Vail Daily Bizwatch: Rocky Mountain Escapes & Hunts
Location: Vail ValleyDate opened: June 1.Owner: Melinda Lee TierneyContact info: http://www.rockymountainescapes.com, Melinda@rockymountainescapes.com, 970-445-8885What goods or services do you provide? My company provides travel services to vacationers and travelers within the Vail Valley, with an emphasis on walking and biking scavenger hunts for various events – birthdays, weddings, corporate teams, ski clubs or school trips. These hunts give visitors and locals alike an exciting opportunity to get to know the area better. Other services include scheduling local activities, restaurants, transportation, child and pet care, grocery shopping and house cleaning and lodging if requested.What’s new or exciting at your place? My emphasis right now is the Scavenger Hunt part of my business. Hunts, urban races, and the like are popping up all over the nation so I am excited to offer that in Vail, and soon to downvalley locations. I am also working on a culinary hunt (hoping to launch for leaf peeping season) giving participants a fantastic opportunity to taste some of the tremendous cuisine in the area as they scamper around solving clues getting them from establishment to establishment. What strategy do you use to differentiate your business from your competition? If you want to be the best, you have to have passion for what you are doing. As an avid traveler myself, I truly want to see vacationers have the best visit they can. So as a travel consultant, I will design an appropriate vacation meeting the guests’ interests as well as their budget. If I keep in mind what is important to them, I will succeed.What philosophy do you follow in dealing with your customers? What can your customers expect from you? My philosophy is simple – earn my customers’ business by meeting their needs. If I have a group that wants an educational hunt, they will learn about Vail history – who was Ted Kindel for instance. They can expect me to be adaptable to any age group.Tell us a little about your background, education and experience: I grew up in New Jersey (hardly the mountains) but after moving west after college, I was smitten with the great outdoors and the amazing recreation it provides. I have worked in a variety of resort areas and jobs after college – Zion and Glacier national parks, in Vail, and as a tour leader. One of the most challenging yet rewarding positions was as the latter, as a tour leader, where I whisked around 10-14 people on camping adventures. With people of all nations, I’ve seen calving glaciers in Alaska, northern lights in Canada, sunrises and sunsets at the Grand Canyon, and too much more to mention. At the end of four years traveling in this position, Colorado beckoned me back to the fresh air, green forests, blue skies, never-ending fantastic things to do and the kind souls that call also call Colorado home. I want to share my love for this place with as many people who visit, and I am certain the local knowledge I have gleaned over more than a decade aptly prepares me to create vibrant experiences for vacationers.What is the most humorous thing that has happened at your business since you opened? The first scavenger hunt I put together was for some friends and was a timed hunt. I didn’t want the clues to be easy but in turn they were harder than I realized so there was no time for the participants to enjoy a beverage as they scavenged from place to place. They were quick to give me constructive feedback, and indeed not having enough time for a cocktail was first on their list.
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