In a diverse and increasingly year-round resort setting like Steamboat Springs, the business of managing rental properties has become much more complex than it was in the early days of ski condos. The COVID-19 real estate rush has created a whole new generation of potential tenants, and finding a local rental management expert is more important than ever.
Since the mid-1970s, Steamboat’s Resort Group has provided a comprehensive, local solution for residential and commercial property management, representing over 100 Homeowners Associations with over 5,000 owners throughout the greater Yampa Valley.
“We serve a lot of clients with a wide range of goals and expectations. Many are out-of-town homeowners who entrust us with the keys to their dream and want to share their vacation home with others” , explains Joe Cashen, Vice President of Business Development at Resort Group.
Along with Larry Mashaw, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Resort Group, the duo help oversee a rental service that has grown exponentially since it started with a single property in 1976. The local team of Resort Group remains focused on cultivating great experiences and lasting memories for all those they house, providing reliable and comprehensive property management services to owners and attracting visitors to Steamboat Springs to create jobs and fuel our local economy.
Adapt to meet changing needs
“Larry and I have been doing this for a long time. Winter demand and revenue fundamentals remain fairly constant, but our summer and fall tourism has evolved a lot over the past 10 years,” notes Cashen. “Skiing has certainly evolved too, and not just in terms of lifts and equipment. Travelers now expect things like real-time online booking, on-demand shuttle service, and personal text messaging communication. Skiers and cyclists are also looking for more from the resort, like high-end food, free wifi, and craft cocktails at mountain restaurants. Despite all these changes, ski vacations remain the most rewarding way for travelers to recreate themselves during the winter months. Skiing is an experience you can share with friends and family. It takes people out of their comfort zone where a lot of personal growth can happen. Standing on top of the mountain does a lot for the human spirit.
Over nearly five decades, Resort Group’s reach has expanded locally, and the company describes its role as “Total Resort Services,” providing everything from HOA management, long-term rentals and assistance to builders in real estate development. But at its core, the company remains Steamboat’s go-to source for reliable, local vacation rental management, with a diverse portfolio of properties that hosts more than 10,000 vacationers each year.
Commitment to expert service and support
Resort Group is also one of Steamboat Springs’ largest employers, with a year-round team of 150 people providing maintenance, housekeeping, guest services, marketing and property management. . This number more than doubles with the influx of seasonal employees working during the winter season. Resort Group offers its own comprehensive employee housing program and a team of fully vetted professional workers who can provide a wide range of maintenance and housekeeping services, even during low season.
In 2021, the do-it-yourself lure of online vacation rental marketplaces like Airbnb or VRBO could make property management an old-fashioned concept. However, many new owners underestimate the availability, cost, and logistics of hiring staff and contracting service providers in Steamboat Springs. As a people-oriented company, Resort Group makes it a priority to develop talent and create redundancy in critical operational roles across their business. This commitment explains the longevity and experience of their team members and the elevated services they provide, such as evening maintenance and after-hours emergency response. Resort Group staff also offer a personal touch that owners and renters may not find when calling a 1-800 number for assistance, especially when an unexpected problem arises after hours.
Resort Group’s reservations expertise begins with a locally managed marketing and call center operation, delivering proven and reliable rental results to owners year after year. “We have a dedicated and experienced in-house marketing team. Over the years, we’ve built a large database of past guests, and we can effectively target and connect personally with people who are equally passionate about our community,” says Cashen. “Our websites, visual content and digital marketing are all created and managed by our in-house experts, which gives us much more adaptability and responsiveness. Our call center is here, staffed by locals. When COVID first hit Steamboat and the resort suddenly closed, our team personally called over 400 guests that Saturday night, encouraging every guest to reconsider boarding the next day.
Offer unique local benefits
As people’s lives get busier, especially as the pandemic begins to wane, working with a professional property management and marketing company can help homeowners escape the headaches and stress from the hustle and bustle of renting, especially coordinating ongoing cleaning and maintenance issues. “We focus on this activity on a daily basis, and it’s a more complicated commitment than some owners realize,” says Mashaw.
Resort Group’s long-established local connections offer preferential schedules with local contractors, discounts from local suppliers and access to major rental platforms such as Steamboat.com and Ski.com. Their rental platform also includes sites like Vrbo and Airbnb, providing unparalleled exposure and rental income opportunities for their properties. At a time when positive guest reviews are critical to returning business, Resort Group takes a particularly proactive approach to making a tenant’s stay as pleasant as possible. “We don’t wait for customers to come and go; we contact everyone soon after they arrive, and any special requests are handled early in their experience,” adds Mashaw. “That extra effort is what drives 5-star reviews, which helps drive our future bookings and success.”