Posted: August 08, 2012

2012 Best Companies, large: No. 2 Omni Interlocken Resort

Eric Peterson

www.omnihotels.com

Omni Hotels likes to promote its own employees. "We actively pursue growth from within," says David Jurcak, general manager of the Omni Interlocken Resort in Broomfield. "We call it growing our garden."

The resort has a whole slew of programs dedicated to the cause: Managers in Development (MID), Leaders in Development (LID), Executive in Development (EID) and a self-directed option. "Our Leader in Development program is for students coming out of college who majored in hospitality or finance." The MID program targets employees with experience and fast-tracks them toward a potential managerial position.

Both programs have participants from across the hotel spectrum, from housekeeping to front desk to finance. On top of their regular duties, "They have contracts they complete," Jurcak says. "Then they are eligible for transfer anywhere in the company’s 43-hotel footprint." The LID usually takes a year to complete, while the MID program can be completed in six months.

EID "is for department heads and upper middle management," Jurcak says. "We’re not only helping our entry-level people, we’re also looking at our middle managers. That’s a big jump, too." As a matter of fact, Jurcak’s new director of rooms at Omni Interlocken just came to him from the sister resort on Amelia Island, Fla., via EID.

The self-directed program allows employees to change career tracks, from, say, accounting to guest relations. "After five years, they say, I’m really more of a people person, not a numbers person," Jurcak says. "It allows for lateral moves."

Beyond growing their figurative garden, Omni Interlocken gives employees the perks of the resort: free golf and discounted rooms at sister properties. "We have a great benefit program to allow people to travel," Jurcak says.

Then there’s the food. It’s really good and it’s really cheap. "We have our own personal cafeteria chef who makes sure we have good, fresh meals every day," Jurcak says. "We’ve come up with a really healthy program. We also look at the way we prepare food. We’re not frying everything."

Best of all, the price tag for lunch or dinner is just $1. The hotel spends more money to make the meals, but Jurcak says it’s worth it. "We’re going to get that back in service and positive attitude and commitment to Omni Hotels."

2011 RANK: no. 5

Denver-based writer Eric Peterson is the author of Frommer's Colorado, Frommer's Montana & Wyoming, Frommer's Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks and the Ramble series of guidebooks, featuring first-person travelogues covering everything from atomic landmarks in New Mexico to celebrity gone wrong in Hollywood. Peterson has also recently written about backpacking in Yosemite, cross-country skiing in Yellowstone and downhill skiing in Colorado for such publications as Denver's Westword and The New York Daily News. He can be reached at Eptcb126@msn.com

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