A large staff ran the resort. Many staffers came back year after year. For that matter, so did many of the guests. Jobs were divided into "adult" jobs and "kid" jobs. The grownup jobs were taken by a longtime group, primarily Jack's immediate family, who were also his partners.
Jack's wife Cecelia ("Ceil") managed the guest room operation, including housekeeping. Ceil's sister Mary Jewett managed the laundry, which ran 24/7 to service the demanding needs of the resort. Jack's sister Flo Levowitz oversaw the front desk, including reservations, her husband Irv handled the back office, including bookkeeping. Jack's other sister Claire Goldblatt ran the dining room, while her husband Lou kept things humming in the sometimes chaotic kitchen.
Among other well-known Banner employees in the "grownup" jobs were entertainment directors Alan "Foozie" Gordon in the early years and later the affable Jack Mathers; Harry Molbert, the corny dance instructor, who held forth at the pool most afternoons; Irv Jeffries and his band performed nightly either onstage or in the lounge; Pistol Pete, the gate guard, whose belt buckle sported an impressive pistol motif; longtime chef Abe Flaks and pastry king Werner Oppenheimer provided the food, no small feat given that a typical meal accommodated more than 300 guests at a time in its two dining rooms sometimes with two separate seatings. In addition, weekly lakeside barbecues were eagerly anticipated events.
From the 1940s through the early 1960s, the Banner social staff was an integral part of the entertainment, performing skits and providing musical entertainment. Click here for photos of these classic routines.
As with many other Moodus resorts, college kids came from across the Northeast for the dozens of jobs available for the summer. Some jobs were clearly coveted. For instance, the sports director and lifeguard positions offered mostly pleasant outdoor work and plenty of opportunity for social interaction. Other jobs required more sweat and less sunshine: dining room work, for instance. Still others like kitchen jobs and anything in the laundry, for example, provided little opportunity for pleasant interludes. Many of these positions were held by Caribbean and other immigrants.
Some jobs generated big tips and a nice income (wait staff, lifeguards) while others hovered at minimum wage (groundskeeper, camp counselor). Rustic staff cabins housed most of the summer workers while others commuted from area towns. For many of the kids who competed for jobs at the resort, part of the attraction was the chance of a summer romance.