View from the Bottom

MikeThe View from the Bottom is Mike Millisor’s monthly letter to all of the stakeholders of the Breckenridge Grand Vacations family of resorts.

Remember how long it seemed from one winter holiday season to the next when you were a kid? Now, one seems to come on the heels of another. And remember how as a kid the holidays were bounded by gatherings at school and at home? Now it seems we fly from one party to another, one mall to another.

I was reminded of both of these perspectives a few weeks ago in the midst of our employee holiday party. It was the 31st holiday party the BGV executive team had thrown for our staff, and we partied with more than 700 employees and their spouses and dates. I could hardly believe that we had moved in the blink of an eye from fewer than 50 attendees in the early years to this great huge BGV family. Yet as I stood in front of the group to launch the festivities, I felt no less that each and every person there was kin. We are kin in our love of the beauty of Breckenridge, we are kin in our support of one another and we are kin in the satisfaction of providing grand vacations to our owners.

It was a short step for me, that evening, to imagine the larger family of which we are a part. I felt the presence of each one of you, binding together the team of BGV employees as they work each day to support you, me and each other. It is our shared commitment to you, our owners, that brings us together every day, and in special ways at special times of the year. The BGV family of vacation owners now numbers over 21,000, and I am pleased that I still know many of you by name.

You may be with us in person only once or a few times a year, but just as children move away and still visit regularly, we consider you part of our family. And just as families do with each new year, we wish you many blessings in 2016. Hold your own families close, and cherish each moment of these days.

Mike Millisor


Timeshare Tales Winner

Congratulations to the Lowrance family for winning the Breckenridge Timeshare Tales contest! We had some amazing entries, and it wasn’t easy to pick a winner. Five members of the Breckenridge Grand Vacations Owner Relations department judged the entries, narrowing them down to a top 15, then a top five and finally a winner! Thank you all for your entries, and take a look at a few of our favorites below.

First Place:

photoMy family experience began at Grand Timber Lodge back in 1998 or 1999, when I received a packet from Grand Timber asking me if I was interested in buying into a property that was only in the drawing stage at the time. I live outside of Memphis, Tennessee, and the only explanation that I could come up with as to why I received this in the mail was that I was single and for the previous three years, I had planned a trip for a large group of my single friends and booked the Breckenridge condos in my name.

I grew up in a conservative, middle-class family, and I knew that I had a good job and a house, but would not be able to afford a vacation rental on my own. I approached my father from the angle that if he bought in with me, it would be a good way for us to meet my sister and brother-in-law once per year in Colorado. (They live in Seattle but had lived in Colorado previously). HE BOUGHT IT! And the two of us began to try to sell my mother on the idea.

In summer 1999, after signing the papers and buying into Grand Timber, my mother and I visited the property. Building 1 was the only building that was finished. In the winter of 2000, we came out for our first of many “family reunions.” Since that time we have significantly enlarged our family. I added a husband in 2001 and two children, one in 2003 and the other in 2005—followed by my sister and brother-in-law adding twins in 2006.

In all different stages of our trips, we have been able to be together to build memories as a family, even though we all live so far apart. Grand Timber has allowed my parents to get to know their grandkids who live on the other side of the US. We have watched the kids grow from infants to skiing blue and black runs on the mountain.

My dad is now gone, but WOW, what memories he helped our family build by just helping me follow my dream.

Kristen Lowrance

Honorable Mentions:

My life changed in so many wonderful ways after I purchased at Grand Timber Lodge two years ago, and I could never be happier!

Becoming an owner has been a wonderful experience for me. I fell in love with Breckenridge five years ago and decided to become an owner two years ago. My longtime boyfriend and I immediately started enjoying the benefits of ownership by visiting Summit County 10–15 days each season to snowboard, even though we live in California.

In April 2014, I drove to Breckenridge with a close friend to enjoy a weeklong vacation. One day when she and I were getting off Imperial Lift, I was completely surprised to see my boyfriend! The man I love was waiting for me at the top of the tallest lift in America, proposing to me on a beautiful bluebird day! Of course I said YES, and we expect to marry next summer!

I am so thankful for the beautiful memory he has given me, but it never would have been possible without my ownership at Grand Timber Lodge! Breckenridge will always hold a special place in my heart for giving me such a beautiful life moment.

Thank you for always taking care of us and making us feel welcomed!

Kristin Guerrero (soon to be Mrs. Hermano)!


