Vail Valley Bizwatch: Rocky Mountain Vacation Rentals |

Vail Valley Bizwatch: Rocky Mountain Vacation Rentals

Daily Staff ReportNewsroom@vaildaily.comVail, CO, Colorado

Business name: Rocky Mountain Vacation Rentals.Location: Vail, with offices in Breckenridge, Telluride, and Aspen.Date opened: Originally as Vail Ski Resorts, the business opened in August 2000. In 2009, we became Rocky Mountain Vacation Rentals.Owner: Tommy Z. Hoffman.Contact info: goods or services do you provide? As a third party supplier, Rocky Mountain Vacation Rentals presents a lodging inventory of privately owned homes, condos, hotel properties, and fractional ownership units. We work with property management companies and hotels to offer the most comprehensive lodging inventory in the region, creating a winning situation for our client and the local lodging district. We also provide full concierge services, including transportation, ski rental delivery, dinner reservations, private chefs, guided snowmobile trips, and other requests.What’s new or exciting at your place? We’ve experienced a 400 percent increase in revenue recently, showing remarkable growth in the midst of a recession. We’re also developing markets in Breckenridge, Telluride, and Aspen. We also recently launched a contract with travel technologies and services provider, Inntopia, allowing us to provide real-time booking directly on our web site. This increases our inventory with properties in all major ski resort destinations, as well as making the process of booking a vacation more user friendly and convenient for our customers. We are constantly seeking the most up-to-date technologies to remain at the forefront of travel industry services. What strategy do you use to differentiate your business from your competition? By not owning any inventory, we can present many lodging accommodation options to our guests, in addition to full concierge services. Rocky Mountain Luxury Properties, our real estate branch, offers an opportunity for clients to purchase fractional ownership units. The partnerships we have allow us to provide customers with choices tailored to their needs, in addition to giving local businesses a boost. This is consistent with our pride in having a solid staff and business network of locals, eager to share our enthusiasm for the Rocky Mountains.In addition to our passion for the region, we offer a year-round internship program that allows college students and recent grads to join us as part of the business development team. As a result, our office environment has youthful drive and is a breeding ground for innovative website and marketing development. What philosophy do you follow in dealing with your customers? What can your customers expect from you? Our slogan sums up our philosophy – “Friendly. Knowledgeable. Locals.” Our customers can always expect the most genuine, personal service from Rocky Mountain Vacation Rentals. As Colorado enthusiasts and locals in each of our destinations, clients can expect insight, honesty and personality from us, and in many cases, a new friend in Colorado. In fact, it’s not uncommon for our agents to hit the slopes or grab a beer with their clients. Tell us a little about your background, education and experience: I’m originally from Pennsylvania, studied business administration and pre-law at Temple University, and have been involved with several different types of businesses, including retail gigs and founding a Snowboard-Skateboard-Surf wear company called Etniko.When I brought my family out to Vail for the first time on a ski vacation, we ended up buying a one-bedroom condo and the rest pretty much became history. What is the most humorous thing that has happened at your business since you opened? This happened two years ago at the Ski & Snowboard Expo in Denver. While most booths lure in others with brochures, music, or munchies, I thought nothing could stand out quite as much as Jello shots. After spending hours at the housing provided for interns the previous day, we produced 600-plus Jello shots to accompany us for the event. Sure enough, alcohol can’t be turned down, and our booth drew many smiling faces. This is just one example of our effort to shock others, draw attention, and shake hands.

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