East West Resorts rebrands
February 11, 2016
By the numbers
30: Years of business for East West Resorts
65: Homeowner associations for which the company provides management services.
3,600: Units under management.
700: Vail Valley employees.
For information, go to http://www.eastwestdestinationhospitality.com.
EAGLE COUNTY — As a company grows, sometimes the firm's name needs to change with the time. East West Resorts has hit that point.
The company started 30 years ago as East West Hospitality, an offshoot of — and separate entity from — East West Partners, a real estate development company. The development company's name will remain, but the hospitality firm is now called East West Destination Hospitality.
The expectation is that the new name will help customers better understand what the company does. And the company does a lot.
The firm manages hotels, condo complexes, timeshare projects and luxury home rentals in the Vail Valley, Denver, Charleston, South Carolina and Lake Tahoe, California. The bulk of the company's management work is in the Vail Valley, with responsibility for more than 2,500 units. The units range from the Park Hyatt and Poste Montane in Beaver Creek to The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa in Avon to the Vail Spa and Wren condos in Vail. The company also manages luxury home rentals in the valley's most exclusive neighborhoods, manages three spas and also runs the gas station and convenience store at the Interstate 70 interchange in Edwards.
East West Destination Hospitality Managing Partner Peter Dann said the more the company grew, the less the old name fit.
"We felt that the East West Resorts name was a kind of confusing name," Dann said. So, a couple of years ago, the company's directors and owners started meeting about how best to identify the business. The decision was made to separate the firm's identity into a business-to-business division and a business-to-consumer division."
East West Destination Hospitality is the first step, a business-to-business website and logo intended to appeal to existing and potential business clients.
In the spring of 2016, the company will start to roll out its business-to-consumer websites for lodging rentals. To do that, the company acquired domain names with straight-to-the-top-of-a-web-search potential. Every market the company has rentals in will soon have units listed under a local variation of "Mountain Lodging" — there will be separate sites for Vail, Beaver Creek and Tahoe, California.
"Those should have some real connection with vacation rental clients," Dann said.
Changing the name of a successful company may be necessary, but it isn't easy. It took East West Resorts two years, a lot of meetings and the help of MMGY, a marketing firm, to set a new strategy.
Ralf Garrison is the founder and principal of Destimetrics, a Denver-based resort lodging research company. That company first earned success as MTRiP, an acronym for the Mountain Travel Research Program. That company was founded to track lodging occupancy and other data from mountain resorts. As long as that remained the focus, the name fit.
Then the company started branching out, seeking business in resort markets in warm-weather resorts. Garrison said the company first tried establishing separate websites and logos. That didn't really work, so the company a couple of years ago renamed itself Destimetrics, a mash-up of "destination" and "metrics" that gives potential clients a better idea of just what the company does.
Garrison said he believes East West is on the right track in its re-branding efforts. The "destination hospitality" part of the company's new name helps potential clients better understand just what the company does.
Besides helping customers, Garrison said the process of finding a new name can help a company internally, providing a better definition of what a company does and what it should be doing.
Dann said that was the idea behind new website for management, and the consumer websites to come.
"It's all very comprehensive," Dann said. "It helps define the different types of business we're in."