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NATURAL RETREATS

NATURAL NEWS

ISSUE 3 JUNE 2014


A NOTE

FROM OUR FOUNDER matt spence

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veryone who knows me will know that I

The eco system in which we operate is rapidly

shoot for the moon and won’t settle for

changing seeing a huge growth in the vacation

anything less. At Natural Retreats we aim

rental market – the market we have been crafting

to be the biggest, best, highest, tallest

and shaping for the last 10 years. Having started

and number 1. I’m so proud of this company and

out with our first collection of Handpicked Homes

what we are achieving as a team, our growth is

in Virginia Hot Springs two years ago we have

phenomenal and the past few months has seen us

grown from 12 homes to 150 homes with the

double our revenue expectations this year.

addition of Lake Toxaway, NC, Highlands, NC, and Rock and Estuary in Cornwall. Its very flattering

Cairngorm Mountain is the most diverse addition

to see our business being watched by the huge

to our portfolio, taking over operations in June

portals and vacation businesses which just

will see 18 months of hard work by the UK

reinforces our niche position we have created and

business development team come to fruition and

exclusively hold.

the start of Natural Retreats providing amazing service to visitors at the UK’s largest and busiest

We have had a killer April and May – the best in

ski destination, the highest restaurant at 1097m

his company’s history. We are up 73% in forward

above sea level in the UK’s biggest national park.

revenue in April and 52% in May – this is down to everyone’s hard work across the business, we

Stateside we have signed Teton Springs Lodge

really couldn’t have done this without you all

and Spa – already an impressive business with 51

pulling together.

keys in the lodge and a collection of 16 stunning Handpicked Homes. Located in Victor, Idaho,

Please remember why we work in the vacation

it lies between some of the best ski resorts and

and real estate business – it truly is to help people

outdoor recreation areas in the US. Literally over

explore, dream and discover – keep up the

the mountain pass from South Fork Lodge we are

amazing work.

now a power house in this region offering amazing adventures and luxurious accommodations for every type of guest from energized to experienced explorers. - Matt

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A WHOLE NEW NATURAL RETREATS EXPERIENCE

CAIRNGORM MOUNTAIN, SCOTLAND We are delighted to officially takeover operations at Cairngorm Mountain marking the beginning a 25-year long-term lease. We have a highly ambitious vision for the next 25 years, and want to elevate this incredible destination, which boasts the most remarkable natural landscape, located in one of the world’s most beautiful countries, and provides the ultimate playground for mountain bikers, triathletes, skiers, hikers, and snowboarders. We will build the best Terrain Park in the world here, and our long-term goal is to host the summer and winter X Games at Cairngorm Mountain. This is a world-class destination and Natural Retreats want to build a stable of winter and summer sports athletes from this spectacular base.

We will nurture, develop and create future British Olympians at Cairngorm Mountain. These athletes will win gold medals at the Winter Olympics in 2018 and the Summer Olympics in 2020 - we want to bring a true sense of pride and place to one of Scotland’s most incredible assets.

Natural Retreats strives to enable people to enjoy a way of life in a natural world, and we want to deliver world-class experiences at Cairngorm Mountain for everybody. We are big believers in access for all, and this remarkable landscape, thanks to the funicular, can be enjoyed by everyone, despite age or ability. We recognise the challenges at Cairngorm Mountain and we know we need to improve the facilities here, but we have a long-term vision that will be realised over time. We will improve all aspects of the Resort – building a leading nursery slope for beginners who will enjoy world-class lessons. The current Day Lodge will be replaced with a Centre of Excellence for athletes, and it is from here that we will develop future gold medal winners. It will also provide a Centre of Activity for children and a Centre of Experience for all. We want to work hand-in-hand with local businesses and the community – this is integral, and together we will elevate ideas and ambition. We want Cairngorm Mountain and Aviemore to compete with Mont-Blanc and Chamonix, with Vail Resort and Boulder. Aviemore has all the assets to become the Adventure Capital of Europe, and the wider area offers some of the best experiences around.

