Breckenridge Recreation Center employees recognized for friendly, welcoming service
Employees at local recreation centers have rolled with the punches of ever-changing pandemic restrictions with a smile, and community members have noticed. Five employees at the Breckenridge Recreation Center were recognized last week with service awards for the fall and holiday season for helping residents and visitors feel welcome.
Each season, One Breckenridge, which is run by the Breckenridge Tourism Office, recognizes Guest Service Champions for meeting one or more of One Breckenridge’s service standards. The awards are given based on nominations typically made by people who had positive interactions with a local program or an individual in the service industry.
Tracy Van Anderson, a longtime fitness instructor at the recreation center, was nominated for adapting her classes to new participants and helping everyone feel comfortable despite differing skill levels. Van Anderson said she’s been working to mix up her classes as much as possible so participants can try new things and to keep her classes feeling safe and clean so that people are comfortable amid the pandemic.
“I love helping people, and that’s just why I keep going” Van Anderson said. “… I love to help people with their fitness and their mental health.”
During the pandemic, Van Anderson said feeling calm and connected has been important for her and the people who are taking her classes. She ends her classes with the phrase, “from my heart to yours.”
Mike Sarges, a recruiter and front desk employee at the recreation center, said he’s enjoyed being at a hub where people can find a sense of normalcy and relief. He received multiple nominations for his friendliness and how he recognizes repeat guests.
“Even with a mask on, he recognizes me to check me in,” Linda Pindiak said about Sarges in her nomination. “He always makes my day.”
Sarges said he loves customer service and makes it a goal to try to recognize and remember the name of each person who comes in. He considers himself and other employees at the recreation center to be the face of the town and tries to make people’s experience as positive as possible.
“As soon as someone walks in, they get an impression of the place, and if (it’s) the happiest place that they’ve ever seen or (you’re) the happiest person, you give that impression of a great place to be,” Sarges said. “So, I think that’s what we all try to exude here, just a really big, welcoming vibe.”
Tyler Oeschger, guest services lead at the recreation center, also was nominated for his friendly and personable demeanor. Oeschger said he strives to make people feel comfortable, especially as guests adjust to changes in restrictions and reservation requirements. He said that remembering people’s names and the conversations he’s had with them provides a unique form of guest service that makes people feel welcome and valued.
“Whenever people come in that I recognize … (I ask) simple questions but also questions that you would ask a good friend,” Oeschger said. “(We have) conversations that aren’t just, ’I work here, and you’re just a person who comes in.’ … It’s more like a friendship.”
Landon Ochsner, who also works as a guest services lead, was nominated for his warm greetings to guests at the center. Ochsner said one of the best things he can do for customer service is to sincerely welcome people as they come in.
“During this time, it’s especially important to see a smiling face in what is generally extremely stressful times,” Ochsner said. “A sincere smile is probably the best way to make people feel at home when they come in and just leave their stress at the door.”
As a lead, Ochsner said he works with his team to build patience because people can get flustered during stressful times and that understanding allows for better guest service interactions. He noted that once the gym reopened after the shutdown, there have been more regulars who have created a sense of community and allowed the team to greet guests with a more personal touch.
Randy Gill also was nominated for customer service, asking a guest if they had any questions or concerns, despite working in a less public-facing role with the facilities department.
“(It’s) one of those small, little things that make a big difference for the visitors at the recreation center,” Bill Wishowski, director of operations at the Breckenridge Tourism Office, said during the service champions award ceremony.
Tyler Oeschger, Breckenridge Recreation Center
Michael Sarges, Breckenridge Recreation Center
Randy Gill, Breckenridge Recreation Center
Landon Ochsner, Breckenridge Recreation Center
Tracy Van Anderson, Breckenridge Recreation Center
Ski Country Resorts
Nancy Binsfeld, The Crown
Megan Pierson, Breckenridge Tourism Office
Lindsay Reinwand, Breckenridge Grand Vacations
Charlie Freeman, The Lodge at Breckenridge
Frisco Fun Club
Mountain Top Children’s Museum
Breckenridge Recreation Center Youth Programs
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