17 May 2016
Here’s why Great Western Lodging is truly the premier vacation rental and property management company in Breck!
Whether staging a reunion, providing restaurant recommendations, readying guests for mountain bike season or fixing boilers and deep cleaning for property owners, Great Western Lodging does it all.
How many rental companies do you come across that take your dog to the dog park? Or know exactly which hiking trail to take to find blooming Columbines or which bike rides will be muddy or dry? There are plenty of big name property rental companies in Breckenridge, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find one with the level of service, attention to detail, longevity or local knowledge of Great Western Lodging. That goes for both renting out a vacation rental and managing properties.
“There was considerable turnover in the former company’s staff and it was very difficult to get good service,” says Larry Pithan, who has been using GWL to manage his property since 2001. “We were looking for a company that was going to be around for the long haul. Our relationship with GWL over the past 15 years has been excellent.”
Pithan goes on to say how his complex was often rented to large groups, often college students on spring break that made a lot of noise, damaged units and gave the property “a certain reputation” that “drove away some of the better renters.”
“GWL turned all of this around by doing a much better job vetting potential renters and improving the overall reputation of the complex,” Pithan says. “I really appreciate their professionalism and skill in managing both individual properties and full associations. They are far and away the best management company I’ve worked with.”
Karen Svetlic, another long-time Breck property owner, seconds that sentiment.
“We are thrilled and always have been with Great Western. Every time we have had something that needs repairing we are notified immediately. We have been gently counseled as to how to make our condo more appealing for rentals, which has lead to an increase in income. We feel our condo is cleaned with great care and always ready to greet a new guest,” Svetlic says.
As for going the extra mile, property owner William Lake mentions that Great Western Lodging has gone as far as stepping in to help out with his four legged friend, who happens to be named “Breck.”
“Breck, the Kerry Blue Terrier, has been to the dog park with the dog of staff members on lunch break. Their staff goes out of their way to assist us with dog sitting on an emergency basis,” Lake says.
Jeff Cospolich, general manager of Great Western Lodging for the last 19 years, answers some questions highlighting his company’s homegrown, above-and-beyond service.
How and when did Great Western Lodging launch and what was the original vision?
Jeff Cospolich: Chad Christy founded the company in May 1997 and I was the first person he hired. At the time, Chad saw mom and pop businesses doing OK, but the big companies in town had 300, 400 properties. We were hearing from owners that the corporate people were too big for their own good, whether it was a revolving door of staff, not returning phone calls, or not having answers. Chad saw there was a need for better service.
For visitors to Breck, what sets Great Western Lodging apart from other local rental companies?
JC: We love where we live and that shows in our service level, whether it’s recommending a restaurant or a trail to go hiking or biking on. When guests initially check in, they come to a nice facility and deal with a real person with a smile. A lot of people are moving toward keyless entry, where the owner emails you a code for when you’re here. But a lot of visitors, whether they’re from New Orleans or Boulder, are going to have a lot of questions. There’s no substitute for the wealth of knowledge we provide. We also send emails to guests to make sure they have everything they need. Their requests will range from ‘I need more towels,’ to ‘Giampietro is a great restaurant but I can’t get in, where else can I go?’ or, ‘there are 25 people in front of the crepe place, when is the best time for a shorter line?’ We’re both service providers and their reliable friend in Breckenridge. We are vested in our guests’ enjoyment.
For homeowners, what does GWL offer as far as maintenance and upkeep compared to its competitors?
JC: People take this for granted, but our network of contractors and vendors is priceless. If you’re trying to get your house painted, there are probably 30 people that call themselves painters in Breck. There’s five or six that do a good job. Our best contractors are super busy, but if they have to go replace a faucet or replace a part in a boiler, they will squeeze us in every time. We’ve had the same plow driver for 18 years. We offer homeowners transparency. They’re trusting us to not just rent but to watch over their $3 million dollar house. Part of it is having maintenance and housekeeping in there at least once a week. We can prevent a maintenance nightmare. In shoulder seasons, we’re replacing batteries, carbon monoxide detectors, doing a deep cleaning of the property – oiling baseboards, pulling refrigerators out and dusting. It could be something as simple as putting throw pillows in the exact same spot on the couch for someone. Everyone has their own criteria.
How is GWL involved in the Breck community?
JC: From the beginning, we’ve had a soft spot for childcare and cycling. We’ve contributed to daycare facilities – The Little Red Schoolhouse and The Carriage House. It stems from having families of our own. As employers, we talk about the challenges we face and daycare is a big one. Chad and I are avid cyclists and we’ve enjoyed working with the local cycling community, ranging from sponsoring a junior league mountain bike team to getting involved with race sponsorships like the Breck Epic and Firecracker 50.
What are the most memorable experiences you’ve had with satisfied guests and/or property owners?
JC: There’s always the classic scenario of someone who’s had a horrible travel experience getting to Breck, maybe they started on the East Coast, lost their bags, etc. Seeing their vacation take a huge turn for the better starting with one of our staff members taking their own car to bring them to their property is pretty cool. If someone had a rough go of it, we’re bending over backwards to give them a positive experience. Some of our guests have had mini reunions here. It will start will one reservation and the next thing you know, we’ve got five bookings and one of our staff is the point person, choreographing airport transfers, grocery orders, etc. People like that one-stop shop. There are customers who have us on speed dial. We make people feel like they really have a place here and people they know.
If you are interested in learning more about vacation rental or property management opportunities through Great Western Lodging, please contact our Owner Relations/Acquisitions and HOA Manager, Keith Kroepler – Keith@gwlodging.com.