Where to Find and Contact Us
The Bridges reservation and business office is operated year-round. It is staffed by trained sales reservation personnel and a professional administrative and accounting staff. They can be contacted via our business office number, 1-802-583-2922. We ask that our toll free number, 1-800-453-2922, is used for booking rental and owner reservations only.
All guests are to check in at The Bridges front desk in the Recreation Center.
The Bridges Sports Center (Recreation Center)
The Bridges aim is to offer premium condominium vacation lodging for the active family. Rental guests are entitled to unlimited use of The Bridges sports and recreation center facility. Fees for such use (excluding court and certain activity fees) are included in rental rates. The fee for rental guests is based on the number of bedrooms in a unit and the length of occupancy. The fee is paid from the gross rental income.
During the winter season, a complimentary shuttle service is provided between the Bridges Resort and the Sugarbush Ski Areas, as well as other points on the access road, Mad River Glen and the town of Waitsfield. The service is operated from Waitsfield with local business and grant funding.
The revenue and occupancy results of individual units in the rental program, along with averages, are published about six weeks after each semi-annual period. Owners thus have the opportunity to evaluate the performance of their units. If a unit does not “do well,” we can discuss the reasons and suggest remedies.
Security & Damage Prevention & Repair
A security deposit is taken with each rental check-in, and renters are informed of basic rules and regulations. Keys are issued to rental guests only through central check-in. All units are inspected immediately after each departure to ensure security and to determine condition.
Based on damage history in recent years, The Bridges has been able to reduce the reserve it maintains to address damage issues. Unit owners remain responsible for damage, and all owners are required to have condominium (homeowner’s) insurance. However, The Bridges also may take steps that avoid or lessen the need for an owner to resort to such insurance or to make expenditures. That is, The Bridges requires security deposits from renters, has sought to have the renter or booking agent pay for repairs, has the capacity for certain in-house repairs, and maintains a fund for repairs.
While group business plays an important part in the rental program, The Bridges manages this segment of the business with care. Wear and tear from group rentals has not, in fact, differed significantly from that of family rentals. Nevertheless, the rental contracts allow owners to exclude groups or types of groups. Most group bookings have come from just a few agents, each of which has placed a large security deposit with The Bridges for its rentals.
Our housekeeping department employs specific cleaning guidelines and quality control. Housekeeping is included in all of our short-term rental stays.
The guest amenity package provided for each rental usually includes seasonal promotional items, personal care products, and local products. Our housekeeping department uses premium quality linen.
We use a sophisticated and versatile software program from First Resort Software. This program is an integrated condominium property management and accounting system. Current and online reservation and occupancy reports and information (e.g., arrival, departure, housekeeping, and confirmation letters.) are maintained. The program also enables us to generate numerous types of reports to interpret the data we collect.
The Rental Agency Contract
All owners in the rental program sign a contract that remains in effect through automatic renewal until cancelled by either party giving thirty days written notice. This contract gives the rental company the exclusive agency to rent the property. An owner who cancels is obligated to honor rental commitments made before cancellation. Problem situations may be discussed individually.
Each selling owner is required to ensure that the condominium sales contract contains language to the effect that “all rentals currently booked to the unit will be honored by the buyer.” However, we attempt to resolve any problems by, e.g., moving rentals where feasible without loss of income and adjustment of closing dates. Where the new owner intends to participate in the rental program, there is usually no significant problem.
Rental Program Costs
A rental commission is charged on all program rentals as follows:
- 47% commission on all short-term rentals of 30 days or less
- 30% commission on all long-term rentals of 31 to 60 days
- 15% commission on all long-term rentals of 61 days to six (6) months
- 10% commission on all long-term rentals of six (6) months or longer
Housekeeping service is included in the commission for rentals of 30 days or less.
The Bridges corresponds with travel agents throughout the United States. In addition, we market to ski groups and tour operators throughout the country. Travel agent commissions vary between ten to fifteen percent. The rental program commission is based upon the actual amounts collected (i.e., less agency fees.).
Owner Use & Reservations
Calendars will be sent every autumn and spring for the purpose of allowing owners to indicate their reservations, with a specified response date. Any additional stays should be made as far in advance as possible. We recommend a minimum of three weeks in advance for weekends and at least three months in advance for holiday periods.
