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Q and A With Joe Ballstaedt

Q and A With Joe Ballstaedt

Features
By Kristen Gould Case
posted: 02/13/2006

Joe Ballstaedt, chairman/CEO, Resorts West

Why was Resorts West chosen to manage creation of the Dream Home?
We are excited to apply the wisdom we've gathered in 20 years of managing luxury properties to the Dream Home project. Our niche is providing the best-quality product in accommodations and service. If a home is in our rental pool, it has to be of the highest standard. Understanding this elite market, and living here day to day, we thought we'd make good choreographers for such a large, luxury project. Our plan is to rent the Dream Home out for several years after its completion, then eventually sell it to a family that thinks it's just right.

What's unique about designing this particular home?
Most of the properties we manage and rent to skiers are homes built for specific families. The DreamHome will be unlike any other we've rented. We get to advise the architect and builder, from scratch, on what renters want. We assembled a consulting team with our housekeeping, marketing and reservations staff as well as local realtors and property managers who know what owners want. That's the beauty of this project. It's very rare for a property management specialist to help design a ski house.

How does a local boy from Midway, Utah (a rural area outside of Park City), get into managing multimillion dollar ski properties at the No. 1 ranked ski resort?
My father, now 96, was a merchant seaman. He didn't marry until he was in his 50s, so he had plenty of time to travel the world. He bought a bunch of land here in Utah, where I was raised. He instilled in us a great yearning for adventure and a love of travel. I might not be your typical Utahn. (Joe travels frequently, heliskiing, snowboarding and mountain biking in South America and Europe. He has skied or ridden all of the world's finest winter resorts.)

What are your goals for the Dream Home?
I hope when it's finished it will be a milepost—that it will set a standard that someone tries to beat. Deer Valley has set the bar for service in the ski industry; there isn't a better place to build this Dream Home. Resorts West will take that wisdom and set the standard for the most incredible ski home out there. I also hope that SKI readers and others feel like they're part of the process by going online and giving us suggestions.

What's it like working with your brother as your business partner?
"As textbook as it sounds, we definitely compliment each other. It's like a marriage — you have to sense your partner's mood and try to counterbalance it. If my brother cracks the first joke in a meeting, then I have to be the serious one. Sometimes I think it's our goal to be the first one to mess around so we don't have to play the mature one!

You're managing the construction of a $15 million, 12,000-square-foot home, due to be completed in a year, and being watched nationwide. How do you unwind and relax?
I go longboarding. I'll ride my skateboard down one of Park City's mountain roads at 3 a.m. under the full moon and beautiful stars. I'm one with the curve of the road and I'm part of nature. It definitely helps me find balance.

JANUARY 2006

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