Success Story: Aspen Ridge in Vail, CO

How an under performing mountaintop home became one Vail Butler’s top performing properties in just 6 months.

Aspen Ridge joined the Vail Butler program in November 2023. Vail’s high season is December-March with an average winter booking window of 60+ days. Considering new short term rental listings take up to 6 months to optimize, listing a new home in November appeared to be an uphill battle.

This 7 bedroom estate was previously rented by another property management company. Although they secured a few reservations throughout the year, their efforts proved ineffective and resulted in low occupancy and unsatisfactory revenue.

In addition to joining the Vail Butler program late in the marketing season, Aspen Ridge presents some challenges that required creative solutions. The Vail Valley is home to over 5,800 short term rental units. That means guests have more than enough homes to choose from. Guests generally gravitate towards homes directly on or easily walkable to Vail Mountain. Aspen Ridge is located on the opposite side of the highway, up a steep hill and far from a bus stop.

Sure, the 6,500 sq ft home is gorgeous, boasting a recent renovation, breathtaking views and plenty of space…but would that be enough to make up for the tricky location?  

In part, yes! A creative blend of optimizing Aspen Ridge’s existing features and proactively offering guests solutions to potential problems quickly lead to this home being one of Vail Butler’s top performers this winter. 

Aspen Ridge generated $76,230 with 24 nights stayed from November 2023-December 2023 alone. As of May 3, 2024, 55 nights are on the books for $146,195 in revenue. New reservations are coming in every week!

The star of the show at Aspen Ridge is its stunning view of Vail Mountain and the Gore Range. Vail Butler advised the homeowners to make the most of this view by creating an updated, comfortable outdoor gathering space.

Most visitors come to the Vail valley to revel in nature; optimizing the outdoor spaces and views in your home will fill that demand! New patio furniture, inviting hot tubs and grills are great to consider. 

Adding and optimizing these features, then advertising them heavily in property listings, enabled potential guests to understand the benefits of staying just a few more minutes away from Vail Mountain.

Creative Solutions

Ease of accessing the mountain, restaurants and activities is paramount to visitors in the Vail Valley. Since Aspen Ridge is a removed from the main drag, that presented a potential problem for renters. Not only would they have to incur the additional cost of renting a vehicle, they would have to pay $50 per day to park in the Town of Vail Parking Structure.

Vail Butler suggested a creative solution to Aspen Ridge’s owners: purchase a seasonal parking pass and allow guests to utilize it during their stay. This $2,000 investment was returned in spades. Plus, Vail Butler also offers the option to rent an SUV with your stay. Guests will find the vehicle clean and in the garage when they arrive. Guests were given peace of mind and were able to reserve stays with the confidence that parking and transportation were taken care of.

“Heads in Beds” is a shorthand way of saying, the more guests who can sleep in a property, the better value per person.

Reconfiguring rooms to accommodate bunk beds, placing a Murphy bed in a study and changing your old couch for a comfy sofa bed are all great ways to create spaces that work well for families and groups. With hotels in the area dropping their prices, rental homes need to provide a value proposition (in addition to amazing spaces) to influence travelers to book. 

Vail Butler has noted a recent trend towards extended families and large groups of friends traveling together. These groups gravitate towards large homes with one thing in mind: sleep as many guests as possible under one roof. For this reason, we suggested Aspen Ridge furnish bedrooms in a way that accommodated more than two guests. This fun bunk room is a great example of how the homeowners did just that.

The Importance of Property Management

A guest arrives to your home and – YIKES! The keypad battery is dead, a kitchen cabinet is crooked, the WIFI is spotty and the jetted tub in the primary bedroom isn’t working. These may all be little annoyances one their own, but they add up. They also beg the question – if the house isn’t well maintained, what else will go wrong with my stay? Having your home in working order is paramount to guests’ enjoyment and to creating repeat customers. 

Aspen Ridge (and most homes in the VB portfolio) stops maintenance issues before they happen by employing a dedicated property maintenance manager. The manager walks through the home twice monthly to inspect for damages and perform repairs. He works with contractors to ensure the home and yard are maintained, shovels the decks and driveway, and most importantly – is available to guests and homeowners in the event something needs immediate assistance.

Guests want to know they are staying in a home that is safe and well-cared for. They also want to know that if something goes wrong, there is a friendly and helpful person on speed dial to find a solution. Aspen Ridge ensures this is always the case. The property manager even meets guests upon arrival to explain how to use appliances, answer questions and ensure their stay begins on a positive note!

Market on the right platforms, in the right way, to the right people.

Offering a fantastic home with incredible decor and amazing amenities is not enough. The marketing plan implemented by Aspen Ridge’s previous property management team left much room for improvement. 

Vail Butler knows how important it is to create an eye-catching listing that shines a light on a rental home’s best features and, most importantly, is advertised to the right audience on the right platforms. 

We took professional photographs and wrote a marketing description that truly captured how remarkable Aspen Ridge is. Not only that, but we painted a picture of the experience guests could expect. 

Instead of simply advertising on one platform, Aspen Ridge is listed on, Airbnb, Vrbo, Google Travel and more. It is frequently featured in newsletters, online advertisements and correspondence with the Vail Board of Realtors. By utilizing multiple platforms with targeted customers, Aspen Ridge’s occupancy, revenue and ADR reached all-time highs that continue to increase.

Key Takeaways

Guests don’t just value staying in a beautiful home; they value the overall experience. Creating a space that feels well thought out and providing solutions to compensate for shortcomings will make your house stand out from the competition. Once you’ve done all this, don’t shout into the void! Create a marketing plan with all the ingredients needed to be effective: great photography, descriptions and listings on marketplaces that make sense for where your STR is located.

All this provides an experience that will have guests leaving your home 5-star reviews (like the ones below) and ultimately will raise rates and occupancy!

Recent Reviews