In general terms, the rental agency agreement provides that a rental guest with a fully paid deposit will take priority over a later owner booking, if the guest cannot be moved without difficulty to another unit with similar facilities. While problems may be resolved, advance booking by owners can avoid problems. A guest will not be considered non-movable if the guest reservation is made before the owner has had the opportunity to calendar the owner’s own reservation, unless the owner has agreed otherwise.
Moving A Guest
In cases of conflict between an owner’s plans made after the calendar submission, and a renter who has paid a deposit, we will make an effort to move the rental, if similar units are available at The Bridges — unless the guest’s specifications or needs would cause us a loss of the rental or of good will. We also make an effort to solve the problem for the owner without moving the guest. If moving a rental guest would be feasible but would result in lower rental income or other costs, the owner will be so advised, and the move will depend upon the owner agreeing to pay the rent difference and costs. However, these options do not alter the basic obligations stated in the preceding paragraph and the rental agreement.
We set the rental rates, which are based on annual market analysis and approved by The Bridges Board of Directors.
It is the responsibility of the owner to provide at least one set of entrance keys and any other keys that may be needed for use of the unit. It may be necessary for a unit to be re-keyed for security purposes at the time of contract signing and/or during the term of the rental agency agreement. If not already available, or if additional keys are needed later, we will make these keys at the owner’s expense.
The owner pays all utilities in a rental unit. In the event that it becomes necessary for the rental company to pay an owner’s utility bill to prevent a disconnection, a 15% handling fee will be added to the utility charge and posted to that owner’s account.
All units in the rental program must have working telephone and cable TV. Telephone and cable TV are recommended in the main living area and the master bedroom.
The determination of which unit of a particular size is offered to a prospective renter is made according to a rental rotation system. The system gives priority to units with the highest quality ratings. (Such ratings, from a high of 1 to a low of 3, are made each year by management in a detailed analysis provided to each owner.) Within each quality group, the system then gives priority to the unit with the lowest occupancy/booking status for that season. Usage by an owner (or personal guest) during high season counts toward the occupancy/booking calculation, according to policies set from time to time by the Board of Directors. The choice of unit for rental may also be affected by the specific requests of customers for units, accessories, conveniences and/or locations.
The Bridges undertakes all accounting functions relating to rental activity. It sends a monthly statement, by the 15th of each month, to owners, itemizing all activity for the previous month, with cumulative year to date totals. It files monthly Transient Occupancy Tax returns, as required by law. Rental funds are kept in a separate Rental Account. Client account records are available for review at reasonable times on request during normal business hours. (Please give reasonable advance notice of your request.). The costs for housekeeping, maintenance and other services are deducted from rental income and paid directly to the vendor involved. (If there is no rental income during a given month, these services are billed directly to owners, as usual.).
Our stated policy is that customers who give more than 21 days notice will receive a full refund less a $25 booking fee. On 20 days or less notice, The Bridges may keep 50% of the amount collected; however, that customer may use the retained amount on a future rental. No refund is given for bookings during holiday periods (Christmas week and President’s Birthday week) unless the unit is rebooked; however, usually such units are rebooked. We may, however, give full or partial refunds to rental customers if it is judged that circumstances warrant it, entirely at the discretion option of The Bridges or the rental agency.
Rental policies and practices are subject to rules contained in local, state and federal laws and regulations, condominium documents, association rules and regulations, and Bridges Board of Directors determinations. Stricter rules for a particular unit, when desired by an owner, will be considered for implementation when they do not significantly affect the marketability of the unit. We will generally accept an owner’s wish for stricter maximum occupancy limits or minimum rental period.
We believe that The Bridges rental program has succeeded, where others have failed, because we have had a robust marketing program. We professionally promote The Bridges and its programs, positioning The Bridges as the special place we believe it to be. We pay close attention to promoting referrals and returns. We make clear that we are proud to be rated by the AAA as a three-diamond resort and are that we are one of the top tennis resorts.
