Vacasa will increase presence in Steamboat with $162M deal to acquire Wyndham Vacation Rentals
Editors note: This story has been corrected to reflect that Vacasa purchased Wyndham Vacation Rentals from Wyndham Destinations.
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — It appears Vacasa will have a larger presence in Steamboat Springs as part of a $162 million deal. The Oregon-based vacation rental management platform purchased Wyndham Vacation Rentals from Wyndham Destinations.
“We are really excited about it, obviously,” said Bob Milne, the chief operating officer for Vasaca. “For me, of course, there is a lot of emotion, especially with respect to Steamboat because Steamboat Resorts was the company that I sold to Wyndham.”
Milne, who got his start in the vacation rental business as part of the sales and marketing department with Steamboat Resorts in 1985, said when the acquisition takes place this fall, Vacasa will grow from 23 vacation rental properties in Steamboat to 354. Vacasa manages more than 800 homes in the state of Colorado, including 500 in ski resort markets.
The sale will be composed of $45 million cash at closing and up to $30 million of Vacasa equity, with the remaining balance in either seller financing or cash at closing, according to a news release from Vacasa. Vacasa expects to complete the full integration with Wyndham Vacation Rentals by fall 2020.
“All the stars came together in terms of this particular acquisition and bringing two great vacation rental companies into one. Now, combined, we are over 23,000 homes worldwide, which is impressive,” said Milne.
Milne owns a home and lives part-time in Steamboat.
“It’s all about the local level. I’ve stayed involved, even though I’ve been commuting back and forth, in the community of Steamboat. I’m the chair of the Local Marketing District, and I’m on the Yampa Valley Bank board. I realize the importance of keeping everything local,” he said. “Wyndham has also done a good job in that regard, and they have a good local team.”
Anni Murphy, public relations manager for Vacasa, wrote in an email that, as part of the acquisition, Vacasa is looking forward to bringing on Wyndham employees in Steamboat but was not ready to discuss specific plans with regard to hiring ahead of the deal closing this fall. Milne felt keeping current Wyndham employees was important and said it’s not always easy to find good people in resort markets like Steamboat.
“We realize the importance of having local people. It’s local people that run the business and do the day-to-day operations,” Milne said. “We are very skilled and adept at managing that local relationship and making sure that you have the local teams there.”
Milne has been with Vacasa since 2017 when he was hired as COO. Prior to joining Vacasa, Milne founded his own vacation rental company, The Resort Company, and grew the portfolio to more than 1,000 rentals. He sold the company in 2007 but remained involved with the business as a minority owner. In 2011, he was also involved with the Resort Company sale to Wyndham.
He said, overall, the transition between Wyndham and Vacasa will take up to 12 months in some markets with higher density, but likely less time in Steamboat.
Milne said those looking for rental properties in Steamboat should not expect any big changes as Vacasa takes the helm.
“I don’t think that they should expect anything different,” Milne said. “You have two good companies that really do things quite well and complement each other. I honestly believe that the impact to the guests and the owners will not be noticeable in terms of a service level.”
To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.
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STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Just inside the doors of Kevin Dietrich’s Natural Exposure Gallery in downtown Steamboat Springs, there are moose, bears and some of the town’s most scenic landscapes captured in perfect light.