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NEW US PORTFOLIO ADDITION

TETON SPRINGS LODGE AND SPA, IDAHO At the beginning of April, NR-US gained a sister-property to South Fork Lodge. Just thirty minutes from South Fork and thirty minutes from Jackson Hole lies the luxurious Teton Springs Lodge & Spa in Victor, Idaho. Many of our US staff have now been to Teton Springs and explored this incredible site. Teton Springs Lodge & Spa has everything you’d want from a mountain vacation. From stocked ponds to golfing, swimming, and tennis to hot air ballooning, heli-skiing and hiking, there’s always something to keep you busy when you’re there. It’s also very appealing to groups visiting for family reunions, corporate events, or weddings. With extravagant cabins, stunning outdoor venues, 5,000 square feet of spa rooms, and over 2,000 square feet of meeting space, it’s no wonder that 50% of revenue derives from group bookings. One of the staff’s favorite activities to do while there is to take an American Safari in Grand Teton National Park and the National Elk Refuge. On a typical Safari, you might see wild buffalo, elk, big horned sheep, mountain blue birds, golden and bald eagles, trumpeter swans, and even bears or wolves. Grand Teton, with its jaw-dropping saw-toothed peaks, and Yellowstone, the US’s oldest and most revered national park, are but a short drive from Teton Springs. Natural Retreats is so excited to welcome such an amazing property to our US portfolio!

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NATURAL RETREATS

CONCIERGE NEW RECRUITS AND BUSY TIMES

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he UK concierge team welcomed three new starters to the clan in quarter 4 so we would like to say a global hello to Louise Rayner, Lauren Shaw and Kholoud Honeini. All have come from a travel background and are starting to make a positive impact on the team’s performance. Kelly Rowland took a promotion and

became the Concierge Team leader and events specialist and is a mentor to the team to assist with product knowledge and performance whilst delivering our amazing wedding and corporate packages. The weddings at YD have really taken off with 3 already confirmed!

The financial year ended on a high with the EU annual budget being exceeded and future bookings for both the UK and EU being considerably higher year on year. Here’s to a big 2014/15!

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e had a great finish to the year, exceeding the annual US accommodation target and coming close to the Outfitters target. In 3 months we have gone from 2 retreats in the US portfolio to 8 and the phone calls are rapidly picking up.

Speaking of new retreats we are all excited that the Greystone Inn and Handpicked Collection at Lake Toxaway is now open. This location without a doubt has the most activities to offer our guests and caters to all ages. Our team has some wonderful new recruits, and we warmly welcome: Emily Gogoll – US Sales Team Manager Emily was president and owner of her own travel agency (The Travel Associates) for 12 years, which turned over $4.5M annually. Emily managed a team of 6+ Sales and Reservation agents. She also worked for AAA Mid Atlantic travel agency, where she would sometimes sell Southern Living locations. Emily has extensive experience in group sales, conference and meeting planning. With a degree in English and a wealth of knowledge in team management, travel, vacations, groups and corporate bookings, I’m sure you will all agree Emily will be a great addition to the team. Katie Morningstar – US Concierge Katie comes to us from World Strides where she spent 7 years as a Travel Specialist. Katie managed 350+ accounts, where she organized and hosted group student travel to destinations worldwide. Katie also has over 10 years’ experience in customer service. And – just as going to press – we also are excited to have Blair Wissinger and Marta Staples also on board! A warme welcome to you both.

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t has been another eventful quarter for the Property department. In Cornwall we have agreed sales for 2 of our Fistral Beach, properties with a value totalling over £700,000.

We have also had 2 of our stone cottages on our Llyn Peninsula site complete. The Haybarn and Stables 1 at £191,000 and £249,999 respectively. We have also achieved completion on our second lodge on the Yorkshire Dales site at £190,000.

Geoff and Tom have attended a golf event with David Platt at the Belfry, where they were able to meet new contacts and interact with potential clients with a high net worth. Tom, Joe, Adam and Anthony also represented Natural Retreats at The Mere Golf club in another of David Platt’s charity golf days. The team managed a 5th place finish. This quarter has also seen the introduction to the market of our Farmhouse at Llyn Peninsula. This is currently our reception building but it is to be turned into a luxury 4 bedroom cottage. We have also accepted an offer on Stables 2 of £160,000. This leaves us with only one cottage left to sell, The Tack Room priced at £289,999.

