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Working With Leavenworth Getaways

By Wendy Thomas
Published: 04/11/24 Topics: Guest Behavior, Guest Management, Interview, Leavenworth WA, Lodging Management, Vortex VIP Comments: 0


Mike, a retired attorney and the owner of Icicle View Vacation Rental Home in Leavenworth, agreed to sit down with Leavenworth Getaways, a member of the Vortex VIP lodging managers group, for a few minutes this week.
 
For over 20 years, Mike and his family have owned Icicle View.  They’ve spent weekend, holidays, and new years there.  Their daughter’s favorite childhood memories have been at the house, and the entire family has enjoyed seeing the California Quail and Grouse in the backyard,  a special event for this family of birdwatchers.  Deer have even taken advantage of the carport to cool off during the summertime and bear to eat the serviceberries in the fall and winter.
 
VIP: Mike, thank you for speaking with us today.  We’re so glad you are trusting your house to us.  What made you buy it 23 years ago?
 
Mike: The location was very important for us.  We wanted to be out of town, but have the benefit of town water.  We love the views of the hills, the night skies, and the sunrises and sunsets from our quiet hillside.
 
VIP: As a resident, what are your favorite things to do in the Leavenworth area?
 
Mike: Golfing at the Leavenworth Golf Course is one of the hidden gems for golf in Washington State.  We love to hike up in the Alpine Wilderness area in the Enchantments by Colchuk Lake.  Icicle Ridge Trail is beautiful.  We’ve enjoyed cross country skiing here.  There are three courses in and around Leavenworth.  Leavenworth is halfway between Stevens Pass and Mission Ridge for downhill skiing.  
 
We love going shopping at Apple Annie Antique Gallery in Cashmere, and there’s a diner there we enjoy named Café Jazmin.  It’s a 50s themed diner that we enjoy.
 
To enjoy the natural features of the area, we go to Ohme Gardens and overlook Wenatchee or to Dry Falls beyond Wenatchee.  We love the geology of the area.  
 
Another great way to enjoy the beauty of the area is to rent inner tubes from Adventure River Tubing Leavenworth.  You can spend an entire afternoon floating down the Wenatchee River, right by downtown.  Some people bring food and drink and have a picnic along the way, or get out and stop for a while, then restart.  
 
VIP: That’s amazing, Mike.  Thanks so much for sharing all of that.  Sounds like you’ve been loving the area for a while.  When did you start putting your house in the vacation rental market?
 
Mike: It was during Covid.  July of 2020.  
 
VIP: Did you rent it yourself, or did you use a management company?
 
Mike: We started with another company, but we didn’t like how they handled it, particularly in the quality of guests they advertised to.
 
VIP: That sounds awful!  We’re glad we are able to help you!
 
Mike: Bill said we’d have better clients, and you’ve kept your promise.  You’ve positioned the house well and marketed so we don’t have any more problematic guests.  We want to keep the house in our family for years, so making sure we don’t have guests who ruin it is very important to us.  
 
VIP: How do you like your local manager, Michelle?
 
Mike: She’s excellent.  We have a dedicated housekeeper who has been with us for 23 years, and she and Michelle have a good working relationship. They are both very helpful.
 
VIP:  Thank you so much for speaking with us, Mike.  We appreciate you taking time out of your day.  
 
Mike: It was my pleasure.

Read more

Author: Wendy Thomas – Contributor, Vortex VIP
Blog #: 0985 – 04/11/24

Sponsor: Icicle View – Nestled up in the hills above Leavenworth rests Icicle View Vacation Rental. While being close enough to Leavenworth to be convenient, you'd never realize it. Nothing but views of the mountains and valley and wildflowers out of every window. – [Click here for Icicle View]

How Dare They Go To Work

By William May
Published: 04/20/20 Topics: Covid-19 Virus, Family, Gratitude, Health Comments: 0

How Dare They Work. Corona Virus.

Really, who the hell do they think they are?

Awakening early every morning, or even in the middle of the night. After too little sleep and too much stress, trudging to a job they love, although they admit it is difficult to love right now. How dare they go to work?

They will often spend 12-hours shifts or much longer and for days on end. Not one day off, not a moment to spend on personal things. No time with family or friends. How do they dare do that to themselves?

Some are paid very well, some paid adequately and others earn far too little. Most will receive nothing extra for the insurmountable obstacles they confront. How do they dare to work at all when others would not?

