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Carolyn’s Corner: Snow Mountain Ranch Guest Services

The Guest Service Department at Snow Mountain Ranch is a department that is vital as it is the guest’s first impression as they check-in and the last impression as they check-out.  In between times, the staff talks to guests as they call the switchboard or stop by the desk for information about all the happenings  around Snow Mountain Ranch, information about the local community or even information about the Rocky Mountain National Park.  The whole team must be able to multi-task,  and when Sonali Das, the Guest Service Manager, looks for staff to hire for these positions, she is looking for people with a willingness to be great with guests,  to be able to problem solve, as well as have a servant’s heart.  Computer skills are also important in this job. I was able to talk to some of the staff that are working at the front desk and the switchboard this summer and I was impressed with the care and concern they show the guests.

Lisa Linder has been working the switchboard for four years but this is her ninth season serving guests at the Ranch.  She has worked as the wedding coordinator assistant, in the craft shop and in HR, but the switchboard is her home.  “I feel I have knowledge of the property, how things run at the Ranch, and what to do in an emergency situation.  A lot of my job is working well with peers in the office, as the back office is the hub of guest service operations.  Sonali Das is the Guest Registration Manager and my boss, but more than my boss she has become a lifelong friend.  Friendship happens a lot among the staff and volunteers here at the Ranch. We believe in the Y Mission and take pride in living the core values and that includes giving great guest service.”

Lyka Codmos comes to SMR from Benguet, in the Philippines.   At home in the Philippines, Lyka is attending University and studying tourism.  She is fulfilling her last year University obligations by interning at Snow Mountain Ranch in the International Intern Program, or ITP program as we call it here at the Ranch.  Lyka shares, “Being at the front desk is uplifting and I am learning so much and I am enhancing my English.  I am working with staff at the front desk from many different backgrounds and I am learning about their ways of life. I am also learning how to work under pressure but still be courteous and to provide the best service under sometimes difficult situations.  At the front desk we always try and show the core values of the YMCA of the Rockies and to carry out the Y’s mission”.

Cari Vos and Ashley Holmes are at Snow Mountain Ranch coming to us from the Calvin College Leadership Program.  Cari says, “I am in dorm leadership back at Calvin College.  I am a very passive person and I don’t stand up for myself normally, but here I have learned how to serve guests in a loving and helpful way.  I want guests to feel welcome and I want to handle situations so that the guests feel cared for.  This guest service position is preparing me for my job as Vice President of my college dorm next year. I have learned that not everything may be perfect for everyone, but I can help turn things around so they become an enjoyable experience.”

Ashley says, “Originally coming here for the Calvin Leadership program, I was excited for the applicable growth and I didn’t think it would come from the front desk.  I didn’t realize how blessed I would be to have the position I have. I am able to work one on one with guests, excellent staff members, supervisors and bosses who really want to invest in you.  I find that one of the most imperative roles in this position is being able to quickly tune -in to guests’ needs.”

Jacquelyn Wood is with the Navigator Summer Training Program. “I strive to honor people and to love well.  No matter where I am, I strive to live my faith out through my actions.  For me, remembering to view each person not just as a check-in or check-out, but as a whole person who I can serve with compassion, respect and love is of the utmost importance.”

Sonali Das is the Manager of Guest Services and she interviews the future employees to find staff that has the experience, qualifications and maturity to be a guest service attendant at Snow Mountain Ranch. “Guest Service staff at the Ranch strives to do the best possible job to make guests happy so they remember Snow Mountain Ranch with a smile on their face.  The guests now come back generation after generation attesting to the fact that their vacation has been special. Our team works closely together and we have created a bond between us.  The bond is very close and we strive for such excellence that we have named ourselves the “A” team.

We thank the “A” team for their dedication to their jobs and their desire to work with guests and the other staff at the highest level possible.  Go “A” team!

About The Author

Carolyn Thomas is a volunteer for Snow Mountain Ranch in Guest and Membership Relations. Four generations of her family have been vacationing at the Y for over 40 years, creating many happy family memories.

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