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NATURAL RETREATS

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NATURAL RETREATS

NATURAL REALTY

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atural Retreats Realty has had a

The third, and most significant enhancement

strong few months. At Homestead

to our strategy at Homestead Preserve is our

Preserve we made the strategic

decision to re-envisage Warm Springs Farm as

decision to pursue the sale of non-

a sister agricultural community to Bundoran

core assets, including undeveloped parcels 8

Farm. Here, where we used to promote multiple

and 9, composed of over 700 total acres, located

“Meadow Estate� lots, priced in the 500K-1M

immediately adjacent to the entrance of the

range, we now have approached two existing

Homestead Resort, the Resort’s Donald Ross golf

land owners to purchase the bulk of the land.

course, and Main Street Hot Springs. Cynthia

That land will be leased back to NR for the

Rudnick and our Realty team now have three

purposes of active farming, to include cattle,

interested parties considering these parcels.

equestrian, vineyard, etc.

The other positive change to our strategy is to

We will then re-plat/design small groupings of

partner with regional powerhouse brokerage,

smaller acreage sites where we will build and sell

Frank Hardy Realty, based out of Charlottesville,

cottages in the 375-575K price range. We are

VA. With this partnership, we are now listed on

now negotiating purchases with both existing

the Multiple Listing Services in Northern VA,

land owners and should be bringing this new

Richmond, Charlottesville, Coastal VA, and other

vision to realty this summer season.

regional market places.

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ynthia has hosted three events at

This season we launched Quintessence, our

our Trailview Village Show Home, in

owner’s concierge service here at Bundoran

partnership with the Bath County,

Farm, and have quickly taken on services form

Chamber of Commerce/Tourism

existing home owners, that include pet sitting

Board, to promote Homestead Preserve real

services, personal shopping, transportation

estate. Each event has drawn 30-50 guests and

services and international travel. We plan to offer

multiple lead generations have resulted.

Quintessence to all new purchasers for the first

Realty continues to hit the road with events to

year of their ownership as an incentive at closing.

promote NR in our regional markets as well. Our

This has already proven to be a worthwhile

team, seen here (picture attached) hosted more

incentive!

than 1000 guests a day at the DC Real Estate Show. We took in over 200 qualified leads and

* At both Homestead Preserve and Bundoran

booked over 10 site visits between HSP and BF.

Farm, Chad Rowe sits as General Manager and Greg Jones is now in place as Project Manager.

At Bundoran Farm we continue to sell ahead of

Both parties dedicate Wednesdays and Fridays

business plan. With closings completed since

respectively for what we are calling “Walk in

January 1, and ten new purchase contracts

Wednesdays/Fridays.� During these days, owners

in place today, we are on track for continued

and residents may come into our office and speak

success in 2014! Our new on site real estate

with our team about anything they wish, whether

sales manager, Josh Woodson, has been doing a

it be good news or bad news, to promote a much

terrific job of pushing the sales process forward

more active and communicative relationship with

and gaining significant progress with the local

our residents. or growth and continued success.

brokerage as well as building community.

We are looking forward to the challenge!

Josh has also taken on Bundoran Farm Owner Relations, as the go to person on our team. Always in place to support Bundoran Farm, is Penny Perry, our Sales Coordinator and on site Quintessence representative.

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NATURAL RETREATS

BUSINESS SYSTEMS

‘ALL WEATHER’ SYSTEMS: Jan battles Highland winds whilst on assignment at John O’Groats 14 |naturalretreats.com


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xciting news in Business Systems was the recruitment of Ryan Drake who is based in the Charlottesville office and is looking after all US based network systems. Ryan has a lot of moving parts to get to grips with and will be travelling to all US sites over the coming

months. Ryan has a military background and will be key in implementing standard procedures and processes to make sure we are as efficient as possible and as secure as possible. Welcome Ryan!

Spring is a very busy time for us, especially this year with the amazing growth that NR has achieved in new sites. Greystone Inn, Teton Spring Lodge, Southfork Lodge, Tsaina Lodge and of course Cairngorm in the UK have all just opened/opening or preparing to open for the summer season. With the exception of South Fork these are all new sites for us to implement and integrate our systems.

The NRES team are really busy improving NRES to make it as good as possible in operating all these new sites. With Cairngorm in particular there are some really exciting technology opportunities that we’ll be pursuing over the coming months. Never a dull moment for Business Systems. Especially in Spring!