And yet, they persevere and get up and go to a job they know will be very frustrating. They know it is also rewarding, but that it will not feel that way every day. They do not dare to think about relief, at least not yet.

At the job, they will toil hour after hour, often with no time to eat or take a break. Squeezing in a bathroom break is necessary, but even that feels like wasting time. They will be confronted with thing after thing to do. Work upon work. No rest for the weary.

There will be a non-stop demand to do the difficult, the impossible and even the frightening. They won't feel up to the task all the time, but they will step up to the tasks every time. How dare they do that to themselves?

They see weeks of challenge ahead, maybe months, maybe years. They refuse to look for the finish line, because every champion runner puts one foot ahead of the other knowing it’s the only way to finish. They think about quitting, but only rarely, because quitting would make it more difficult for others. They dare not let anyone down.

As the world begins to show its gratitude for these wonderful human beings, they will still feel inadequate, because the mission is so huge and for now seemingly impossible. How dare they believe they can make it better?

These people are not necessarily glib with their words. They have no time for pontificating. They have no time to complain. They do not seek glory or even recognition. They would not dare direct any attention to themselves.

Every one of them knows the risk of physical illness, mental duress, financial hardships and family stress. They know these things, so how do they continue on? Would anyone else dare?

They dare because the task is at hand. The challenge is now. They dare not wait. They dare not fail. They will not let that happen, no matter how long it takes and no matter the personal cost. How dare they believe they are life givers?

Doctors, nurses, caregivers, counselors, therapists, pharmacists, ambulance drivers, EMTs, first-responders, administrators, janitors and every employee at every hospital, all dare to come to work - and we must all be so grateful that they do.

These people dare because they are different than most of us. Very different. Most dreamt of their career as a calling. They have always known it would be difficult, but they never dared to think it would be like this. But they did know that they could and would act in ways the rest of us cannot promise. They dare to go to work because they saves lives.

Whether you believe in God or you do not, whether you can donate to their cause or not, whether you have suffered from illness or not, it is now time to give thanks that somehow there are people like them in the world.

It is time thank them for dedication that is immense, commitment that is astounding, and for courage that is unending. How dare they?

Read more

Author: William May, Plumbob Publishing
Blog #: 0743 – 04/20/20

Clean, Wipe, Soak, Scrub, Brush, Scour, Polish

By Ron Lee
Published: 04/18/20 Topics: Covid-19 Virus, Housekeeping, Lodging Management Comments: 0

How to Clean and Sanitize Vacation Rental Homes

Since our first office opened in 1964, we have been rigorously cleaning and sanitizing properties for decades. This is nothing new to us. In fact, our homes are cleaned to a degree higher than most people have at home. It has always been our commitment to have every home safe and ready for guest arrival.

Get a Real Getaway

If you need a vacation, holiday escape, spring break, fresh air and time alone, vacation rentals are the best option. Bring kids or not. Bring the family or just your spouse. Most homes are free-standing, so you can avoid crowds. Even in our condos, the homes are open corridor, so there is no need to pass through common areas, like lobbies and dark hallways.

When Guests Depart

After guests depart, housekeepers arrive at every home to clean, wipe, soak, scrub, brush, scour, mop and polish bathrooms, kitchens, bedrooms, common spaces and even decks and patios, linens, towels and surfaces. Hot tubs are disinfected. This entire process - called "out Clean" - takes many hours. Then homes are spot checked by managers to ensure good work. When departing, all staff members use bleach rags, so that even the door knob and key-safe are sanitized. Wow!

Sanitation Cleaning Products

We use a variety of products to clean, disinfect and sanitize. All are approved for high health standards. We still use bleach for some areas because it is still the gold standard for killing every kind of bug. In fact, if you enter a home immediately after housekeepers depart, for a few minutes you may detect a slight cleaning smell. That is your assurance of sanitization.

Bathroom Super Scrub

Cleaning bathrooms is not a fun task, but we carefully clean all sinks, mirrors, toilets, drawers, bathtubs and shower enclosures until they sparkle. But they have also been sprayed and later wiped with disinfectant. Soiled and unsoiled towels are removed before cleaning starts to avoid cross contamination. This is a hands-and-knees job, but housekeepers pride themselves on meticulous cleaning.

Proper Wipe Downs

You might think that spraying and wiping surfaces with disinfectant is sufficient, but it is not. Instead, disinfectant must be left on surfaces for a period of time before it is wiped away. This gives time for the liquid to kill all the germs.

- Door knobs inside and outside.

- Window switches.

