Breckenridge to take a harder look at town lodging
November 25, 2011
BRECKENRIDGE – After turning down proposals for a luxury hotel in town, Breckenridge leaders are looking to take stock of the town’s existing lodging inventory.
Though council members shut down bids for a new hotel on town-owned land, they commissioned the Breckenridge Resort Chamber to take a closer look at Breckenridge’s current short-term rental rooms, after developers argued the options in Breck don’t stack up to competition in Vail and Aspen.
“The town council wants to know, from a competitive standpoint, how our lodging as a community compares to other places where guests can go,” Councilman Mike Dudick said. “We want to make sure we have the right bed base against our competition, and if we don’t, then maybe a hotel is something the town needs.”
To determine how Breckenridge’s accommodations compare to those of competing resort towns, the town may start with a simple customer survey, which will add a few questions to the surveys most lodging companies already distribute to guests after checkout.
“It would help better understand the perception of the customer, and the quality not only of the rooms, but of their vacation experience,” BRC president John McMahon said. “It’s not going to be a short answer. We would look at it over time to see if we’re seeing any types of trends.”
The survey still has to be vetted by an ad hoc committee and the town council and approved by lodging companies before it can be sent out to visitors.
The lodging community is not enthusiastic about the survey, saying owners already monitor room quality and guest experience as part of its day-to-day business.
“The feeling is that a misguided attempt to sell a hotel idea has led to a question which every person in the lodging community asks themselves and their owners on a daily basis, and which our guests remind us of after every checkout,” Breckenridge Lodging Association president Toby Babich stated in an email. “I applaud town council for being proactive and forward-thinking to ensure our town stays competitive, but hope the false alert given to them will not result in redundant or time-consuming efforts, as this question is asked repeatedly and answered every day in many different forms.”
Hopeful hotel developers, in arguing that Breckenridge needed a five-star hotel earlier this year, said rooms in Breckenridge are “aging” and the lack of luxury lodging options is holding the town back in national rankings of resort towns.
Breckenridge’s 10 most preferred lodging companies scored an average of 82.6 percent approval in online reviews posted on tripadvisor.com. Vail’s 10 most preferred hotels and lodging facilities scored an average of 89.3 percent approval.
But those in the lodging community say Breckenridge is doing well.
“Between the direct feedback I get from my guests, discussions with other lodging companies and the current lodging net promoter score … I would say Breckenridge is positioned exactly where it needs to be and is just fine not being Vail or Aspen,” Babich said.