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he Technical Services Team have been kept busy meeting the public and wining hearts and minds in order to progress with planning applications at John O’Groats and Kilvington Lakes.

John O’Groats, Caithness

Technical Services held a very successful public consultation at John O’Groats over two days in April which was attended by over 40 very interested local residents,

visitors and business owners. Following the favourable responses the team is now putting together the outline planning application for submission. Kilvington Lakes, Nottinghamshire Following the pre application submissions Technical Services have been engaging with members of the local parishes and villages personally introducing the proposals to them. Overall these have been positively received and the team have now begun pulling together the full application and ongoing dialogue with the statutory consultees. The current proposal features 34 Residences, a 25 bedroom Inn, Mini Gems, Storehouse, Outfitters, Watersports Centre along with a network of footpaths and trails complemented with a full wayfinding and interpretation installation. The site will also look to depend upon renewable energy sources with a solar field and biomass boiler. In addition the team have been focussing on the planning application for Trewhiddle Village which is due for submission along with the detailed design work for the interiors of Lews Castle. The Technical Services Team have also been carrying out preliminary space plans, designs and surveys on site at Cairngorm Mountain ahead of the first phase improvements to be carried out this summer. Further details will be released soon. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to drop us a line. NRTS are also working on the detailed planning application for Trewhiddle Village which is likely to include additional residential properties, a storehouse and an Inn along with an enhanced landscaping plan for the entire site.

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NATURAL RETREATS

TECHNICAL SERVICES: WINNING HEARTS AND MINDS

WINNING HEARTS AND MINDS: Public consultation in the library at the Inn at John O’Groats

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NATURAL RETREATS

THE OUTFITTERS GREAT GROWTH AND A TEAM TO MATCH

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inter can be a sleepy time for outfitting activity, but the rapid growth of our portfolio kept everyone busy during the last quarter. It was a time for building teams, developing programs, and expanding on key partnerships.

The most notable addition to Outfitting has been the launch of the Outfitters in the Greystone Inn. This full-service outfitting operation offers a wide selection of retail, in-house guides, and a concierge service capable of advising and organizing outdoor adventures for guests. We are very lucky to have Debi Whitmire at the helm. She has done an excellent job in launching the shop, and we look forward to her future contributions to the organization. Mountain Hardwear generously donated their time and expertise to help create a professional retail space, providing fixtures and decorations as one of Natural Outfitter’s preferred vendors.

South Fork Outfitters has also undergone some changes, and Quincey Liby has joined us as the new Outfitters manager. She has 15 years of guiding experience, and a wealth of knowledge regarding the local region. She is a welcome addition to the team and is already having a positive impact on the site. New additions to our Idaho program include new fly bins in the retail area and a new NRS raft that will allow us to run scenic floats in the shoulder season. Lastly, The South Fork guide staff is now the only fullyendorsed Hardy guide staff in the world—a distinction we are very proud of. the Outfitters in Hot Springs continues to grow, and Andrew Lacks is now our full-time outfitter in Virginia. The most notable development this spring has been the addition of horse-drawn carriage rides at Meadow Lane, and this is a program we will continue to develop in the coming months. Last quarter has seen us assemble the strongest team we have ever had in Outfitting, and I can say with confidence that we are ready to explore!

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NATURAL RETREATS

OPERATIONS

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USA

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his quarter sees most of us and our

opening of the Greystone Inn which opened

guests pretty fed up with the cold

April 4th after a successful refurbishment

and snow the winter of 2014 brought

project. Tsaina Lodge, opened on June 1st and

us, and all of us unusually happy to

we also took over management of the Teton

welcome in the mud season.

Springs Lodge in Idaho.

Team VHS pushed through the snow, sleet,

Our team is growing and we would like to

and below zero temperatures to ensure all guests arrived safely and enjoyed their stay

welcome (and welcome back) some folks to the growing Natural Retreats Family

with us. Now that spring has arrived they have been stocking the Jackson river, hiking to a

SOUTH FORK LODGE

Flag Rock, and preparing catered picnics. Lots

Scott Doherty - Assistant General Manager, is

of new items have arrived to tantalise those

a well-known face at South Fork Lodge having

taste buds - cheeses from around the world,

been the bartender for the past 6 seasons with

fresh milk, butter, and ice cream from The

previous management roles held at restaurants

Homestead Creamery, hot homemade paninis,

in Idaho Falls. We look forward to Scott

and local handmade gourd bird houses.

assisting Jim to lead the lodge to success this year.