As a handicapped person who has had multiple spinal surgeries, I have extreme mobility limitations. Back in 2000 my husband and I moved to Colorado with the hopes of being able to enjoy all the winter and summer activities outdoors; this was prior to the onset of my major medical issues. We began traveling around and discovered Breckenridge. Needless to say, we fell in love—so much so that we purchased a vacation ownership at the Grand Timber Lodge after the groundbreaking. Since that time we have traveled to Breckenridge year round to enjoy all our favorite outdoor activities.

To that end, we purchased a time share at the Grand Lodge Peak 7 in 2014, and it has been heaven since then. I am able to get directly on to the Peak Trail year round to enjoy hiking, climbing, walking, snowshoeing, ice hiking and various other activities and then relax and enjoy the saunas and grotto to unwind from a heavenly day.

My trips to the Grand Lodge at Peak 7 are always memorable, as I am always testing my physical abilities in new and exciting ways, and the staff at the Grand Lodge is always ready to help me in any way I may need. I simply could not be happier. I am always excited to arrive and always sad to leave, but always look forward to my next trip.


timeshare taleMy husband and I have been foster parents with a local Denver agency for over 10 years, and during that time we have had the opportunity to serve over 25 children by welcoming them into our home, into our family, loving on them and guiding them  for as little or as long as they need.

Through those years, we have been extraordinarily blessed to adopt four of those special kiddos into our forever family—in addition to our two biological daughters and two current foster daughters (not pictured). Having a big family has its advantages (every day is a play date, birthdays every month, no leftovers), but it also has its challenges, like  the laundry mountain, organizing the shoe room and most importantly, taking vacations.

Just getting all of us out of the house, let alone out of town, is like herding cats—it’s nearly impossible to achieve and still remain sane!  Good grief, I nearly lose my religion on the way to church Sunday mornings (can I get an AMEN?).

And this is where Grand Lodge has picked up the slack and made life so sweet for our family!

Since we purchased our ownership in fall 2012, we have, without fail, visited the Grand Lodge over the weekend every other month (yes, they know me by name). This is our dedicated, leave-the-cares-and-troubles-in-the-city-and-go-relax-as-a-family time. It’s non-negotiable! We pack food for the day and clothes … that’s it! The Lodge has everything else covered … even down to the sunscreen and combs! I know exactly what to expect for each visit … and without fail, the Lodge delivers—beautifully! The staff bends over backward to make our stay a vacation, not just a family trip (Ummm, yes! There is a difference).

We desperately need those weekends to regroup and recoup, and I truly believe that our family’s success is highly attributable to our commitment to vacation so regularly.

We even get to steal an adults-only weekend about twice a year. That is remarkably amazing!

Grand Lodge, thank you for all you do; you are part of our family (yes, there is room)!

See you in January!


View from the Bottom

MikeThe View from the Bottom is Mike Millisor’s monthly letter to all of the stakeholders of the Breckenridge Grand Vacations family of resorts.

If you read this column anywhere near regularly, you’ll notice that I have two favorite subjects: service and family.  The two come together in my perspective on everything about how we do business: we strive to provide the best possible service by treating each owner and guest, and each other, as members of our family.

A company cannot live up to its values unless it builds those values into every aspect of the company’s culture.  From very early on we instituted an orientation program for new employees, and every employee’s first day on the job was spent receiving a primer on the BGV way of doing things, and more, why we do things the way we do.  We spent time introducing them to our Hospitality Standards and our core values, our industry and our properties, our history and our commitment to the community.  We fine-tuned the orientation over the years as our sense of what is important in order to create grand vacations evolved.

Then, about a year ago, we sat down to take a long, hard look at where we have come in our quest to be the best vacation ownership company in the industry.  We recognized that the quality of the service we provide depends on a whole bunch of attitudes and understandings, and that if we really want to be the best and provide the best grounding to our new employees, we could not simply review the company’s core values, but we needed rather to give these new employees a chance to really dig in and understand what we were asking of them.  We needed to give them the opportunity to wrestle with and embrace the qualities that will make them successful.

To that end, we recently launched a completely revamped, two-day orientation process for new employees.  It begins with a member of the executive team spending an hour and a half presenting an overview of the company, heavily laced with personal experiences and inspiration.  Over the two days, participants not only review the BGV Hospitality Standards; they unpack them.  We don’t just mention employee empowerment; we help them move into it and own it.  They actually get homework to complete.

