Vacation Rentals vs. Hotels

Is there a difference?

Booking a vacation rental is like staying at the house of a friend. In our vacation rentals you will experience significantly more space, privacy, or comforts that feel like home, including a kitchen and a location that is beyond what most hotels can offer. All this at a significantly lower cost than a hotel with comparable features. But these benefits bring different considerations than a hotel. More privacy means that most guests do not want daily housekeeping. We offer a check-out clean and, for an added fee, mid-stay cleans. We also offer a starter supply of some consumables, including coffee, paper towels, toilet paper and more, but these items are not restocked during a stay. A kitchen allows you to make home-cooked meals and guests will likely visit the store to purchase groceries.

Self-sufficiency is key to a happy stay in a vacation rental. We do provide housekeeping and 24/7 maintenance, but these are primarily for properties in between stays. Our staff services vacation rentals across several square miles, unlike a hotel that manages a single building. We have to strike a balance between cost and service, and have found that our current system has struck this balance as most of our guests are satisfied with their stays.

Why is the cleaning charge extra? Why does it seem high?

These are common questions and we have some answers. Hotels roll their housekeeping costs into their nightly rates. We choose to simply charge our guests the cost of a check-out clean regardless of the number of nights in their stay so our cleaning fee is broken out. The housekeeping staff for a hotel cleans the same type of room with limited furnishings in a single building. Dirty linens are returned to a location within the same building. Our housekeeping staff cleans homes, some with several bedrooms and bathrooms, across several square miles that are full of furnishings and extra items. Dirty linens must be returned to a centralized location within Summit County. A standard hotel room can be cleaned in fifteen minutes. A standard 2-bedroom vacation rental can take up to three hours to clean. To keep costs down and to increase efficiency, we ask guests to help our staff by loading and running the dishwasher and emptying the trash. This allows our cleaning staff to move through properties efficiently and helps to keep costs down.

Our hope is that our guests understand the difference between booking a hotel and a vacation rental. Together we can provide affordable vacation rentals and happy stays for everyone!

Closing Day Dates for 2018



The following dates are projections and thus are subject to change. Check with each resort to the most up-to-date information.

Keystone Resort

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Arapahoe Basin Ski Area

Sunday, June 3, 2018 (known to be very flexible with its dates)

Loveland

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Copper Mountain Resort

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Breckenridge

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Vail

Sunday, April 15, 2018

For a complete list visit On The Snow.

Vacation Rental Upgrades: High Quality Linens



There are many important details when it comes to your vacation, and we believe quality linens are at the top of the list for a great stay. Our Classic linen service offers light, breathable microfiber linens that are comparable to the linens of our major competitors, however, SCMR rotates old bed linens and towels out of service on a 3-year cycle, whereas our competitors use a 5 to 6-year cycle. But many of our homeowners opt for one or both of our linen upgrades: Ultra-Premium Linen Package, Ivory White Bedding Program. Below we have details on each of these upgrades.

Ultra-Premium Linen Package

Our Ultra-Premium Linen program features linens that rival those of The Four Seasons. They’re extra soft, oversized towels and high quality bed linens with a subtle satin stripe pattern for a touch of elegance. Take advantage of this added luxury because less than one percent of properties in Keystone offer linens of this quality.

The Ivory White Bedding Program

The Ivory White Bedding program is modeled after high-end hotels and resorts and adds a sophisticated look to a property while featuring an uncompromising level of cleanliness. It showcases a soft, white-striped duvet cover with a medium thick, high quality down alternative duvet. The duvet cover is removed after each guest stay and replaced with a freshly laundered duvet cover. The entire bed will be made with fresh white linens for each new arrival. This is an uncompromising and industry leading standard of cleanliness.

Properties Featuring Ivory White Bedding

As of January 2018, we have many properties that have enrolled in one or both of our programs. For your convenience, those properties are listed below, but we hope to add more properties as time goes on so contact us directly for the most up to date list.

