Over 1 million readers this year!

CAM-PLEX Director: staff burnout is real

Due to the workload, a senior salesperson who’s worked at CAM-PLEX for about five years is leaving for a position with the city of Gillette to gain a better quality of life, Executive Director Aaron Lyles said.

Cam-Plex Multi-Event Facilities

Cam-Plex Multi-Event Facilities

GILLETTE, Wyo. — As the community said they wanted, the CAM-PLEX has increased its activity at the facility, Executive Director Aaron Lyles said March 9.

The CAM-PLEX is running at about 75% to 99% utilization per facility, he said. Utilization days rose from about 352 days in 2004 to 942 in 2023, with roughly the same number of staff: 35.

He said the CAM-PLEX has had an event basically every night for the past month, and on two of the weekends of the past month, every rentable facility was rented back-to-back, he said. He said he’s proud that essential staff came in during the winter’s Level 2 shutdowns.

Due to the workload, a senior salesperson who’s worked at CAM-PLEX for about five years is leaving for a position with the city of Gillette to gain a better quality of life, Lyles said. He declined to name the individual. The person said that working at the facility for another year wasn’t feasible.

“We’re exceptionally happy for this person, but we need help,” he said.

He said all employees are at the level of burnout that the departing employee is at. He said he had a 2-hour detour the morning of March 9 to address the issue with an entire department.

“So, it’s real,” he said.

He said that he’s thankful CAM-PLEX staff are loyal since, while benefits are phenomenal, wages aren’t high, especially considering the hours.

“The staff basically lives here during the summer,” he said.

Chairman Darin Edmonds said that CAM-PLEX is significantly bigger and busier than it was in 2004. Edmonds said the board would have conversations about what CAM-PLEX should look like.

Campbell County Land Board Member Laura Chapman asked what the plan was and said CAM-PLEX staff were the hardest-working people she’s ever met.

“It’s not only not sustainable, it’s not what we as a board should be asking of our employees if there’s a way for us to fix it,” Chapman said.

Lyles presented a personnel plan to the board during an executive session. The board didn’t make a vote after the executive session concluded, Lyles said.

“As an executive director, it keeps me up at night to worry about staff just being overworked,” Lyles said.

Lyles said he’s been working from about 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. every day for several weeks.

Lyles said county government isn’t good at running private enterprise, and the CAM-PLEX operates in the model of a private enterprise business. He said that in lean government operations, there’s a perspective that government needs to be extremely careful in adding positions because positions can’t be eliminated.

“Real extinction-burst” periods of time, like what CAM-PLEX is undergoing now, indicate it’s time to add staff, he said.

Master plan update

More than 400 people completed CAM-PLEX’s online survey, Lyles said.

He said that most of the feedback was pretty positive. More than 95% of people said that they think the CAM-PLEX is important for the community and adds to their quality of life, he said. He said a lot of people showed concern about the facility’s image and status and that he was shocked by how many people use the facility per week.

He said he anticipates preliminary survey results will be available for public review in about a week.

CAM-PLEX will hold public workshops at a yet-to-be-determined time between March 28 and 30, Lyles said. He said he wants the community to be there to ask questions, get information and give feedback.

“That’s really kind of like the last step to capture as much of that information as we can and so that they can generate recommendations for the land board to discuss moving forward,” he said.

Chapman said she believes conceptual information would be available by the time of the National High School Finals Rodeo, which is July 16-22.

Lyles began working for CAM-PLEX Nov. 7.

Events update

  • 485 of the 1,345 volunteering spots that CAM-PLEX needs to fill for the National High School Finals Rodeo have been filled, Director of Sales and Marketing Keith Howard said. This includes volunteering commitments from Lions Club and Rotary Club. At this time last year, CAM-PLEX hadn’t begun recruiting volunteers, he said.
  • Wyoming Sportman’s Group Annual Banquet March 4 sold 104 sponsor tables, up from 92 last year, Howard said. The group sold more than 1,000 tickets, making it their highest-grossing event to date, he said.