We have worked on some projects this winter and can announce that for our South Fork

Shawn Benjamin – F&B Manager

guests, trail mix bars are a thing of the past and

Shawn has a host of experience in the

hampers will reflect the level of accommodation

hospitality industry and worked with us as lead

the guests have booked. Most will be receiving

in the Kitchen last year, this year he is leaving

(amongst other items) branded aluminium water

the back of house for a spot in the limelight out

bottles, bottle openers and local craft beers.

front as F&B Manager.

We are rolling out newly branded uniform and name badges across all sites and we are really proud to announce our new relationship with the newly established US arm of The White Company for our Guest Amenity range. Not only will our guests be receiving the usual Shampoo/Conditioner, Body Lotion and Shower Gel but Inn and Lodge guests will also be treated to a pillow mist, bath salts and lip balms We have also been busily preparing for the reopening of the South Fork Lodge and the new

Quincy Liby – Outfitting Manager, has been a fishing guide on the South Fork for the past 15 years as well as being the Outreach Coordinator for Friends of the Teton River, a Board member for Teton Valley Trout Unlimited and Teton Regional Land Trust. Quincy will work closely with Vanessa in refocusing the retail emphasis and level of expertise in the fly shop and will continue to improve the guided trip experience for our guests. Tony Matthaei – Executive Chef comes to us from the Hotel Terra in Teton Village where he

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has been the Executive Sous Chef and Banquet Chef

EU

for the past 5 years. Tony was previously Sous Chef at Snake River Lodge and Spa as well as a fishing

A new start to the year and a new Retreat for Cheryl

guide in Alaska for many seasons. Tony will bring his

Bishop! Cheryl grows from strength to strength

extensive knowledge of local ingredients, culinary

within the Operations team and is now the driving

skills and passion for the industry to lead the SFL

force in the Yorkshire Dales as General Manager.

culinary team.

Joining Cheryl as Assistant General Manager is Susan Howells who has a wealth of experience

VHS

in hospitality and local area knowledge. It’s an

Native born Cody Nelson returns home from film

exciting new time for our Yorkshire Dales site and

school in Colorado to join NR as a Team Retreat

the team are also looking forward to working with

Assistant.

Kelly Rowland in Concierge to drive wedding and corporate bookings.

Lyle Chapman, Chef/ Catering Specialist Lyle, comes to us with an extensive backround in

In John O’Groats we are working with NessRibs who

restaurant management and catering and is looking

are based in Inverness. NessRibs will operate our

to further improve on the good work at the Milk

RIB the Natural Explorer. This is a positive move

House Market and Storehouse to date.

to enhance the service provided and develop our experience as a RIB operator. John O’Groats has

Congratulations to Andrew Lacks who has made

also seen the appointment of Sarah Pritchard as End

the move from Retreat Team Assistant to Outfitting.

2 End Co-ordinator. Sarah started with us in May

With his local knowledge and passion of the

and her role is dual between Sales and Operations

outdoors he will be instructing and educating our

developing the membership of the End 2 End Club

guests so they leave with a story tell of the beauty

driving accommodation sales, updating social media

and nature of our historical County.

pages and ensuring the smooth operation of the Retreats with Janette and David.

TSAINA LODGE Adam Shoen, General Manager for Tsaina Lodge.

Cairngorm has also be a strong focus for the last few

Adam helped us with the opening of the Greystone

months and this will continue over the forthcoming

Inn. Adam has come to us from the Ranch at Rock

months. This project is very exciting for us and we

Creek in Montana and before that was Lodge

are very much looking forward to developing the

Manager for Cheli & Peacock in Kenya and Within

current operation!

the Wild in Alaska. Tom Morris, Head Chef, from Honolulu where he has worked in a number of successful restaurants including Michels – Honolulu’s oldest fine dining restaurant. Tom has spent time honing his skills in Vermont and Lake Placid and is looking forward to spending time in Alaska with the ability to be as creative as he can to produce our daily Chefs menus. And last but certainly not least, a warm welcome to the whole team at the Teton Springs Lodge and Spa. 22 |naturalretreats.com