Book Direct and Save



In an effort to give those seeking vacation rentals the information they want, we wanted to pass along this juicy little tidbit you might not be aware of: Booking directly on our website can get you the lowest overall booking cost!

First…a little background

We are a property management company located in Keystone, Colorado and manage vacation rentals throughout Summit County (Keystone, Dillon, Silverthorne, Breckenridge and Blue River). We do not own the properties we manage, rather we serve homeowners by managing their rentals for them. For most homeowners we take care of maintenance, housekeeping, reservation management, guest communication and marketing.

When it comes to marketing, we have a lot of options at our disposal and one of those is using online travel agencies (OTAs) such as VRBO, Airbnb and others. OTAs are extremely beneficial as they connect companies like us with anyone looking for a vacation rental. If you’re seeking a vacation rental you want to be able to easily compare properties and their locations, amenities and, maybe most importantly, their nightly rates. Travel agents used to fill this role, but in the modern age of the Internet OTAs entered the picture. And, just like travel agents, OTAs charge for the service they provide. They can charge the property management company, the guest or both. We have found that most OTAs charge both.

The Details

As already discussed, OTAs charge for their services. What you may not know is exactly how you’re paying for this service.

First, almost all OTAs charge the guest directly. Most commonly this line item will show up as a service fee. It can be as high as 10% of the total booking amount. This one is pretty easy to find in your booking details before you actually finalize the booking, so you’ll know for sure if you’re paying this premium.

Second, you may also be paying a higher nightly rate. Anyone that has a listing hosted by an OTA, an individual homeowner or a property manager, has to pay a flat annual subscription or a percentage of each booking taken by the OTA. Property managers have a variety of ways to absorb the costs of using OTAs and one option is to raise their rates on that OTA’s site. If the cost to use the site is 5% per booking, they can raise their rates by 5% before inputting them on the site. How can you know if you’re paying a higher nightly rate? Well, you’d have to visit the website of the property manager hosting the listing you’re interested in, input the same dates and choose the same property. When you look at the booking details, how are they different from the details for the OTA?

How You Can Save

We agree that OTAs are great for the vacation rental marketplace. I mean, I know I don’t want to spend hours searching online for vacation rentals. But if cost is your primary concern when planning your vacation, you may want to consider booking directly.

Sure, you found us the first time you came to Summit County by using an OTA. Perfect. But now you wanna come back. Why keep the middleman when you know what you want? Book directly on our user-friendly website: input your dates and then click search. Easy-peasy. All of our available vacation rentals will be pulled up and you can choose the one that suits you.

You won’t be paying a service fee charged by an OTA and you will be getting our lowest nightly rates. For those of us that want to get the best value for our money, booking directly is definitely a strong option.

Other Ways to Save

Booking directly is an easy way to save versus booking our same vacation rentals on an OTA. But we have other ways you can save too.

The SCMR Guest Loyalty Program

Our Guest Loyalty Program offers discounts to repeat renters. You can get all the details here, but basically you get an increasing discount each time you rent with us during a single year.

Guaranteed Lowest Nightly Rates or you Save 10%

One of the ways we set ourselves apart from the competition is by offering the lowest nightly rates. In fact, we guarantee we have the lowest nightly rates. And to back up our claim we offer a discount to anyone that finds a lower nightly rate with one of our competitors. If you find a lower nightly rate for a comparable property (same size, same views, same amenities) we’ll discount that rate by 10%. We see this as our way of thanking you for letting us know about the competition and rewarding you for your hard work.

Lake Dillon



Lake Dillon offers 25 miles of shoreline nestled within the Rocky Mountains. The deep water marina offers guests a unique attraction with lakeside dining at almost two miles above sea level, or take part in world-class sailing, fishing, kayaking and paddleboarding. Nearby you’ll find the Lake Dillon Amphitheatre that offers various activities including live music and theatrical productions. The venue can seat up to five thousand and features spectacular vistas of Lake Dillon and the Gore Mountain Range. Leave the lake and head to the town of Dillon for shopping, dining and various other attractions including a bowling alley and a movie theatre. Explore the White River National Forest and dazzling wildflowers with over 200 miles of hiking and biking trails. For those looking for a challenge, there are also over 150 miles of mountain bike trails and 100 miles of off-highway vehicle trails.

