|By Andrew Kirk, Park Record, Park City,
UtahMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
May 2, 2009--Deer Valley Resort announced Friday morning that it is entering the property-management business.
Bob Wheaton, president and general manager, said his company has been in constant communication with Deer Valley Lodging, an unaffiliated company owned by Premier Resorts International, and had hoped to be able to work through the situation it is in.
"As a result of those talks, we've decided the best-case scenario is for the resort to open a property management division," he said Thursday.
The business will be called Deer Valley Resort Lodging and Reservations and will be a fully integrated division of the resort.
He said Deer Valley Resort would like to be in a position to ensure that the property-management effort at Deer Valley is done with the same attention to detail that the resort is noted for.
Wheaton said that, in order for the resort to make this step correctly, it will take a substantial investment up front, and that the company is ready to do that.
He said they will be actively pursuing property-management contracts and will be hiring staff.
"This will be beneficial all the way around for property owners, for the resort and staff here, and for guests coming to Deer Valley for vacations," he said. "Being in the property-management business gives us the opportunity to look end-to-end at a guest's vacation experience here."
This means the name "Deer Valley Lodging" is dead, confirmed Premier Resorts International marketing director Bobby Foster. Premier
Resorts of Utah will now do business in Park City exclusively as the existing entity Premier Resorts Park City.
Except for no longer being the official property-management licensee of Deer Valley Resort, little has changed for Premier Resorts. It will continue to operate normally even in Deer Valley.
Also on Friday morning, Premier Resorts issued a statement "welcoming," "fully supporting" and saying it is cooperating with the resort's new division. Foster said the change is in the long-term best interest of the community, the resort, homeowners and guests. He said a solution to the current crisis is needed; Premier Resorts hoped to find a solution but hasn't and this move is a solution, so the company is embracing it.
"Do we wish we could have done it ourselves? Yes, but this is a good solution," he said. "We want owners to be happy with their overall experience."
The change will result in a loss of Premier Resorts inventory, Foster acknowledged. That means staff reductions. Lucky for many employees, Deer Valley Resort will need their skills.
He isn't sure what the net loss of jobs will be, but said Deer Valley Resort Lodging and Reservations should generate long-term job growth that will be a plus for the community.
None of these developments will affect Premier Resorts businesses in other areas, he said.
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