Forty-nine-cent milk. Sixteen-thousand-dollar houses. Elvis Presley dominating the music charts. Yes, the world was a very different place in 1960. The Broadmoor, a haven of wilderness and wonderment in Colorado Springs, was named a Five-Star hotel for the first time that year, too.
Fifty-seven years later, the 5,000-acre playground is still earning our Five-Star praises.
We can certainly look at a host of reasons — a postcard-perfect location, dreamy facilities, spot-on service — as to why The Broadmoor holds the record for most consecutive years with Forbes Travel Guide’s top rating, but leadership is as good a place as any to start.
Jack Damioli, who has been the resort’s president and CEO since late 2014, came to The Broadmoor after 20-plus years of service with esteemed hotels such as The Gasparilla Inn & Club and The Greenbrier.
We recently spoke to Damioli about the resort’s ratings streak that goes back to the days when a dozen eggs cost 57 cents. And while The Broadmoor’s leader was happy to reflect on the unprecedented consistency, he was most excited to share news of what the property has cooking up next.
You have served as the benchmark in luxury hospitality since 1960. How has The Broadmoor been able to do it?
I really have to credit it to our staff. You know, we have a warm and welcoming team and there’s great pride in being a Broadmoor employee. Sometimes, that pride continues through generations, so it’s a matter of families working here. Other times, it’s just the pride of joining the team.
We have this great mentorship that exists throughout the property where our senior staff takes the younger staff under their wings and teaches them The Broadmoor way. We train to the Forbes Travel Guide standards and we have our Broadmoor service standards, where there are 16 of them.
But at the heart of all of that, it comes down to a couple of key things: a warm welcome, eye contact and guest-name usage. Those are the three things that we truly stress a great deal.
I just got back from an orientation class. I meet every orientation class at 9:15 on Monday morning. I welcome them and I tell them what makes it special to be a Broadmoor employee. It really comes down to the way we treat each other and the way we treat our guests.
I know you’ve worked at other resorts around the country. Are these service standards unique to The Broadmoor or have you seen them elsewhere?
There’s really nothing I can say that is proprietary. These are the Forbes standards that we have taken and, in some cases, actually enhanced. We believe these are the things that our guests expect.
When it really gets down to it, it’s about the guest’s expectations. You mention that we’ve held this award since 1960, and we’re very proud of that. However, what I’m most proud of is the constant evolution of The Broadmoor and our Broadmoor service.
The service has definitely changed since 1960. We’ve stayed current with the expectations of the luxury traveler. My job as the steward of this property is to make sure that we continue to evolve on a yearly basis.
What are some of the challenges that today’s technologically savvy traveler present?
People are looking for authentic experiences. When they travel to Colorado, they don’t want it to feel like Ohio or California. They want to experience something that’s authentic. They also want this sense of adventure, where they can get out to Mother Nature. We believe we offer all of those experiences along with warm and welcoming service.
And it’s also about authentic experiences from a culinary standpoint so people can experience Colorado in the form of spirits, beverages or food.
Everybody wants to have sense of where their food comes from. We have Broadmoor Farms, where we have our own greenhouses and produce a lot of our own herbs and vegetables for our restaurants.
It’s also high-speed Internet access and those types of things that people expect to find in their travels.
Evolving is one thing that you all do very well. Every year, a new restaurant or attraction seems to open on the campus. What does 2017 have in store?
We’re just opening our Broadmoor Estate House. We purchased a mansion that was right beside our property. It looks like it’s been a part of our campus for years.
This mansion goes back to a building that was opened in 1931. We’re excited about this 12,000-square-foot mansion that has five bedrooms and an elaborate entertaining space. It’s natural for family reunions, weddings, holidays like Christmas or Thanksgiving, and also for corporate retreats to get everybody together in a less-traditional environment for meetings and brainstorming.