And the bottom line of all of it comes down to one word:  always.  The entire two days are built around the commitment to provide Always Grand Vacations.  It is critical that each and every one of our employees believes in and is thrilled at the opportunity to serve each person who walks through the doors of our resorts, whether an owner or guest, a vendor, or fellow employee, and to welcome them as a member of our family.

This is our commitment to you, one that I hope you sense every time you walk through our doors.  We work hard at it, and we hope it shows.


Timeshare Tales

headerInterested in winning a FREE four night stay at the Grand Lodge on Peak 7, high performance ski rentals for four from Ski Butlers, ski outfits for four from Getoutfitted and a $250 Visa gift card?

It’s pretty easy, just click the link below and tell us how your timeshare has helped create a grand ski story for you and your family. Pictures encouraged! Contest ends December 21, so enter now!

There are no requirements (other than you have to be a BGV owner) to enter, we just want to give away a pretty grand prize to our owners.



View from the Bottom

MikeThe View from the Bottom is Mike Millisor’s monthly letter to all of the stakeholders of the Breckenridge Grand Vacations family of resorts.

There is no disputing that the core of Summit County’s attraction as a vacation destination is the wonderful variety of outdoor activities, from alpine sports in winter to hiking, biking, and fishing in summer. Yet as Breckenridge has grown and developed over the years, residents and visitors alike have been able to enjoy an increasingly diverse mix of artistic and creative opportunities, which have become a draw for all.

At the center of the Breckenridge creative community are long-standing cultural organizations you may already be aware of, such as the Backstage Theatre, the Breckenridge Film Festival, the National Repertory Orchestra and the Breckenridge Music Festival.  In 2014, Breckenridge Creative Arts, or BreckCreate, was developed by the Town of Breckenridge to build on and promote this strong foundation. BreckCreate, a nonprofit organization, is rapidly assembling an impressive cultural corridor in the heart of downtown Breckenridge.

BreckCreate has focused development of arts programs around three types of experience: events, classes, and exhibits. Events span a spectrum of interests, from National Geographic’s speaker series at the Riverwalk Center, to the MET Opera Live in HD broadcasts at Colorado Mountain College, to appearances by nationally known performers at venues around town. If hands-on is more your style, you can choose from classes not only in traditional art forms like photography and watercolor, but belly dancing and mask making.  Strolling through the one-acre campus of restored historic structures offers a feast for the eyes in exhibits of textiles, ceramics, metalwork, painting and more.

A great deal of work by a lot of committed people has gone into creating this magnet for artistic and cultural talent in our community, and I hope you’ll take half a day (or more) during your next visit to check out the riches. Start your exploration by visiting the BreckCreate website at www.breckcreate.org. This is a new opportunity for all of us, and I hope that you’ll find it an exciting enhancement to your vacation ownership experience.

Mike Millisor


View from the Bottom

MikeThe View from the Bottom is Mike Millisor’s monthly letter to all of the stakeholders of the Breckenridge Grand Vacations family of resorts.

We know you love Breckenridge.  It’s hard to imagine a better vacation spot in Colorado – and Colorado has a lot of great vacation spots.  But we know that there are many other wonderful places around the country and the world to explore.  Which highlights another great benefit of vacation ownership – the ability to exchange your week through Interval International for time in one of those other exciting destinations.

We also know, however, that the exchange process can be a bit confusing.  From the start, a number of questions arise:  For how many days and in what season can I get the best value?  What is the best resort in that locale for my family’s needs?  How far ahead must I plan my vacation?  And while Interval International does provide its own telephone staff to assist with the booking process, they are not equipped to walk you through the many details that go into planning a vacation tailored just for you.

As part of our commitment to creating grand vacations for our owners, many years ago we established an internal Interval International Support Team to assist our owners in booking exchange stays, thus becoming one of only a handful of resorts in the industry to offer this kind of owner assistance.

This team of eight Breckenridge Grand Vacations employees knows Interval International and the exchange process inside and out, and have all the tools and connections to find you the perfect fit in that exotic destination.  Many of them have done extensive travel of their own, and they can even help you decide which destination is a good fit for the kinds of activities you enjoy.

Even if you’re not sure if, when or where you want to try your first or fifteenth exchange, give our I.I. Support Team a call at 877-453-4440 and let a true exchange professional help you plan your next out-of-state or out-of-country getaway!

Mike Millisor