Vail’s housekeeping general retires
VAIL, Colorado ” Julie Luoma is a self-proclaimed “cleaning freak,” which is a good thing to be when you’re in charge of cleaning hundreds of hotel rooms.
She’s also a bit of a general ” especially in the middle of the hectic ski season, when her troops at the Vail Cascade Resort and Spa must clean 280 hotel rooms in a matter of four hours.
And, also, she’s a den mother to the dozens of housekeepers who work for her.
“I’ve had people who I have worked with in this department for 17 or 18 years,” she said. “That’s why it makes me very sad to leave. It’s not just the job.”
Luoma, housekeeping manager at the Cascade, is retiring after 23 years at the resort. She is moving to California to live with her daughters.
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A South Dakota native, she has lived in Leadville for 50 years. Her father was a manager at the Climax mine.
Before there was ECO Transit, she drove a commuter van from Leadville to Vail for Cascade employees for eight years. For the past few years, she has caught the bus at half-past five in the morning to get to work.
Cleaning is a behind-the-scenes, unglamorous and rigorous job at the luxury resort, but that suits Luoma. She makes sure there are no dirty spots at the hotel.
“Everything ” hair, dust. People pay a lot of money when they come to Vail, and they expect everything to look good,” she said.
Her favorite celeb sighting? The late actor Michael Landon.
“He was wonderful,” she said. “Absolutely down to earth. Spoke with everyone on all the floors.”
Paul Esserman, a Denver businessman who has been staying at the Cascade for 25 years, said he will miss Luoma.
“She’s a great friend, and she’s an outstanding person who has just made a very special commitment to the Vail Cascade and to the whole tradition of the resort,” he said. “She is such a caring individual who has built a staff there that is just beyond compare.”
Concierge Steve Trombetta, one of the few employees who has been at the Cascade longer than Luoma, said she’s been a great, caring manager of her employees for many years.
“She’s our mom,” he said. “She’s everybody’s mom.”
Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 748-2929 or email@example.com.