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Escapia® Customer Case Study: Big Powderhorn Resort

Big Powderhorn Mountain Resort Lodging Grows Startup Business with Escapia

Founded in 2010, Big Powderhorn Mountain Resort Lodging (BPMRL) manages 31 privately-owned properties in and around the Big Powderhorn Mountain Resort ski area, located in Bessemer, Michigan. Primarily a seasonal business, they take pride in offering elite properties around the ski resort and keeping their management fees among the lowest in their market.

Achieving results with Escapia

When they started their business in 2010, BPMRL needed property management software that was compatible with a small startup, required minimal maintenance, and was scalable for growth. The implementation of Escapia software enabled them to increase their productivity and expand their business quickly and affordably. By 2013, their property inventory and revenue had increased significantly.

Starting a vacation rental business

BPMRL had a dream to build a vacation rental business in the Big Powderhorn ski area. Starting as a small company, they were looking for a software solution that was affordable and scalable for growth. They couldn’t afford big investments in hardware and back office support. Most of all, they needed a web-based system that allowed them to take online reservations in addition to telephone reservations, and run their business from anywhere.

Finding a scalable software

After researching many systems, BPMRL identified Escapia as their first choice for property management software. With Escapia they could customize the software for their business, get access to a range of features at the best value for them, and could build their business at an affordable pace. Since Escapia did not require a hardware investment, BPMRL simply needed a computer with internet access. Also, their Escapia online reservation site could integrate seamlessly with their website, without a premium cost. BPMRL started training ahead of implementation using easy-to-access online training videos, and in 2010, with a small inventory, officially opened for business.

Escapia: A perfect fit

Escapia enabled BPMRL to establish themselves in their vacation market in a cost-effective way, build guest and owner retention, and position their business for growth. Escapia’s flat-rate charge for up to 25 units helped BPMRL operate affordably at a small size, and the pricing remained affordable for each new unit added to their inventory. BPMRL leveraged Escapia’s product features to make spur-of-the-moment decisions for promotions and specials, which integrated easily with online booking. Guests loved the ease of making reservations online, and most of BPMRL’s guests became repeat customers. Escapia features also enabled BPMRL to implement all-inclusive packaging. BPMRL shared the data with the ski area management team on a daily basis, which helped predict skier volume. By 2012, BPMRL’s inventory tripled in size, and their revenue increased by 25% in 2013.

Sadly, a fire destroyed BPMRL’s main lodge accommodations in January 2011. Because Escapia is web-based, BPMRL’s operations remained intact and were virtually uninterrupted. BPMRL moved displaced guests to other units easily and was able to open up for business the next day.

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Mary Segalin,

Owner, Big Powderhorn Mountain Resort Lodging


"Escapia’s pricing allowed us to start out small and prove ourselves to our property owners. In a short period of time, Escapia has helped my business expand more than I anticipated. Our business grew quickly, and Escapia grew with us. Also, it is nice to have a reliable support staff and personal attention to each and every call."

About Big Powderhorn

  • 31 premium rental properties in Big Powderhorn Mountain ski area, Michigan
  • Founded in 2010
  • bigpowderhorn.net

Goals

  • Take online reservations
  • Find cost-effective software system compatible with a startup
  • Software should be scalable for growth

Solution

  • Identify business needs and goals
  • Research new software
  • Implement Escapia web-based software

Results

  • Staff productivity increased
  • Property inventory tripled in size in 2 years
  • Revenue increased by 25% in 2013