return also played a role in the decision.
"March and April of this year have been amazing; the crowds have been amazing, it's relentless," Kadlubek says, "and our team has responded so well. They're … an amazing committed team and, we know, the heart of our company is right there on Rufina Circle, and we just want to maintain that."
Since this raise will probably mean Santa Feans (and non-Santa Feans) lining up to apply for work, Kadlubek mentions that seasonal positions are currently available in the lead-up to summer and advises checking out Meow Wolf's website job board for more information on careers.
The company is reportedly one of the city's largest employers and continues to report growth. While in 2017 the Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce listed 180 employees there, Kadlubek tells SFR that number's now up to 425.