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Charlottesville Office. Mackenzie hit the

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ground running in her first week, completing

ready. Forward-thinking design, improved

training on our key systems, which was

functionality and targeted content are the

delivered by Nicole from the UK Marketing

staple ingredients which have gone into the

Team. Nicole visited the States in April to

new website pot. Digital marketing and the

train up Mackenzie and also provide support

development of our website continue to be a

for the launch of the Greystone Inn in North

key focus for us.

irst up we’d like to welcome our newest member of the team – Mackenzie Crowe, US Marketing Executive, based in our

e are also working on the delivery of a new customerfacing website, in a bid to further improve web

conversion and become completely mobile-

Carolina. It’s been a busy quarter for the entire Marketing team, both in the UK and the USA, with a number of exciting projects being worked on. The launch of new destinations across both of sides of the pond has kept everyone busy, with the likes of Teton Springs launched online and a lot of preparation for the operational takeover at Cairngorm Mountain.

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he Marketing Team are also working very closely with Business Systems to deliver two very important D’s – DIGITAL

MARKETING and DISTRIBUTION – which are central to our marketing strategy. With a lot of hard work from Simon Collins and the Marketing Team, largely Nicole, our inventory is now showcased via API technology on some of the biggest portals in the online space – HomeAway which powers a number of sites including Owners Direct was a big win for us and we have seen good bookings to date.

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Easter saw the launch of our Natural Retreats Kids Young Explorer Packs, free to every child staying with Natural Retreats! Each pack includes a branded bag, clipboard, activity booklet, crayons and bubbles. The highlight of these packs is their creative bucket list of activities, made to ensure that children (and adults) at any location can really get the most out of their stay. Many thanks to our Retreat Managers for providing outstanding local information, Oisin for fantastic graphic design and to Maria Matthews, who kindly invited her very cute children Ella and Harry along for a picnicthemed photo-shoot, led by Oisin. Luckily we had a beautiful sunny day and the photographs are really strong.


NATURAL RETREATS

MARKETING

THIS PAGE: Ella at our Natural Retreats Kids picnic photoshoot

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NATURAL RETREATS

FINANCE

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et another financial year has been and gone! Reflecting over the last 12 months its great to see NR continue to grow, we have taken on more new sites globally, opened our own development site with John O’Groats and have won the contract to operate Cairngorm Mountain Resort. It’s amazing

to be a part of this growth and success. Now the UK finance team have their feet back on the ground after a few of them have been globe trotting to various locations around the world with Suzanne spending 3 weeks in South Africa (as you can see from the picture Suzanne is preparing her next big bank robbery and trying to fit in with the locals!) and Carol spending a week skiing at Les Arcs 1950! We are ready and focused for a new financial year with 2014/15 ahead of us and all that this has to offer. New targets have been set, budgets are in place and a new opportunity presents it’s self to make an amazing difference again to the NR business. As always we will do all we can in finance to ensure we are doing our part in helping with the new financial year. We will ensure all departments and business are provided with reliable, timely financial information!

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he US Finance team is continuing to grow and evolve as Natural Retreats continues towards success in the United States. As such, please welcome Mr. Bradley Backof as the Director of Finance. Brad brings with him a strong 10 year history of audit experience from PricewaterhouseCoopers.

It’s no doubt Brad’s past experience and future efforts with the team will help Natural Retreats become a leading hospitality company in the US. We are also pleased to welcome Megan van Syckle as Financial Controller, Christina Page, HR Administrator and Erin Billingsley, Financial Accountant. This is an exciting time for the accounts team in the US as we will be working to bring on-line at lease (3) new sites during this next quarter. We appreciate everyone’s help in making this season a success.

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and the

WINNERS ARE Once again we were inundated with nominations for our Natural Recognition awards which shows

AMAZING CULTURE

that there really are some AMAZING people out there! There were good contenders for each of the awards and all the nominees have been notified. Matt has reviewed all the nominations and selected the winners. As usual, the choice was tough, but the winners and the reason for their choice are:

K

aren McGregor (Housekeeping at John O’Groats)

Throughout the whole development of

JOG Karen worked tirelessly as part of the build team making sure the site was as clean and tidy as possible. Always happy and extremely polite.

