To create a lifestyle of freedom. Living in the Vail Valley for 13 years has been a great experience filled with ups and downs. The genesis of The Bunkhouse is a high point after several years of asking ourselves–what opportunities are available to create a lifestyle of freedom? Freedom to live has nothing to do with financial freedom. Freedom, is the ability to create a lifestyle that isn’t dictated by the reality of working for somebody else. I’m getting ahead of myself.
One of our values at The Bunkhouse, Vail’s first and only boutique hostel, is genuine transparency. It has been our observation that the biggest hindrance to many companies we have worked for in the Vail Valley over the years is the lack of transparency and authenticity. Meetings are filled with conversations that aren’t based on truth and progression of products and services. People don’t want to hurt others’ feelings. Employees want to carry the burden of being greatly discontent with their working environment without speaking up about it out of fear of being let go. Morale is typically low in most organizations, partly because of a lack of transparency and trust. We punch the clock, put on a fake smile, and participate in the workplace gossip that poisons the culture. I have been guilty of this myself.
I bring transparency up because it is my utmost priority to be real with you, and our staff at The Bunkhouse. This includes communicating to you why we established The Bunkhouse.
We are starting The Bunkhouse because we desire to ski whenever we want, travel whenever we want, and because we don’t want to have to be somewhere because our boss dictates our schedule. We are starting The Bunkhouse because as a long time fitness professional in the Vail Valley, I’ve worked 7 days per week in order to make enough money to barely support my family. Not to mention fitness professionals sell their time; if you aren’t counting reps for someone, you aren’t making money. By the way, I will always maintain my fitness business because I have an intense passion for physical culture. I don’t want to be somewhere all of the time because I have to be. I love you all, but I love my family more. If I’m going to have to be somewhere building a business, I might as well do it for my family, with my family.
We are opening a hostel because we want to invent a culture that is inclusive; the surrounding area limits access to everyday people who can’t afford staying at The Ritz Carlton, Bachelor’s Gulch. We are opening The Bunkhouse to provide free employee housing to 4 blessed individuals, because housing is too expensive and most everyday middle class workers in Vail can barely make ends meet, even with 2 jobs. We are opening The Bunkhouse because we desired to start a business that was need based on market demand. What burning problem is there, and how can we solve it? We are opening The Bunkhouse because it is extremely gratifying identifying the problem, and discovering a solution that can be delivered with excellence.
The idea began years ago when our close friend Brian Kolzow, a seasoned idea guy and entrepreneur, thought that the Vail Valley needed a hostel. He had it all planned out. Nancy and I weren’t in a place to start a business, let alone a designer hostel. That was 5 years ago. Last year late February, another good friend of ours Paul Kulas and I headed to Jackson Hole to ski the worst coral reef we’ve ever experienced. The conditions were well beyond variable. We were participating in the Epic Ski gathering; Epic Ski is a forum where skiers gather online to discuss all skiing related topics. Every year Epic Ski sponsors a ski gathering at a pre-determined location. Jackson Hole was the destination last year, and we headed north for a few days.
Even though the skiing rattled 3 of my teeth loose, the best part of the trip was the human connection and discussions with my great friend. On the ride home, 2 days earlier than planned because we were in the middle of an intense storm cycle here in the Vail Valley that we wanted to ski, Paul discussed the idea of a hostel because of the changing demographics, the I-70 interstate woes, and because of the impact of AirBnB.
Reflecting on our ability to work hard and being surrounded by the right people to encourage and guide us along the way, we decided it was time to move forward. That was last March, and here we are today. We open May 26th with 38 beds, including a complimentary coffee and linens. This fall we will be serving craft beer and wine, and a complimentary shuttle service to Vail and Beaver Creek. What are you waiting for? Book now and start the change that’s needed in our valley. Welcome home!