After eight enjoyable years working at Deep Creek Lake for Railey Mountain Lake Vacations, I didn’t think I could experience a more exhilarating career opportunity than working in the marketing department where dull days are nonexistent. I was totally wrong! In the summer of 2015, an unexpected opportunity within the company opened up. It was not on my radar professionally, but my dynamic leadership team presented me with a change I didn’t know I wanted.
Most people know our company provides lodging through our wonderful selection of vacation homes around the lake. What you may not know is that we manage two of Deep Creek Lake’s hotel style lodging options, the Suites at Silver Tree and the Will O’ the Wisp. Both properties are similar in structure and desired amenities, but different in experience. The consistent characteristics you will find between the two is the prominent Railey standard of excellence in hospitality and quality vacation services.
The Suites at Silver Tree is a lakefront luxury condo hotel boasting 50 condominium suites, each with a gas fireplace, kitchenette, and elegantly appointed interiors. The lakefront resort is also home to fine dining at the on-site restaurant, Dutch’s at Silver Tree and also the Silver Tree Marine. With eight different styles of condos to choose from it’s a great location for business travelers, weekend getaways, family vacations, or group accommodations.
At Will O’ the Wisp Prestige Condominiums, our guests can enjoy accommodations ranging from efficiencies, to a 3 bedroom, 3 bath apartment. What’s even better? All 49 condos have a lakefront view! While staying at ‘The Willo,’ guests can enjoy the nostalgia of old Deep Creek in the newly redesigned on-site restaurant, Ace’s Run, a namesake for the original resort owner, Helmuth Ace Heise. Additionally, we have a large indoor pool, whirlpool, racquetball court, fitness center, private beach, marina, and much more, all located on-site.
Fortunately, I had worked at the Suites at Silver Tree during the summer months back when I was in college, so I was familiar with the hotel and the procedures. Once I took the position, it was a quick transition from my tenure in marketing and sales at my comfortable main office desk, to high paced days going between the hotels meeting with staff, climbing stairs, walking the grounds, and other intriguing tasks throughout each day. After the first month, I found myself exhausted, but eager to learn more about each project. I had always enjoyed working with the team in marketing on tasks, but gaining management experience, in double the capacity, has expanded my skill set and increased my commitment to the Railey brand. Now not only do I work with the marketing department, I interact with every department of the company daily to ensure that each hotel is promoted and maintained by the highest level.
One of the unique aspects of the job is working with almost 100 different owners, since each condo is privately owned and unique in their own ways. Working alongside our company owner, Nancy Railey, has also been an invaluable asset to my professional development. She has created a successful business by understanding the needs of homeowners, the guests, and the value of employees. Her guidance on handling challenges and setting realistic goals with positive outcomes, has made a world of difference for me.
What makes each lakefront hotel a special experience for guests is the dedicated staff at each location. Having exclusive staff at each front desk, and in our two housekeeping departments, offers the peace of mind to our guests that we are knowledgeable and expert at providing accurate information about the hotel and the area attractions. All calls are answered on-site and our staff is always there when you need something during your stay.
I have quickly learned in the last six months that accessibility is key, managing others is hard, managing your time is even more difficult, and learning never stops. When I’m not checking on in-room maintenance tasks, or chatting with owners about bedding options at our two Deep Creek Lake hotels, you can find me skiing the slopes or boating around the lake on a summer day. Living the lake life is part of the job and I’m lucky enough to work for a company that encourages it. For the right opportunity you can overcome the challenges, but learn to inspire others along the way. Come visit one of these spectacular lakefront hotels and enjoy my favorite place to be, Deep Creek Lake. While you are here, stop by and say ‘hello!’
Director of Hotels
Railey Mountain Lake Vacations