Summit Mtn. Rentals acquires third company in four years

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Summit Daily/Mark Fox

Summit Mountain Rentals announced last week it had acquired Breckenridge Central Lodging from long-time owner John Gain.

The acquisition added 35 units to Summit Mountain Rentals’ portfolio, but financial terms were not disclosed. Summit Mountain Rentals now owns and operates more than 150 units between Breckenridge and Frisco.

“We’re diversifying as well as growing, and we’ll bring our same level of service and attention to detail to long-term rentals and commercial properties,” Summit Mountain Rentals owner Mark Waldman said in a press release. “Breckenridge Central Lodging has an established reputation within our community, and we’ll work hard to provide a smooth transition of services.”

The deal marked Summit Mountain Rentals’ third major acquisition in the past three years. In 2007, it acquired Breckenridge-based White Cloud Lodging. Two years later, Summit Mountain Rentals purchased Mountain West Lodging in Breckenridge.

“Right now we’re trying to grow the portfolio a little bit,” Summit Mountain Rentals marketing manager Rachel Lebsack said. “Breckenridge Central Lodging had some great units over in Trails End and the Cedars complex in terms of ski location.”

The Breckenridge Central Lodging moniker still adorns the company website, but now shows the company as being managed by Summit Mountain Rentals. Lebsack said the addition of 35 units would not impact the company’s ability to deliver quality customer service, and the acquired units will undergo only minor cosmetic changes by the new owners, such as adding televisions to all units and updating bedding. Breckenridge Central Lodging’s only full-time employee was absorbed by Summit Mountain Rentals.

Gain owned Breckenridge Central Lodging for 27 years and will stay on board in a limited role. He has served as a Summit County commissioner and headed the Summit County softball league at one time. The decision to give up the company was not an easy one, but Gain feels comfortable handing the company over to a pair of competent owners.

“Mark and (his wife) Mary are absolutely brilliant,” said Gain. “They’re a couple of (electrical engineers) from Silicon Valley, and in the lodging industry today, you have to be able to manipulate a website to succeed.”

Gain said the impetus for his decision was in part medically related, but added that it was time to move on after nearly three decades with Breckenridge Central Lodging.

“In our prime we were getting 250 to 300 calls per day,” said Gain. “Now we get 25 calls on a good day. The whole industry has changed – it’s all done by e-mail and online these days.”

Breckenridge Resort Chamber vice president Bill Wishowski said Gain will be missed by the resort community.

“John has a long history of support for Breckenridge Central Reservations and he has been closely involved with the development of our organization,” Wishowski said. “It is sad to see a long-standing business in Breckenridge go away.”

But like Gain, Wishowski is confident the Waldmans will be successful in their expanded venture.

“Mary and Mark have a strong business and a reputation for taking excellent care of the Breckenridge visitor,” Wishowski said.

Waldman and his wife got into the lodging business in 2002 with the purchase of the Hotel Frisco. The couple expanded their business with the acquisition of Summit Mountain Rentals in 2006 and continued to grow the business with the acquisitions of White Cloud Lodging, Mountain West Lodging and Breckenridge Central Lodging.

SDN Reporter Drew Andersen can be contacted at (970) 668-4633 or

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