Not many hotel general managers will do much beyond a free bottle of champagne for a disgruntled customer, if that.
So when the I found a certain “surprise” in my room one day, I made an executive decision and named Greg Gendron the best hotel GM in the universe.
My wife and I are fractional owners in The Residences at the Chateaux in Deer Valley, UT. Great skiing… great condo-tel… HUGE 3BR suites, across the street from the chair lift. The staff will bring your skis across the street to the ski shack for overnight storage, and bring them back when you’re done for the week. It’s an amazing place with amazing service.
Everyone working there, from the front desk, concierge, breakfast wait staff, to maintenance and housekeeping are the most cordial people I’ve ever encountered in all the years and thousands of hotels I’ve stayed in. And there’s a significant reason why they’re all so nice… read on.
When we first bought into our fractional (like a fancy time-share with a lot more perks and family feeling with the staff), my wife and I met the general manager, Greg Gendron. He showed us around the property, was there for the closing papers with the realtor, was at our beck and call throughout the process.
My wife and I noticed the same thing about him, just a hunch, really, that this was uniquely wise investment, not just for the property, but because of Greg. I’ve always asserted, and my wife agrees 100%, that the nature of an organization is dictated by the personality of the person at the top. Greg came across far more attentive than any other GM we’d ever met. Our hunch that his attentiveness would cascade throughout the staff has been dead on, for over five years now.
The GM position at the adjoining full ownership condo-tel opened up. At first we feared that we’d lose Greg and our experience would be the less for it. He proposed to his upper management, the same folks who run Stein Erickson’s Lodge, that he could be the GM for both resort facilities. The Residences and The Chateaux each have unique business models and each is a different enterprise with some shared resources, like a common garage, pool, and others. It’s a huge task for either property, but both??? I’d like to think it was my letter to Stein’s management, as an owner of units in both properties that cinched the deal, but I knew that it was Greg’s track record that won him the well-deserved promotion.
Fast forward to present day. We were here for two weeks of Sundance Film Festival. After our stay, I sent Greg an email to lodge my complaint about the hide-a-bed sofas in each of the units. Something about the pitch of the seat made my back hurt. He responded a few days later. I thought maybe next year we’d see some new furniture in a unit or two. We showed up for our next scheduled “time” on Feb 25th. I saw Greg, and I thanked him for getting back to me. Again, I didn’t expect it would be addressed until the following year.
This morning I’m re-arranging something on the coffee table. I moved some magazines over to another table on the other side of the room. “Hmm…” I think, “What’s this hide-a-bed doing way over here?” I turn around and see (in the usual sofa place) a big, fat, comfy leather sofa! And RED! (my favorite color).
It turns out that Greg had saved a sofa another owner was getting rid of when re-decorating his unit. He personally – with the aid of another employee had to wrestle this huge sofa all the way from a storage unit on the 3rd level of the underground parking up to the top floor (4) through the emergency exit stairwells because it wouldn’t fit in the elevator. He had done this while we were off skiing. I didn’t even notice until the next day. We had been so busy between skiing, then out to dinner that we hadn’t been in the living room at all.
I hope sharing this doesn’t get Greg snatched away to somewhere else. Greg SMITH, that is. Yes, yes, that’s his name.
The management at Stein’s have eyes. Maybe he can run all of Deer Valley.
Thanks Greg! You’re a great role model for all of your people, and a great person to blog about.