AMAZING SERVICE

Her work rate was fantastic. She is a proud dependable member of the housekeeping team

D

and her constantly helpful personality is a credit onna Wan (EU Concierge) Donna’s attitude has been exceptional during a tough time for the EU

Concierge. Her ‘can do’ attitude has been reflected in both her relationships with her colleagues and her performance and service

to the team up at John O’Groats.

B

uddy Tomkins and Reda Lapiano Both of these team members are new to Natural Retreats Greystone Inn and are contractors. Both have been willingly

to NR guests. This was recently highlighted by

assisting the manager on an unpaid basis in the

some amazing feedback from a client.

decoration, painting and set up of the Spa, which

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shows true dedication to the success of the Spa, iffany Shifflet (Operations VHS) Tiffany ensures all the homes at Hot Springs are in immaculate condition all

the time. Everyone loves working with her. She gives up most of her free time to work and is completely dedicated to NR. We would be lost without her.

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Greystone Inn and Natural Retreats.


AMAZING PRODUCT

H

amish Reid (Chef at John O’Groats)

J

onathan has been working with the Mountain Hardware for the first NR Outfitters which has been created in conjunction with a third party.

MH supplied fittings, fixtures and dressing to the

Great chef who makes the greatest

Outfitters (in the lobby of the Greystone Inn) and

traditional Scottish porridge together with

it was warming to see on the first day of opening

being very respectful and hardworking and great

guests and homeowners using the space with Debi

with all the customers

to see what amazing outfitting they could do to make their stay more memorable.

J

oint winners Kelly Macaskill (US Operations) and Jonathan Lancaster (US Sales)

Kelly with a limited team and time ticking away

managed to open the Greystone Inn on time and with amazing changes.The renovation schedule

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e were unsure if we were going to attain the AAA 4 diamond award this year. The GSI have managed to achieve 4 diamond

over the past 26 years. We knew when we took on

and changes were signed off quite late in the day

the property we were unlikely to get it this year as

so Kelly and the team had all hands on deck to

there was so much work that needed to be done.

make the changes and open. I didn’t expect such a

We were inspected last week and have just been

transformation. The team have managed to make the

notified that we have managed to get it for the 27th

budget work to maximum effect and will have a huge

year running. This is all down to the hard work and

effect on the guest interaction with the AMAZING

attention to detail of Kelly, Jonathan and the onsite

product.

team.

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3.

1.

5.

PRESENTING

PREVIOUS NATURAL RECO GNITION WINNERS AMAZING SERVICE 1. Rebecca McPhee, EU Housekeeping

AMAZING CULTURE

3. David Kemp, EU Commercial Analyst

AMAZING PRODUCT

5. Emma Jonas, EU Operations Manager

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2. Tiffany Shifflet, US GM for Virginia Hot Springs

4. Jo Spears, US South Fork Lodge

5. Rusty Sauls, US South Fork Lodge


WELCOME TO THE NR FAMILY Join us in welcoming to the NR family… Europe HQ, Wilmslow Lauren Shaw, EU Concierge Louise Rayner, EU Concierge

Greystone Inn - NC Craig Gronda, Retreat Manager Deborah Whitmire, Outfitting Manager Josh Andrews, Assistant General Manager Reginald Marvin, Jr., General Manager

Kholoud Honeini, EU Concierge

Robbie Cowart, Hotel Services Manager

Yorkshire Dales, England

Bundoran Farm, VA

Susan Howells, Assistant Retreat Manager Alexandra Drake, Housekeeping Julie Smith, Housekeeping Jacqueline Herbert, Housekeeping Cheryl Jenkins, Housekeeping Llŷn Peninsula, Wales Gemma Markham, Retreat Manager John O’Groats, Scotland Róisín Haughey, Housekeeping

Joshua Woodson, Sales Manager - Natural Realty South Fork Lodge - ID Quincy Liby, Outfitting Manager Tsaina Lodge, AK Adam Shoen, General Manager Teton Springs Lodge & Spa, ID Jeff Naylor, General Manager Dana Stahl, Director of Sales

