Moving Mountains CEO credits culture for putting business on Best Places to Work list

Robin Craigen, co-founder and CEO of Moving Mountains, stands in front of the "Culture Wall" that can be found just inside the front door of the business offices at 445 Anglers Drive in Sundance at Fish Creek.
John F. Russell

A bright purple wall is one of the first things people notice walking into the offices of Moving Mountains, and it’s the first thing co-founder and CEO Robin Craigen points to when he gets a chance.

“As you come into the office, we actually have what’s called a cultural wall,” Craigen said. “We have our company culture laid out there, and I think it’s really attractive. It is kind of fun and it’s engaging. We love to show it to people.”

Craigen said it’s that culture that helped the business, which specializes in luxury home management vacations rentals and catered chalet offers, earn an honorable mention in Outside Magazine’s list of “Best Places to Work in 2021. The list also includes 50 companies listed as honorable mentions.

The Steamboat Springs-based business also made the list in 2019, but Craigen said they decided not to enter in 2020 because of the chaos brought on by COVID.

Craigen said the business has fared well in the contest, based on surveys taken by employees, because of the company’s mission-driven culture. He said the company values employees by listening and implementing feedback, offering outstanding benefits such as flexible work schedules, discount luxury lodging and recreation benefits, and encouraging work-life balance with floating holidays and paid volunteer time.

“Our success right now in hiring goes back to 2017 when we began this process,” Craigen said. “We saw the best places to work survey as a way of improving the quality of the experience for our team. We can’t do what we do without having great staff.”

Many of the things that appear on the culture wall could also be heard in Shelly Shea’s voice. She is a home care specialist who has been working at Moving Mountains the past four years after hearing about an opening from a friend.

“I like that it’s large and small at the same time,” Shea said. “I like that you’re able to make changes because of that. Robin and Heather (Craigen) and Moving Mountain’s (general manager) Stephanie Stevenson are always willing to listen to what we have to say and to make changes based on our suggestions.”

Craigen said his employees’ loyalty has helped the business navigate the challenges of COVID-19, which included some reduced hours through the shutdown.

He was able keep the bulk of his employees in position during the challenging times, and he said he has seen tremendous growth the past several months, even in the wake of the pandemic.

“We expanded into the Vail Valley in 2019, and COVID happened four months later, so at the time, it was felt like not great timing to try and grow the business,” Craigen said.

However, the business has hired over 40 new staff since May 2021.

“I’ve never said it’s easy because, for us, we’re always looking for the very best in the marketplace,” Craigen said. “We don’t say, you know, that the credentials are you need a pulse and you need to be breathing. We’re looking for people that are the right fit for what we’re trying to do, and we are very selective.”

He thinks the key for Moving Mountains has been hiring good people and then doing what is needed to keep them in place.

“Moving Mountains is a great place to work because there is such an incredible sense of teamwork and everyone is working towards the same goal of providing the ultimate guest and owner experience,” said Teresa Wiedel, Moving Mountains guest experience supervisor. “There are so many moving parts to this job and that keeps things interesting. What I love about the company is the new ideas, a way of improving our processes, is encouraged and supported.”

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