Marketing materials reflect this focus and provide detailed information about our accommodations and vacation packages. We market The Bridges as the area’s exclusive property with the focus on families, couples, children’s programs, tennis, skiing and other guest amenities. We also make use of related facilities on the internet.
We have a Sales & Marketing Director, direct sales, local and regional print advertising campaigns, prominent trade/ski show representation, distribution of targeted marketing communications via point-of-purchase display, direct mail and internet presence (web site, partnerships, link, etc.). The Board of Directors regularly assesses marketing activities.
Renting Your Unit
Rental units are individually decorated by their owners and reflect each owner’s taste and style. It is, however, important for each unit to provide certain necessities, and so we have established certain guidelines for meeting this requirement. The Bridges is rated by AAA as a three-diamond resort facility, and it is very important that this high rating be maintained.
When a contract is signed, the unit is inspected by a Bridges rental unit evaluator. An inventory is taken, and the owner is advised of any deficiencies. Any missing items must be added in order for the unit to be included and competitive with other units in the rental program.
For owners preparing or reassessing their units for rental, a detailed list is contained in the following pages. Here follows a brief description of some of the standard recommendations and requirements:
Living and Dining Room — Adequate seating for the maximum number of persons allowed by the rental contract, and appropriate end tables, coffee tables, lighting, etc. Additional task lighting is recommended for reading, games, etc.
Bedroom(s) — Twin beds in all rooms can be a deterrent to rental. The recommended configuration is: master bedroom –king or queen bed; secondary bedroom(s) –two standard twin beds; living room or loft –queen hide-a-bed. A two or three drawer dresser in each is recommended. (A chair in each bedroom is not required but often requested by renters.) There must be a lamp or reading light for each bed.
Porch/Patio — A minimum of one table and two standard size chairs is recommended. More chairs are preferred if the unit accommodates four or more persons. Collapsible beach chairs should not be used. A gas barbecue is also recommended. NO CHARCOAL BARBECUES ARE PERMITTED.
Window Coverings — All window coverings should be of material which provides privacy — particularly in sleeping and bathing areas.
Kitchen — Dinnerware, glasses, and flatware equal to the maximum unit sleeping capacity plus an additional four settings (for guests) are required. The attached list also includes items such as small appliances and other miscellaneous household necessities.
Major Appliances — All rental units must have a refrigerator, stove, color television, at least one telephone (a second is recommended for two story units), VCR/DVD, Microwave, stereo, and dishwasher. A washer and dryer may be required, depending upon the property/facilities.
Décor makes the difference — In order to maintain the resort’s reputation for quality service and excellence, units must be in superior condition. The following are suggestions that will assist in making your unit acceptable and successful.
Furniture — should be of superior quality, well-coordinated using fabric and color that will not show soil. We suggest Scotch guard treated materials.
Floor space — is accessorized to prevent an empty feeling (without overdoing it).
Walls — should be well painted and appropriately treated with attractive paintings, pictures and wall hangings. Accent painted walls and wallpaper help to break up bland wall expanses.
Carpet — should be able to withstand heavy use and be of a color that will not show soil. Color should coordinate with furnishings. Worn or burned carpeting must be replaced. Carpeting should be cleaned as needed.
Accessories — should be used throughout to provide that “homey” touch. They need not be expensive, but should be appropriate and well coordinated. Books, games, puzzles, playing cards and magazines are extras that add to an enjoyable visit.
To Rental Agreement — Household Requirements
Dinnerware, glasses, flatware equal to the maximum sleeping capacity, plus four (4).
Plates, salad plates, cups, saucers, bowls, (2) serving bowls, creamer & sugar, salt & pepper, and a platter.
Beverage 12 oz., rock 7.75 oz.; Juice 5 oz., and wine 6 oz. Quantities will be established by the housekeeping department.
Knives, dinner forks, salad forks, teaspoons (plus 4 extra) and serving spoons.
Ice cube trays & icemaker bin, hot pads or trivets, silverware tray, sponges, coasters, salad set, ice bucket, utensil tray, paper towel holder, serving tray, scissors and (3) pot holders.
