Re-Opening in Breckenridge: Guest Service Fundamentals

While Breckenridge is currently under a “safer-at-home” order, we know that guests are still eager to travel, and even though we’re not inviting guests into our community just yet, it’s our job to make this process as safe and friendly as possible. By being good hosts and stewards, we are able to better educate our visitors of our expectations and create an opportunity to rebuild these relationships stronger than before.

The focus of One Breckenridge has always been economic sustainability. The simple math is: if you take care of clients and visitors, the cost to grow a business is reduced, thanks to repeat guests and referrals. Basically, our role here in Breckenridge is to leave people feeling like this is a special place that is truly unlike any other ski town. 

Not only can we all come together in these difficult times as a local community, but through consistent service, we can create a place where guests can feel welcome, safe and excited to return to. Which means better livelihood for everyone in the long run. 

So why should you care about guest service during this time? Consistent service is something that locals can own and have a hand in controlling, which is why coming together to address visitors in a helpful, informed manner is going to change their habits and help our community in the long run.

Because our guests view all experiences as Breckenridge as a whole, negative or positive, this can have a huge influence on their overall feelings about our town and community, thus their likelihood to return or recommend.

So how can we keep up with relevant safety standards while still upholding consistent Breckenridge customer service? Here are One Breckenridge’s 5 standards to use as tools to meet the expectations of visitors:

  • “We invite a conversation with you in the first 30 seconds of meeting you, respecting the fact that you are the reason why we are here.” 
  • “In the first two minutes of our conversation, you feel like you just made a new friend-like you now “know a guy” in Breckenridge.
  • “We get you excited to try a new Breckenridge Experience during our conversation, AND set you up to make that experience happen before you move on.”
  • “We want you to be excited to come back, and tell the story about your new adventure, and to tell your friends too!”
  • “You leave Breckenridge feeling like it’s a special place, truly unlike any other ski town.” 

Because not all consumers are alike, we may not use every standard within every engagement. We can however practice building variety and personality into each message, and adapt communication styles to meet a variety of needs from guests. Problems like dissatisfied visitors or experience conflicts are often opportunities in disguise. When we learn how to react, respond, truly listen and then recover, we can build interpersonal relationships, thus creating a better business for the future and solve issues we may have never known we had. 

In addition to these basic service skills, we can weave in messaging about Breckenridge’s current standards, so we can feel confident that our guests are adapting to our habits to keep our community safe. 

To put it all simply, visitors WANT to feel like locals, and a lot of the time, they’re unaware they aren’t following the rules or norms. If we can all join in to spread knowledge, we can create a better Breckenridge, together. When we do things the right way and can convey our standards kindly and effectively, Breckenridge’s guests will follow along and do the same.

Please visit OneBreckenridge.com for more information, training sessions, community resources or to nominate a One Breckenridge Guest Service Champion. 

Additional Resources:

30 minute “training” session – Generous Listening for Remarkable Service Recovery

Short intro to service recovery – Preparing to be Present

Leadership in a Crisis Webinar – Choosing Leadership, Empathy and Resilience 

PLANNING FOR BRECKENRIDGE’S REOPENING (BTO VIRTUAL MEETING PLAYBACK)

By BTO Staff | Posted 4.30.20

Catch the video recording of the BTO community meeting held April 30, 2020.

The Breckenridge Tourism Office (BTO) and Town of Breckenridge (TOB) held a virtual meeting covering local and state recovery task force updates, as well as the most recent guidance from county and state Public Health. Get the scoop on what decisions have been made and what information is still pending on the road to reopening Breckenridge in a safe, strategic, and effective manner.

Top 5 Ways to Show Breckenridge Businesses Love in the Time of COVID-19

It’s estimated that as much as two-thirds of Summit County is currently out of work due to COVID-19 related closures. This leaves the most vulnerable residents in our community at greatest risk of having to relocate and beloved shops and restaurants being forced to make difficult decisions about their future.

Breckenridge’s service and hospitality industries need your support. Luckily, there are ways you can help give our local businesses a little extra boost right now, all from a safe distance.

1. Order delivery or takeout

Many of our favorite restaurants are still operating daily with new delivery or to-go options just to keep their employees working and maintain some normalcy for residents. Pro Tip: have you taken advantage of some of these quaran-deals?! Some shops are even offering pay-it-forward options where you can send their products to those working on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19.

2.Tip extra

If you can afford to do so right now, show some extra love on the tip line. Some restaurants are even using those tips specifically to support their furloughed employees during this period.

3. Shop retailers online

You can support your favorite shops and come out of quarantine looking chic by purchasing online from your favorite brick-and-mortars. Pro Tip: The closures have brought online shopping to a new level–check out the social media pages of your favorite retailers, you may be surprised by some of their new offerings and deals.

4. Buy giftcards now to use later

Know you’ll be hitting your favorite spots for days on end as soon as this is all over? Jump over to their website and quaran-treat yourself to a giftcard to use when they reopen. They’ll be grateful to have the revenue from loyal customers during this uncertain time.

5. Leave positive online reviews

Posting good reviews and participating on social media can have a major impact for a small business’s online presence. Go to Google, Facebook, or Trip Advisor and write some kind words to help boost your favorite activity vendors, retailers, bars, and restaurants.

The Path Ahead: BTO’s Forward Approach (virtual meeting playback)

View Recording of The Path Ahead: BTO’s Forward Approach

The Breckenridge Tourism Office (BTO) and Town of Breckenridge (TOB) held a virtual meeting covering local and state recovery task force updates, as well as the most recent guidance from county and state Public Health. Get the scoop on what decisions have been made and what information is still pending on the road to reopening Breckenridge in a safe, strategic, and effective manner.

Keeping Your Cool: Local Activities to Stay Sane

Over the last month, dining tables have become makeshift offices, parents have become teachers, and we’re spending a lot more time in tight quarters with our households. If you’re having a hard time adjusting to quarantine life with your new coworkers, rest assured you aren’t alone. Here are some great ways to keep it together while having to keep together:

Creative Offerings

  • Breckenridge Distillery Virtual Happy Hour
    Breck Distillery’s Liquid Chef Billie Keithley is offering a fun cocktail workshop to teach you how to make several types of cocktails, providing her insight on the art of crafting cocktails and give you tips on how to be a successful bartender at home. BD HH will be every Thursday in April at 7pm on Zoom Meet up.
  • BreckCreate Connect Virtual Art StudioBreckenridge Creative Arts is continuing to provide arts experiences to the community even during the shutdown. BCA is offering a wide array of artist-taught classes such as DIY hand sanitizer and upcycled pillow making, in addition to sharing national and international online arts experiences. To check their schedule and join in, visit BCA’s Facebook or Instagram.
  • Ready, Paint, Fire! Art Projects To-Go
    RPF has fun and creative art projects to easily do at home. Pre-sketched canvas, fun images to paint with your own materials. Special Pricing during COVID-19 to prevent boredom. Need brushes & paint? Rent an acrylic kit or paint uour own pottery at home! Choose your pieces and take a ceramic paint kit home with everything you need to paint on mom’s kitchen table. Bring back for kiln firing when you’re finished.

Wellness Offerings

  • Bhava Yoga “OM From Home”Bhava is offering daily classes online through their online studio so you can “OM from home” and stay well during quarantine. Classes in April are free to healthcare workers and others fighting on the front lines of COVID-19.
  • Breckenridge Recreation Center – Les Mills On-Demand
    While we hope everyone is getting outside for some sunshine and fresh air, our friends at Les Mills (the BodyPump folks) have provided use of a platform full of free, no equipment workouts. There are workouts for kids, too!
  • Meta Yoga Studios “From Our Home to Yours”Meta is currently offering free online mini sessions to help the community stay centered during this challenging time. Sessions streamed daily with rotating teachers and class styles. Join Meta’s “from our home to yours” on Facebook or Instagram.

TIPS FOR SELF-EMPLOYED WORKERS

By Lauren Swanson | Posted 4.24.20

According to the most recently completed census data, about 15% of Summit County residents are self-employed to some degree. Until April 20, 2020, freelancers, 1099 independent contractors, app-based workers, carpenters, and consultants have all been left to wonder what kind of assistance is available for self-employed workers impacted by COVID-19.

Like many Breckenridge households, our income has been affected by COVID-19 pandemic. As independent contractors, my partner and I have never been eligible for employment benefits or on the contrary, unemployment assistance. So, when the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment began accepting applications for self-employed individuals to file for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Claim, we had a lot of questions: Do we qualify? What if we’re still working part-time? What if we make the majority of our income seasonally in the summer? What type of proof of income do they need? Will it ever stop snowing?

Unfortunately, I don’t have all the answers, but as someone who has filled out the application for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), I can share my experience.

Do we qualify?

PUA is designed for business owners, sole proprietors, gig-economy workers, freelancers, app-based workers, and other 1099 independent contractors to access assistance if they meet eligibility requirements.

What if you’re still working part-time?

One of the first questions in the ‘Pandemic Claim Information’ section asks if you are unemployed because of COVID-19. It seems straightforward, but what if your hours were reduced, or if you’re working to replace that income? YES, seems like the obvious answer, but this has always felt like a grey area for folks who don’t receive income on a traditional pay schedule. Perhaps it should say, ‘Yes – my income has been reduced or eliminated because of COVID-19’.

How/where can I explain partial unemployment status?

Later on in the application you have the opportunity to explain a partial unemployment status. Check “None of the above apply to me” to get there. Answering ‘None of the above’ displays options to report reduced hours or pay, furloughed, gig economy workers, independent contractors, etc.. There is also a place to write a detailed explanation about your unemployment status.

Hopefully this assistance will help the self employed community avoid a vulnerable financial position and be able to be apart of the Summit County business community.

Lauren is a digital marketing consultant who moonlights at the Breckenridge Welcome Center. Her favorite quarantine takeout is the Mac & Cheese and a Canteen Ahhh Rita from the Canteen Tap House & Tavern. While social-distancing, Lauren has been staying active on the XC trails of her Peak 7 neighborhood.