- Light switches and sockets.

- Lamp switches.

- Cupboard doors and surfaces.

- Table tops including night stands.

- Appliances - top and sides.

- Counter tops.

- Reachable walls.

- Outdoor furniture.

- Stairs and deck handrails.

- Toasters and coffee makers.

- TV and other remote controls.

- Stereos and computers.

- Door bells and key safes.

- Toys and board games.

- Pet toys and blankets.

- And more.

Vacuuming, Mopping, Sweeping

Are you ever tempted to do floors fast? By slowing down the process and covering every floor surface carefully, dirt, grime and germs are removed. We keep equipment new and well maintained to get the best results. Housekeepers are never limited to cleaning hours. Instead, they are encouraged to take all the time they need to do the job right.

Kitchens and Dining Rooms

Kitchens get splattered on, baked in and used heavily. It is a big job, but to get kitchens spic-and-span is essential, from the stove to oven to refrigerator, but also microwaves, cupboards, fans and light fixtures. Cleaned inside and out. You will notice we remove condiments, such as ketchup and mustard left from prior guests, because leaving open containers violates health standards. You'll have to bring your own, but you'll know they are new and fresh.

Hot Tubs and Spas

Every hot tub is completely disinfected after each booking by trained staff members. Sand or debris is removed, filters are inspected, and chemicals are adjusted. In addition, the hot tub cove, top and side surfaces are disinfected. If you arrive to a tub that is not yet fully heated, please wait because we had to empty and refill it. Takes time to reheat.

Towels and Linens

Washing and drying linens and towels is an obvious step, be we wall all of them, even if a bed does not appear to have been slept in. They are transported to the washer-dryer using rubber gloves and laundry bags, and they are returned to beds in baskets to avoid cross contamination. Along with quality detergent, additional disinfectant is added to all washing to ensure germs are eradicated.

Deep Cleans

In addition to our rigorous out-clean, homes receive deep cleans regularly to cover hard to access areas, including heating ducts, cupboard sides and ceilings, high surfaces, fans, carpets and more. This takes many hours, and ensures the cleanest possible property.

When Guests Depart

You may notice that we do NOT as guests to do laundry or to remove linens and towels to the laundry area. We do it all to ensure that every textile has been washed and cleaned properly without dragging it through the house.

Call Us Quick: 206-504-2744

If at any time during your stay, if you find any issue, call our 24-7-365 day phone number for assistance. If necessary, our staff will happily come to the property to ensure all is right. And if you want daily cleaning, we can arrange that too, for a small additional fee.

Avoid Crowds, Stay in a Private, Vacation Home!

Year round, in every season, and no matter what is happening in the rest of the world, vacation rentals offer a respite from the rate race, a chance to get away and to enjoy a sparkling clean, sanitized home.

Read more

Author: Ron Lee, Vortex Managers
Blog #: 0742 – 04/18/20

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OutlookOkanogan.com a new Vacation Rental Management Business.

By Elizabeth Rogers
Published: 07/09/18 Topics: Goldener Inns, Sunspots Vacation Rentals, Vacation Rentals, Vortex VIP Comments: 0

Outlook Okanogan Vacation Rentals Read more

AtTheBlue.com at Blue Heron Resort

By Libby Rogers
Published: 04/22/18 Topics: Hood Canal, Timeshares, Vacation, Vacation Rentals Comments: 0

Yourshare.biz which offers resort and owner direct vacation rental bookings for timeshare properties announced today that it has opened a new website for the Blue Heron Condos on Washington State's pristine Hood Canal. Read more

Sponsor: YourShare.biz – Yourshare.biz makes it easy for guests to find quality timeshare vacation rentals, for owners to rent out unused weeks, and for resorts to generate income and attract buyers for their available weeks. Everyone wins with these well maintained properties in attractive locations. – http://YourShare.biz

Vacation Rental Picante Sauce

By Wm. May
Published: 09/01/17 Topics: Lodging Management, Vacation Rentals Comments: 0

What do Picante Sauce and Vacation Rentals have in common? Well they gotta be fresh and tended to. Can managers from hundreds and thousands of miles away provide adequate service to discerning property owners. Not hardly. Read more

El Nino Looms; Don't Fret Too Much

By Taylor May
Published: 12/01/15 Topics: Comments: 0

A magazine For skiers, snowboarders and everything snow started in 1964 now an online source of with news, comments, articles, photos and videos. If you slide, visit our Website and join the email list to get instant mountain info year round. Read more

