A ‘new kind of concierge’ offers unique ski trip services
December 27, 2013
According to James Stevenson, most teenagers in England take a "gap year" after graduating from high school. For his, Stevenson decided to go on a ski trip in France. Years later, he returned with his fiancée, Lindsey Nick, to run a bed and breakfast in the 3 Vallees.
Now Stevenson and Nick have brought their management experience to Park City and opened Cooper’s Cabin, "the new kind of concierge." They work with homeowners in town who rent their residences by helping to organize the visitors’ stay.
"When their guests come in, we can offer transportation from the airport, coordinating lift tickets and equipment rentals, meals and all that sort of stuff," Stevenson said. "Everything that people would or would not think of; we help them out and get them to fully enjoy Park City."
Stevenson and Nick met at Long Island University CW Post where they both played collegiate soccer. Stevenson blushed when Nick happily obliged to elaborate that her mom loves their "typical story" of captain of the boys’ team meets captain of the girls’ team. They’ve been together ever since and became engaged this summer.
Their trip to France was never quite the plan; Stevenson went into finance after graduation while Nick went to grad school and earned a Master’s in Linguistics to teach English as a second language. After realizing they sacrificed and saved money just to go on ski vacations throughout the year for a couple of weeks, they decided to make one of their vacation destinations their home.
"We said, ‘Why not create a lifestyle around something we love doing?’" Nick said. "We realized how important people’s vacation time is, and because we are lucky enough to have this as our life, we want people’s vacations here to be exactly what they want since they don’t have as much time here."
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Stevenson said when a visitor makes a reservation through the homeowner, the homeowner copies Cooper’s Cabin into the email or contacts them to let them know when their guests are coming in. Cooper’s Cabin takes over from there, picking them up from the airport and showing them around.
Cooper’s Cabin offers additional services such as babysitting, grocery-stocking and even "Ski-Away Days," day trips to some of the other 11 ski resorts in Utah outside of Park City. Stevenson said they have spoken with officials at those resorts to coordinate trips to pick up guests from their homes, grab breakfast, organize their lift tickets and rentals, let them know which runs to ski on and where to eat lunch. Then they bring them back to Park City.
"We work with vendors so that we make little bits of money on those services, but it does not cost the guest or homeowner anything at all, because everything we do is paid for by vendors that we refer out to," Nick said. "We also try to get guests discounts everywhere, so wherever we can really help them, we do."
Stevenson said some of the homeowners they work with live in town while others live out-of-state. "We can be as involved or absent as they like since some are in town and others aren’t," he said. "People want different levels of property management, so we offer that."
Nick said they also offer marketing services for the homeowners who work with them but feels that it is easy enough that they recommend they do it themselves in order to keep 100 percent of the money for nightly rentals. "All we would do is put it on [a vocational rental website] ourselves and be fielding the calls whereas they can really do that and keep their money rather than losing 40 percent of their nightly rental like a lot of the property management companies can take," she said.
Cooper’s Cabin could one day become a European-style ski resort in itself, Stevenson said, but until then, Nick said they pride themselves on relaxed, laid-back concierge-style service that helps enrich visitors’ vacations.
"We are looking forward to a busy winter season, and we’re excited about summer," Stevenson said. "We are eager to see what the possibilities are for Cooper’s Cabin in the summer months."