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
GrandVacations@BreckenridgeGrandVacations.com

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)!

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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.

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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!

 

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.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

IMG_0211 IMG_0220Letter from the Assistant General Manager:

It’s hard to believe that December has arrived and 2015 is nearing its end. We’re celebrating a fabulous year filled with improvements, new additions and grand vacation experiences. We are looking forward to continuing these successes in 2016.

Breckenridge Ski Resort is open, and we’re off to a promising start!  With the snow coming down, travelers are driving up, and parking becomes our most popular amenity. To check parking availability and to reserve your spot, please visit the owner website, Grand Central. Grand Lodge on Peak 7 Owners can log into this website seven days in advance beginning at 7 a.m. to reserve their Day Use parking spot. Please remember availability is limited and reservations are required.

With the start of ski season, Sevens restaurant is serving breakfast daily from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Don’t forget to show your owners card to take advantage of the specials Sevens offers for owners; your choice of a burger or pizza with two toppings and a house beer or wine for just $15. The crab night special has been discontinued, however they are featuring pasta night every Wednesday which includes all you can eat spaghetti, meatballs, bread, and salad for only $20 – a grand way to fuel up after a fun winter day.

The Independence SuperChair located at our back door is open!  If you want a preview of this area, click here to check out the live views from the pool area at the Grand Lodge on Peak 7!  Also, for the most up-to-date Breckenridge Ski Resort info and openings, check out http://blog.breckenridge.com/.

Skiing and snowboarding are just two of the activities available this season. Dinner sleigh rides, tubing, and dog sledding are other attractions offered this time of year. Our Activities Coordinators are happy to answer any questions about these activities you may have and can easily make your reservations. To contact them directly, please call 970-453-3359 or email activitiesgl7@breckgv.com. Booking these activities also makes a nice gift and memorable experiences for your loved ones. Other gift options available on property include gift certificates from Soothe Spa, or Colorado and Breckenridge souvenirs found in the Grand Essentials store next to the Front Desk.

The staff at the Grand Lodge on Peak 7 would like to wish all of our owners and their families a warm and joyful holiday season and a very Happy New Year!  We look forward to seeing you in 2016.

Joanni Linton
Grand Lodge on Peak 7 Assistant General Manager

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IMG_0312 IMG_0314Letter from the Assistant General Manager:

We have already seen a good amount of snow since the season started and are looking forward to a lot more!

  • We hope you were all able to enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving with your friends and family. Here at Grand Timber Lodge our entire staff that was scheduled to work on Thanksgiving came together to enjoy a delicious meal.
  • The 2015 Dew Tour will be returning to Breckenridge December 10-13. Please come and join us while we cheer on the pro-athletes as they compete!
  • Dorothy Fehringer has won our $500 monthly drawing! Congratulations! Please contact our On Property Concierge at 970-453-4440 ext. 3012 for details on how you can be entered to win!

Here are some updates of things that have been going on around property:

  • It’s beginning to look a lot more festive around here! All the holiday decorations and winter lights are installed and the property looks great!
  • Good news! We have installed two electric car charging stations on property. One is specifically designed to charge Teslas and the other is designed for any other electric vehicle. These are located in the garage of Building 1. Please let our Front Desk know your vehicle’s charging needs and we will be happy to help!
  • We had a very productive Annual Owner Meeting in November. Thank you very much to everyone who was present and participated; we greatly appreciate your dedication to maximizing your ownership at Grand Timber Lodge. The items discussed at the GTLOA Board Meeting as well as the Annual Meeting are listed below.
  • No Smoking – Beginning January 1 there will be NO smoking on the decks. *See details below.
  • Moving the Reception Center – Sales is exploring moving the Reception Center function to the Grand Room and using the Marketing Desk for both property check-ins as well as tour check-ins.  They will be using the area directly in front of the aspen wall. There will be no walls built, and the space will be available outside of tour times for any guest to enjoy.  The HOA will take back use of the current Reception Center in Building 6.  Stay tuned for details on converting this space.
  • Summer owners will now have the same online booking system that the winter owners currently have. This will greatly improve the owner reservation experience as well getting more owners their top choices.
  • Gerrit Mahsman and Tom Endres were re-elected to the Board; Marc Block was elected as the President of the Board.
  • For a more detailed account of what was discussed and decided please look at the full GTLOA Board Meeting Minutes by logging onto your owner account via Grand Central. Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or if you are interested in getting more information on how you can get involved.

* Smoking tobacco on the decks has always been permitted at Grand Timber Lodge but after receiving many complaints about smoke drifting into neighboring units when the windows are open, the Board has decided to prohibit smoking on the decks beginning January 1. This decision falls in line with our resort theme of a family-friendly property for all to enjoy. We will be installing a smoking shelter on property most likely between the Lodgepole Bar and Grill and Christy Sports and will also have designated smoking areas where our owners and guests will still be allowed to smoke tobacco products. Just as a friendly reminder, smoking marijuana is prohibited throughout the entire property. If it is determined that a guest was smoking in their unit or on their deck they will be charged a $250 fine.

Michelle Ellis
Grand Timber Lodge Assistant General Manager

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Grand Timber Lodge Featured Family: The Voss Family

  • From Fort Worth, TX
  • Grand Timber Lodge owners since 2014

 

On your upcoming HOA bill this January, you will notice a $3.00 contribution to ARDA-ROC (American Resort Development Association – Resort Owners’ Coalition). Your participation in the Resort Owners’ Coalition helps ARDA-ROC in its efforts to advance legislation that protects owners from federal, state and local government attempts to raise revenue at the expense of timeshare owners.

Established in 1969, ARDA is a Washington, D.C.-based industry trade association that represents the resort industry through lobbying, consumer advocacy and a unique organization called ARDA-ROC.  Over the past 26 years, ARDA-ROC has worked tirelessly to preserve, protect and enhance vacation ownership through legislative representation at all levels of government.

The concept is simple – owners across the country join together to gain collectively what they are unable to achieve on their own. With unity comes strength!  ARDA-ROC membership is comprised of over one million owners, and the organization is funded solely through the voluntary contributions of owners and timeshare resorts.  These funds are collected by your resort association in conjunction with your annual assessment and sent to ARDA-ROC headquarters in Washington, D.C.  ARDA-ROC revenues are dedicated to engaging attorneys and government affairs professionals to represent vacation ownership in city halls, state legislatures and in Congress.  In addition, the funds support studies and research conducted through ARDA’s International Foundation to support ARDA-ROC’s legislative positions.

At the state level, ARDA-ROC supports strong timeshare consumer protection laws.  ARDA-ROC continues to defend against potential onerous timeshare tax legislation for owners all across the country.  Finally, ARDA-ROC supports non-judicial foreclosure legislation which enables both owners and homeowner’s associations to save time and money, should the need arise.

At the federal level, ARDA-ROC works to protect your privacy and personal data throughout the course of your timeshare purchasing experience.  ARDA-ROC also supports legislation that upholds same-day sales purchases.

To find out what legislative initiatives ARDA-ROC is actively engaged and/or monitoring in your state, visit www.arda-roc.org. While there, you are able to sign up for free email alerts and consumer advisories, and you will be able to address your local elected officials using ARDA-ROC’s political resource center.  Becoming engaged in defending your rights as an owner has never been easier thanks to this state-of-the-art online platform where owners from around the country can unite against any perilous legislation.

With this in mind, we are encouraging Breckenridge Grand Vacations Owners to voluntarily contribute $3.00 to ARDA-ROC in conjunction with your annual assessment.  In turn, ARDA-ROC will utilize these funds to continue to protect and strengthen our investment as owners.