Sponsor: Northwest Skier – A magazine For skiers, snowboarders and everything snow started in 1964 now an online source of with news, comments, articles, photos and videos. If you slide, visit our Website and join the email list to get instant mountain info year round. – NorthwestSkiers.com

A Map, a Map, My Kingdom for a Map

By William May
Published: 07/20/14 Topics: Comments: 0

Folded like origami (Japanese paper art), maps have been an indispensable tool for travelers for centuries. But today with Global Positioning Satellites (GPS) and Smart Phones, travel can be much easier but it does require some common sense. Read more

Outdoors-For-All, the Heroes Among Us

By William May
Published: 06/09/14 Topics: Comments: 0

Donate your home to charities for their use and fundraising and post your generosity on VacationRentalAgents.com. See how the Ski-For-All Foundation gave property owners the great satisfaction of helping disabled kids and adults to ski. Read more

Crowing About Our New Mobile Website

By William May
Published: 05/01/14 Topics: Comments: 0

It may not sound earth-shaking but Redstone Systems, creator of the HelpBook.me software has just added their evolutionary new mobile websites to our system. Check it on your mobile phone now. Read more

What I do for a living

By William May
Published: 04/08/14 Topics: Comments: 0

After a tragedy that has taken dozens of life in the small town of Oso Washington State, first-responders open the door to untrained volunteers after realizing they are better equipped at working in such difficult conditions. Read more

Coming to Skippy's Class ill Prepared

By William May
Published: 12/11/13 Topics: Comments: 0

Looking back it is astonishing to realize that a world class scholar was teaching in a small community college off the beaten path in the Northwest corner of the country. She would have wowed any student in the finest college anywhere. Read more

Vacation Rental Huts on Wheels

By William May
Published: 10/15/12 Topics: Comments: 0

How about a vacation rental on wheels, and no its not a mobile home Not exactly. Tom Kundig is an architect who had an interesting problem and more interesting solution. They're called Rolling Huts. You'll want to know more. Read more

Vacation Rentals Enhance the Neighborhood

By William May
Published: 08/15/12 Topics: Comments: 0

Going to a grand hotel for grand service will never go away. Stopping for a quick night at a convenient motel makes long trips easier. And now Vacation Rentals allow property owners to share their homes with responsible guests. It lights up the neighborhood, keeps home in good condition and shows the communities hospitality. Read more

Ocean Song Cottages Joins Goldener Resorts

By Taylor May
Published: 07/03/12 Topics: Comments: 0

Goldener Resorts announces that Ocean Song Cottages have joined its network so that the updated but traditional beach cottages can be offered to a wide group of visitors. Read more

Government Officials Driving Tourism Economy Away

By Ron Lee
Published: 06/01/12 Topics: Government Comments: 0

Tourism is a clean, responsible industry that brings in visitors anxious to shop, attend events, tour attractions, rent lodging, and pay the taxes that go with them. So why do local government officials want to drive away vacation rentals and turn away the easy spending guests who want them? Read more

Sponsor: VRAI – As a fast growing industry we need your help and support. Join today to learn, share and promote your properties. – VRIA.org

Glorious Sunny Days at Washington State Beaches

By William May
Published: 05/15/12 Topics: Comments: 0

It is time to plan your summer at the beach? Vacation Rental managers are not yet sold out but will be soon. To get your choice place get off the couch and make that call today. Read more

Twas the Night before Vacation Rental Christmas

By Jan Covey
Published: 12/31/11 Topics: Comments: 0

The Christmas and New Years Holidays are a big season in almost every vacation rental market. Read how one plucky manager gets through the hub bub. Read more

Vacation Road Trips Start at the Dentist

By Gail Adair
Published: 04/01/10 Topics: Comments: 0

Operating a vacation rental business can be fun and profitable but it also an opportunity to do some good in the world. Now property owners and managers can do that by participating in a public program that offer Read more

Sunbanks Resort - Little known Secret Location

By Penny L. Taylor
Published: 03/31/10 Topics: Comments: 0

Warm weather took me on a drive to Central Washington state, to little known Banks Lake and SunBanks Resort. Toasty hot in summer it boasts warm water unlike most big lake resorts. Read more

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DETAILS: We work to keep this information up to date, but details do change from time to time based on circumstances, often on short notice, and sometimes beyond our control. To verify any answer or other information you may need, please call or email us anytime. Allow a reasonable amount of time for response. Only legitimate inquiries will be answered.