Secrets to success from a fourth-generation family |

Secrets to success from a fourth-generation family

Dale PaasInside BusinessAspen, CO Colorado

How can a family business remain successful for nearly 50 years? The Limelight has continued to grow and prosper through many challenges including high gas prices, airline strikes, economic downturns, snowless winters, wars around the world, employee shortages and aging facilities.Through these obstacles, our business model and operating philosophy has remained constant and is surprisingly simple: We strive to fulfill needs and desires for nightly lodging for visitors to Aspen.It seems overly obvious to verbalize this basic guiding principle. However, we have seen too many establishments steer off course from their main purpose by forgetting the fundamental reason they are in business. It is our goal to fulfill visitors needs in an ethical and fair manner and to deliver the level of service our guests expect. Over the years we have adopted several basic principals that guide our daily business decisions.Most importantly, we have a strong belief in God and the value of humanity. This world view leads us to make decisions that may not always seem to be in our immediate favor. By putting others interests ahead of our own, we are able to treat our employees, guests, community and each other as we would like to be treated. It is our intention that anyone who has dealings with the Limelight Lodge receives genuine, friendly, and hospitable service. This policy has been paramount to our success and enabled us to forge life-long relationships with employees, guests, suppliers, neighbors, and community members.Another guiding principle within the Limelight family is to support our community. From the first day we arrived in the 1950s, we knew Aspen was a world-class resort. To help maintain that status today, we strive to enhance any Aspen experience that has an impact on visitors. By supporting local businesses, using local products and services, and assisting local schools and nonprofits, we look for opportunities to help Aspen evolve yet remain the type of place we first chose to set roots and raise our families.As we support the community, we recognize that the community supports us. Special events offer long-term business advantages and also keep Aspen a fun, vibrant place to live and work. Past and present, we align our business with organizations like the Aspen Skiing Company, Aspen Music Festival & School, Aspen Chamber Resort Association, Stay Aspen Snowmass, and other local groups that drive our economy and help keep our city financially capable of delivering the high standard of service our visitors expect.We compete globally, not locally. Our advertising and marketing dollars are primarily aimed at promoting Aspen as a destination. When our reservation line rings, we try to accommodate the voice on the other end of the line. However, if the Limelight doesnt have what that guest is looking for, we will call other Aspen/Snowmass properties until we find a perfect lodging match. Were invested in building a loyal Aspen guest and maintaining close relations with the other hotels in our valley. Our No. 1 goal is to make a new friend for Aspen and not lose a valuable guest to another resort.Perhaps our greatest strength is having one eye on Aspens continually changing economy and the other eye on our out-of-town competition. We are constantly adapting to local business trends and simultaneously working to remain competitive with resorts all over the world. The Limelight Lodge has taken many forms and served many people over the years, from night club and home stage to famed folk band The Limeliters in the 1960s, to an affordable 110-room motel in the 1980s and 90s. The renovated hotel is only the most recent stage in the Limelights half-century evolution and we think our state-of-the-art, 125-room hotel will serve Aspens visitors and our community well.Armed with our guiding principles, our love of Aspen, and our brand-new dream hotel, were looking forward to an incredible 2008/2009 season and beyond!

Business Lounge is a feature of Inside Business, published Tuesdays in The Aspen Times.

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