Mike Dudick’s grand plans in Breckenridge
2020 CEO of the Year Finalist: Dudick sold his publishing business and invested in Grand Timber Lodge, eventually assuming the role of CEO
Mike Dudick, Co-owner and CEO
Breckenridge Grand Vacations, Breckenridge
Dudick arrived in Breckenridge in 1988 with $400 in his pocket and the plan to be a ski bum.
Within a year, bartending led to advertising, and advertising led to publishing Breckenridge Magazine. “The very first ad I ever sold in my publishing business was to brothers Mike and Rob Millisor,” says Dudick, 55.
The brothers had launched a time-share development. In 1998, Dudick sold his publishing business and invested with the Millisors in a second project: Grand Timber Lodge. He applied the marketing mojo he learned in the magazine business to great effect, and sales grew by more than 600% in two years.
When Rob Millisor passed away unexpectedly in 2016, Dudick assumed the mantle of CEO.
At a pre-pandemic retreat, the staff collaborated on a statement of purpose: “The soul of Breckenridge Grand Vacations is creating smiles.”
Notes Dudick: “For 30 years, the numbers bear out: The happier we make people, the more successful the company is.”
With 27,000 owners at four resorts and annual revenues north of $100 million, Breckenridge Grand Vacations is the largest year-round employer in Summit County, with a staff of 650, and a philanthropic anchor.
Dudick sticks to his Breckenridge roots by bartending at one of the company’s resorts every Monday night. “I’m like the only CEO in the world who’s not in the restaurant business who bartends,” he says. “I do that precisely so I get to know my customers better, and they get to know me.”
Dudick “retired from a hall-of-fame career of drinking” in 2018 and says the clarity of sobriety has helped him at work. “I can’t wait to wake up every day and see what’s next,” he says.
This article is part of ColoradoBiz Magazine’s annual CEO of the Year feature. Read more about this year’s winner Kurt Culbertson and the other finalists: