New Super 8 Management Team

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by Christy Parrott
A year ago this October, Deborah Schaffer was hired as the General Manager of the Super 8 hotel, just off Highway 40 in Kremmling. Schaffer fell in love with the area after visiting Kremmling to snowboard with her son. When a family tragedy forced her to reconsider her living arrangements, and she was offered the management position at Super 8, she jumped at the chance.

Schaffer has worked with Super 8 for nearly 13 years, and her experience shows. Upon accepting the job as manager, Schaffer was told to “Run it like it was her own.” And she’s done just that, creating a home-like atmosphere for guests and staff alike. “It needed a lot of housekeeping and updating. New carpeting. I had to start over and find good staff,” Schaffer explains. “I fixed the back area to reflect the surroundings, full of flowers and deer horns. I can relate to Kremmling, because I’m an outdoors person from Minnesota,” Shaffer smiles.

Another one of Schaffer’s local finds was newly appointed manager, Jenny Knapp. “I heard about her work ethic from folks in town,” Schaffer says. Knapp has worked for three other resorts and most recently the Allington. Describing the freshly improved Super 8, Knapp says, “It’s like a family. Everyone gets along. Deb brought in a lot of people. I’m excited to work for her.” In fact, Schaffer offers monetary bonuses for employees any time the hotel sells out. Shaffer insists, “The employees do work. This is not a sit down job.” A positive review online also earns the employees bonuses. Knapp explains that Schaffer ensures a positive working environment, understanding that if the employees are happy, the guests will be, too. Integral staff also includes Chelsea Passmore, who Schaffer insists along with Knapp, “Goes above and beyond.” Part of Schaffer’s family-style management approach is to allow employees to bring their children to work. “Both women are hard workers. It won’t be long until I can leave them in charge and visit my own daughter and grandkids.”

While the hotel has a fresh coat, it’s taken a while to recover from the previously poor reputation of drugs and loitering. “It was the owner’s nightmare property, losing six to seven thousand a month,” Schaffer explains. The rooms have new carpeting, fridges and beds. We’re waiting on new windows and screens.” The new team takes care of any concerns immediately. For example, when guests didn’t have hot water, “We got a new boiler,” Schaffer recalls. Still, one negative experience due to a faulty piece of old equipment can cause a potentially damaging online review. “We have to make money to spend money and renovate the hotel,” Shaffer understands. “We keep hoping for a slow day to have time to rip out carpets, but we haven’t had one.” Schaffer says. “We didn’t really get a mud season and we’ve been booked solid.”

Schaffer and her team are happy to work with the community, offering local discounts. “Kremmling is awesome. I love working with the outdoor enthusiasts in the area,” Schaffer insists. Schaffer also raves about her culinary home away from home, The Grand Old West restaurant (where everyone might find her on rare moments away from the hotel). Shaffer explains her mantra for her hotel: “If we can get them here, they’ll want to stay.” When it comes to Deb Schaffer, it appears the same can be said for Kremmling as well.

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