During the winter we recommend taking part in a truly unique adventure on the lake. Visit Silver Flask Fishing to schedule an ice fishing excursion with the world-renowned owner, George Peebles. And if you’re staying with us you can save up to $50.

During warmer months, try your hand, or feet, at stand-up paddle boarding (SUP). SUP is a fun way to explore Lake Dillon and we recommend visiting inflatableboarder.com for all the details, from product reviews to a full guide on paddle boarding in Colorado.

The Keystone Top 5: Kid-friendly Complexes



Keystone is an ideal destination for people of all ages. From horseback riding to biking, skiing, fishing and tubing, there’s an activity for everyone. Plus, the resort itself hosts a wide variety of activities for kids every winter and summer. And, whether you’re looking for a great pool, miniature golf or a fire pit for making s’mores, there’s a complex perfect for your family.

So, which complexes are the most kid-friendly? We’ve gathered the data, tabulated the results, and are happy to present the top five kid-friendly complexes in Keystone.

The Keystone Top 5: Kid-friendly Complexes

Taking the top spot on the list is The Springs. When it comes to kid-friendly, this complex is a step above the competition. With amenities like a shared media room and a dedicated indoor children’s play area you won’t need to leave the building. And that’s just the inside. Outside there’s a year-round heated pool complete with a waterfall and slide, two hot tubs, a wading pool with sprayers, a shared grill area and a fire pit for making s’mores.



Second on the list is Settler’s Creek. Not only do you have access to the extra green space you get with a townhouse, there’s also one of the nicest clubhouses in the resort. Minnie’s Cabin, as it’s affectionately known, features a large recreation room with a wet bar, a pool table, a large flat screen TV, a fireplace and plenty of seating. Just outside the clubhouse is a beautiful pool and two hot tubs. You’ll also find a shared grill area with lots of seating and there are changing rooms back inside the clubhouse. There’s something for everyone at Minnie’s Cabin.



No. 3 on the list is Dakota Lodge. Amenities and location give this complex its edge over the competition. Dakota Lodge features the largest pool in Keystone. The outdoor pool is heated year-round and features absolutely stunning views of the slopes. There are also two oversized hot tubs, perfect for resting after a long day. And, what about location? This complex is located next to Dercum Square, providing fun for adults and kids alike. During the winter it features an ice rink and during the summer converts to a miniature golf course. There’s also a playground and a fire pit. Honorable mentions include Buffalo Lodge and Expedition Station, also located next to Dercum Square.



Coming in at No. 4 is Lodgepole. The clubhouse features an indoor pool and a hot tub, as well as the convenience of changing rooms complete with a shower and restrooms. The sprawling courtyard is a favorite among families with children. The ample greenspace allows for play while there’s also a shared grill area and seating. There’s a deck with lounge chairs just outside the clubhouse offering views of trees and wildflowers during the summer.



And coming in at the fifth spot is The Timbers. This complex features high-end finishes that lend a touch of luxury. The spacious lobby features plenty of seating and tables with inlaid chessboards. There’s a long bar and a baby grand piano. Outside you have access to a hot tub with a waterfall and a year-round heated pool. The swim-in/swim-out pool allows guests to enter from inside the fitness facilities should they need to avoid any cold winds. Take advantage of the shared grill area and then head over to the fire pit to make s’mores with the whole family. And did we mention…this is a ski-in/ski-out complex so hitting the slopes is a breeze!

Christmas in Keystone, Breckenridge & More

river-run-welcome-2

Glittering snow, twinkling lights and the majestic mountains. Summit County is bustling with Christmas cheer! Check out the area events in Keystone, Arapahoe Basin and Breckenridge, and for those that still haven’t booked their stay, search to see what’s still available. As of the writing of this post, we’re around 90% occupancy so choices will be limited.