Hollie Knight, General Assistant

Brandon Boerckel, Front Desk - Night Auditor

End-to-End, UK

Christine Alfano, Owner Relations Manager

Brittany Bury, Front Desk Agent

Sarah Pritchard, End-to-End Coordinator

Cricket Romanzi, Spa Manager

USA HQ - Charlottesville, VA

Hannah Brubaker, Front Desk Agent

Blair Wissinger, Concierge Brad Backof, Director of Finance Chad Ciesil, Chief Commercial Officer Christina Page, US Human Resource Administrator Emily Gogoll, US Sales Team Manager Erin Billingsley, Financial Accountant Greg Jones, Design Studio Project & Farm Manager

Elissia Wahl, Front Desk Manager Jaliel Lezama-Flores, Chief Engineer Lucila Perez-Ferrer, Housekeeping Supervisor Ma. Louisa Martinez, Housekeeper Martina Ferrer-Perez, Housekeeper Melanie Rehberg, Assistant General Manager Rene Ceja, Front Desk Agent Yesenia Gonzalez Hernandez, Housekeeper

Katie Morningstar, US Concierge Mackenzie Crowe US Marketing Executive Marta Staples Sr. Concierge Matt McClellan, Head of Design Studios Megan Van Syckle, US Controller Ryan Drake, US Business Systems

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NATURAL PRO GRESSION We love to see people progress at Natural Retreats and here are the latest team members who have been promoted in their positions. Kelly Macaskill – to Head of Operations (US) Jonathan Lancaster – to Director of Sales (US) Kelly Rowland – to Concierge Team Leader (UK) Angela Simpson – to Storehouse Team Leader at John O’Groats

LONG SERVICE AWARDS INFORMATION

W

e are pleased to introduce the Natural Retreats Long Service Awards where we recognise people who have worked at Natural Retrears for a number of years. The first award recognises 5 years and continues for every additional 5 years of service. The

awards consist of a bottle of champagne, shopping vouchers and a stay at a retreat of your choice. The first of our teams to receive the Long Service Awards were Kelly Macaskill, Adam Gough and Sinead Mulvenney. Thank you again to all of you for your hard work and commitment to Natural Retreats.

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you’re invited to

GET INVOLVED

W

Rising Stars is a week during Fall at our US e introduced you briefly to Rising

Head Office and visiting sites where you will

Stars in the last edition of The

spend time getting to see how every element

Natural News and we are pleased

of the business works and includes a full day

to announce the full details of what Rising

with our Chief Executive, Matt Spence.

Stars is and how it will work. What’s it all about…

How to apply for Rising Stars…. In late summer we will roll out the application

At Natural Retreats we actively encourage our

process which will consist of two elements.

teams to progress within their roles and within

The first part is written by you outlining why

the company. Progression is very much a two

you feel you should attend the Rising Stars

way process and will only be successful with

week. In the justification it should include what

the input from the team member and their line

you feel you have done above and beyond

manager.

your role.

Throughout the year team members

This could include a particular project you

demonstrating high potential to progress

have been involved with or times where

within NR should be stretched and challenged

you have had to step in and taken more

within their roles. This together with their line

responsibility for a period of time – this is

manager acting as a coach and mentor will

your opportunity to clearly outline why you

form a strong foundation on which to progress

should be considered to attend Rising Stars.

to the next level.

Your application then needs to be seconded

Rising Stars is a programme to actively

by your line manager who confirms why

recognise and elevate those people in the

you should be considered to attend. All

business who are keen to progress to the

nominations will then by reviewed and the

next level within Natural Retreats. This is for

attendees will be selected by Matt Spence.

everyone within the business, not just our management team.

Remember this is open to all. Application forms will be available from August 1st.

naturalretreats.com| 33


SNAP HAPPY: SUMMER PHOTOCALL

I

f on vacation this summer on one of our many wonderful retreats around the globe, we’d love to see your photos! Whether you’re a pro or savvy with a cameraphone, it’s your experiences and points of view that truly encompass the Natural Retreats holiday experience. Check out Adam’s photo on this

page from his recent trip to Cairngorm Mountain for inspiration. Send on your images (as high res as possible!) to naturalretreatssocial@gmail.com and our Marketing departments will proudly publish them on our social media. Before long, you’ll be summertime famous.

34 |naturalretreats.com


ABOVE: Loch Morlich by Cairngorm Mountain, Scotland. Photographed by Adam Gough, UK Technical Services



Natural News Summer 2014