Roasting pan, large skillet (10”), medium skillet (8”), (1) 1.Qt. sauce pan w/cover, (1) 2 Qt. sauce pan w/cover, (1) 4 Qt. sauce pan w/cover, (1) 8 Qt. stock pot, (1) 8” skillet, (1) 10” skillet, tea kettle, (2) Pyrex casseroles w/cover, baking pan (8” x 12” x 2”), cookie sheet, broiler pan, microwave baking dishes, acrylic cutting board, knife set (1 carving, 2 paring), refrigerator & microwave containers, swing-away can opener, pierce-type bottle opener, wing-type corkscrew, grater, vegetable peeler, strainer (small), colander, water pitcher, cooking utensils, roasting fork, electric mixer, set of mixing bowls, measuring spoons and a measuring cup.
- 1 kitchen
- 1 each bedroom
- 1 each bathroom
- Coat hangers (2 doz. Each closet) –not wire; must be plastic or wood due to AAA requirements
- Ashtrays (for smoking units)
Major Appliances include: Refrigerator, stove, color TV (25” or larger), telephone (with message light), washer/dryer (mandatory in some units), dishwasher, VCR/DVD, stereo, and microwave.
- Coffee maker
- Steam iron
- Electric mixer
- Fireplace poker set
- Log grate
- Fire extinguisher
- Alarm clock
- Flashlight and/or candles with holders (for power outages)
- (2) Pillow (per person)
- (1) Mattress pads for each bed
- (2) Blankets for each bed
- Bedspread or comforter for each bed
- Vacuum cleaner
- Full size ironing board, pad & cover
- Toilet plunger
- (1) Soap dish each bathroom
- Shower curtain and linens, as necessary
- Shower curtain rings
- (1) Toilet brush each bathroom
Deadbolt or Security locks on entry door, smoke detectors and slider safety bar.
- Gas barbecue
- Laundry basket
- Drying rack
- Extra pillows
- Extra blankets
- Pillow protectors (not slick plastic)
- Waterproof mattress cover
Once Bridges Rental Program accepts units into the Rental Program and inventory requirements are met, responsibility of the replacement of the dinnerware, flatware and glassware that are damaged or missing becomes that of The Bridges Rental Program. Examples of items that the owner is responsible for replacing include, but are not limited to:
- Color TV
- Barbecue – Gas
- Vacuum Cleaner
- Coffee Maker
Our housekeeping division provides excellent cleaning programs for renting owners and non-renting owners, as well as rental guests. All units on the rental program will receive a full checkout cleaning after each rental as part of the rental commission fee. All units cleaned by our housekeeping staff, will be inspected for quality by our housekeeping supervisor. Our services vary to fit the needs of each type of condominium owner and include:
- Linen Service Only – For owners who require bedding and towels.
- Full Checkout Clean – A total cleaning including linens and guest supplies.
- Mid-Stay Clean – Including re-stocking of linens and guest supplies, trash removal and a light cleaning.
- Spring or Fall Clean – Which includes a total cleaning, linens, guest supplies, reachable interior windows, wash and wax floors, move furniture and dust, etc.
Housekeeping – $30/Hr
Maintenance – $25/Hr
Flat Rate Charge
The following rates are for each individual size unit, which includes basic service including linens, guest supplies and cleaning of the unit:
- One Bedroom (flat) — A — $77
- One Bedroom (two level) — B — $92
- Two Bedroom (one bath) — C — $103
- Two Bedroom (two bath) — D — $129
- Two Bedroom (w/loft) — E — $150
- Three Bedroom — F — $173
We employ a full time maintenance staff to respond to calls for assistance or repair on any of the smaller things that can break down in a unit.
We contact the owner prior to making a repair costing more than $500. In situations where the estimate is less, we use our best judgment to repair and maintain each unit in a rentable, livable condition.
If our in-house maintenance personnel cannot handle a repair and the owner instructs us to secure an outside sub-contractor, our representative will inspect the sub contractor’s work before we pay the bill and post the charges to the owner’s account.
The costs of repairs made in a rental unit are billed at cost of materials plus 15% and the approved labor rate. During emergency hours, labor rate shall be time and one-half. Repairs requiring special trips to town (10 miles or greater) are billed labor charge plus mileage.