Area Christmas Events

Chocolate Village
LOCATION: Keystone Lodge and Spa Lobby
DATE: December 21-January 7
TIME: Available for viewing 24 hours a day (the trains stop running from midnight-6 a.m.)
  • Visit Keystone’s one-of-a-kind chocolate village make it’s annual appearance in the Keystone Lodge lobby in Lakeside Village. The in-house pastry chef, Ned Archibald, crafts more than 7,000 pounds of chocolate into a magical display of trees, presents, a working gondola, chocolate waterfall, running train, and more! Come see what’s been added this year!. Cost: Free.
Breakfast & Playtime with Santa
LOCATION: Bighorn Bar and Bistro and Kidtopia Snowfort
DATE: December 24
TIME: 8-10 a.m., 11:30-1 p.m.
  • Join Santa for a special breakfast before taking to the mountain for some playtime at the Kidtopia Snowfort. Then say goodbye to Santa as he begins deliveries! Cost for Breakfast: Adults: $24.95, Children 6-12: $12.95, Children 5 or under: Free. Cost for Playtime at the Snow Fort: Free (must have valid lift or scenic ticket).
Santa Visits A-Basin
LOCATION: Mountain Goat Plaza
DATE: December 24th
TIME: 11-1 p.m.
  • Santa Claus and an elf will arrive at A-Basin to hand out candy to children in the A-Frame Lodge and Mountain Goat Plaza. After Santa visits the base area buildings he will visit children on Molly Hogan before heading up Black Mountain Express to visit our friends at Black Mountain Lodge. The Summit County Choral Society will be caroling in the base area as well.
Main Street
LOCATION: Breckenridge
DATE: N/A
  • Main Street in Breckenridge boasts some of the best shopping and eateries around! They have a wide array of restaurants and these places are known for their great food. Plus, you have various other activities and theater shows to choose from all weekend. Not to mention, lots of opportunities to say hi to Santa! See more information here.
Masses and Church Services
  • CHRISTMAS EVE MASSES
    • Keystone Conference Center: 4 p.m.
    • Riverwalk in Breckenridge: 4 p.m., 6 p.m.
    • Our Lady of Peace in Silverthorne: 7 p.m., 9 p.m. (Spanish)
    • St. Mary in Breckenridge: 9 p.m.
  • CHRISTMAS DAY MASSES
    • Our Lady of Peace in Silverthorne: 12 a.m. Midnight (Polish), 8 a.m., 10 a.m.
    • St. Mary in Breckenridge: 8 a.m., 10 a.m.
    • Copper Mountain: 5:15 p.m.
  • CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICES
    • St. Dunstan’s Anglican Church (between Keystone and Dillon): 7 p.m.
    • Lord of the Mountains Lutheran Church in Silverthorne: 9 a.m. worship service, 5 p.m. (family service), 8 p.m. (candlelight service)
    • Dillon Community Church: 9:30 a.m. (worship service), 4 p.m. (candlelight service), 6 p.m. (candlelight service)
    • Rocky Mountain Bible Church: 9 a.m. (worship service), 5 p.m. (candlelight service), 7 p.m. (candlelight service)
    • Christ Lutheran Church: 3 p.m. (candlelight service), 5 p.m. (candlelight service)
    • Agape Outpost Church: 8:30 a.m. (worship service), 10 a.m. (worship service), 5 p.m. (candlelight service), 7 p.m. (candlelight service), 9 p.m. (candlelight service), the church will also host a living nativity on the 22nd at Blue River Plaza in Breckenridge at 5, 6 & 7 p.m.
    • Father Dyer United Methodist in Breckenridge: 9 a.m. (lessons & carols), 3 p.m. (family service), 4:30 p.m. (candlelight service), 6 p.m. (candlelight service), 7 p.m. (candlelight service), 9 p.m. (candlelight & communion service)
    • St. John the Baptist Episcopal in Breckenridge: 4 p.m. (pageant, children’s homily & communion), 6 p.m. (festal Eucharist with carols & candlelight), 8 p.m. (festal Eucharist with carols & candlelight), 10:30 p.m. (festal Eucharist with carols & candlelight)
  • CHRISTMAS DAY SERVICES
    • St. John the Baptist Episcopal in Breckenridge: 10:30 a.m. (festal Eucharist with carols accompanies by guitar)

Need a place to stay? Click the book now button below, then enter in your desired dates of stay. Or, if you’re flexible, enter in only Christmas Day and then view each property’s calendar to see what days before and after the 25th are available.

Why You Should Rent Your Ski Gear Early

Ski at Mountain House

When you finally get to Keystone after a long drive or a long flight, the last thing you want to deal with is long lines. Fortunately, you’re already ahead of the curve if you’ve booked with us. Our 24/7 hassle-free check-in ensures no long lines to get your keycard. Now all you need is your ski gear. And there’s no need to stand around waiting for that either.

We recommend reserving your ski gear early. Not only will you save money by doing this, you’ll also eliminate the risk of not getting the gear you need, and, in most cases, you’ll spend less time waiting and more time doing the things you actually want to do.

You have a lot of options for ski rentals in Keystone, but we recommend Mountain View Sports and Ski Butlers.

Why?

First, all of our guests get a discount with both companies.

Second, both of these ski rental companies are geared to meet your needs.

Mountain View Sports

Mountain View Sports features rental rates that are drastically lower than other area ski shops. On top of that you get the benefit of having lifelong pros help you get the right equipment. The owner of Summit County Mountain Retreats says, “[They’re] the only place I trust to rent ski equipment from.” On top of all that, Mountain View Sports is located right next door to our office. That means our guests that are stopping by our office to pick up their keycard via our 24/7 hassle-free check-in lockbox can then immediately head over to Mountain View Sports for their ski gear. Step outside to the shuttle stop where you can take the Keystone Resort Shuttle directly to your lodging and you’ve got the makings of a smooth start to your vacation.

Mountain View Sports offers all of our guests a 25% discount on ski and snowboard rentals. If you booked with us you received a Reservation Confirmation email with information regarding discounts, including a link to how to get your 25% savings with Mountain View Sports. Didn’t book with us? No worries. You can still save by booking online at least 2 days in advance.

Ski Butlers

Ski Butlers features 12 locations across the western half of the United States and their claim to fame is convenience. Their website is easy to use and when you’re ready to be fitted for your ski gear they come to you. That’s right. They come to you in the comfort of your lodging accommodations. They even bring extra boot sizes to ensure the perfect fit. And, if you have a problem with your gear while out on the slopes, they’ll meet you at the base of the mountain to fix that problem. And, for all this, they don’t nickel and dime you. There’s no delivery fees, no cancellation fees, and they allow you to switch from ski gear to snowboarding and vice versa as much you want (dependent upon availability).

Ski Butlers offers all of our guests a 20% discount on ski and snowboard rentals. If you booked with us you received a Reservation Confirmation email with information regarding discounts, including a link to how to get your 20% savings with Ski Butlers. Can’t find that email? No worries. Just book using this link.

Whoever you choose for ski gear, our number one suggestion is to always rent early. You don’t want to be left out in the cold–at least not without ski gear!

Black Friday Sale

We hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, full of good food, family and friends. For those that are leisurely enjoying the Friday after, maybe you want to gift you and your family something else to be thankful for… a mountain vacation! Just sit back with another piece of pumpkin pie and book your stay.

Through Monday, November 27th you can save 10% on any nights of stay from November 27th through December 7th with promo code SAVEBF17. With our already competitive rates, this is a great deal! Discounted nightly rates start at $47. See you soon!



Opening Day Dates for 2017



The following dates are projections and thus are subject to change. Check with each resort to the most up-to-date information.

Keystone Resort

Friday, November 10, 2017

Arapahoe Basin Ski Area

OPEN!

Loveland

OPEN!

Copper Mountain Resort

Friday, November 10, 2017

Breckenridge

Friday, November 10, 2017

Vail

Friday, November 17, 2017 new date: Thanksgiving Day

For a complete list visit On The Snow.