Denver-based property manager Teresa Grasmick shares how a friend’s indiscretion turned into the business idea of a lifetime.
When Teresa Grasmick transitioned from the cleaning industry to the real estate industry 22 years ago, her goal was to become one of Denver’s most sought-after and reliable property managers.
However, after being shorted by a business partner who relied on her to build her portfolio from 60 to 250 properties in nine years, Grasmick decided to start over with her own company, Lion’s Share Properties.
The serial-entrepreneur convinced 19 property owners to follow her to Lion’s Share where she built a team of four broker’s associates that helped her expand her offerings to include tenant resources and Airbnb rentals.
Grasmick had found her niche in Airbnb — she convinced corporate clients to transform their fully-furnished digs into chic lodgings, and even purchased a few properties of her own to take advantage of the craze.
“I had a personal Airbnb, and I had a friend who was a doctor who would ask if he could go to sleep there for a few hours because it’s near the hospital,” Grasmick said.
However, a special request made by a close friend got Grasmick’s wheels turning about starting a new business, a “hot-sheet hotel” she’d name the Mile High Club Chalet.
“I also had a friend who would ask to use it either overnight or for a few hours,” she said, hinting at the friend’s need for a place to carry out his extra-marital adventures.
“I then realized I could make money doing shorter-term rentals for people who didn’t necessarily need a long time in a place,” she said. “Either they needed a place to rest, needed a place to visit a friend or for whatever it was they needed.”
While Grasmick continued allowing friends to make requests, she embarked on a six-month research process that included talking to lawyers, educating herself about safety and sex trafficking, and learning about similar business models in Japan, Russia and Ukraine.
“I heavily consulted with an attorney about the idea and brainstormed for a solid six months before I pulled the trigger,” she revealed. “I did plenty of research to make sure [the Mile High Club Chalet] wasn’t going to be shut down the moment I started it.”
“We’re trying to be innovative and we’re trying to be protective and do everything we can to make sure everyone has a great experience,” she added. “We have precautions to prevent sex trafficking from happening, and we also have equipment we use to sweep for audio and recording devices to make sure nobody has gone in and set anything up.”
Finally, in February 2019, Grasmick opened the Chalet, which has four locations across the Denver area. Three properties are only available for weekday rendezvous — she advertises ‘Hump Wednesdays’ — and the fourth property operates seven days a week.
Couples, singles, and mistresses alike can book one of Grasmick’s four packages that are aptly named First Base, Second Base, Third Base, and the Home Run.
Each base offers more time, with some couples opting for a ‘quickie’ two-hour First Base session or others deciding to stay as long as a week.
All guests are given a code to the Chalet that expires once their session is up. Each room is nicely decorated with paintings, lamps, and dressers, and the beds are covered in comfy sheets, blankets, and pillows to set the mood.
Just in case a couple has forgotten some of their “sexy accessories,” Grasmick invites them to use the condoms, sex slings, and dishwasher-safe dildos that she keeps at each property.
Grasmick said she doesn’t inquire about her guests’ activities, as long as they honor her house rules that include no minors and no additional guests (you catch the drift).
Although she’s garnered a handful of loyal clients, Grasmick has had a hard time marketing the Mile High Club Chalet to the wider Denver public.
“Marketing has been a challenge for me because we started out using Facebook and a lot of times the things we post get taken back down because they are on the racier side,” she said. “It’s hard to guess what will get taken down. [Facebook] kind of picks and chooses.”
Grasmick ran into the same roadblocks with Google and Yelp, which she uses for her other business, Lion’s Share Properties.
“They were like, ‘Yeah, no we don’t want to advertise this,'” she added.
However, Grasmick didn’t back down, pointing out that both platforms allow advertisements for well-known sex and swingers clubs in Denver, most notably Mon Chalet and the Scarlet Ranch.
“It took me five months to convince them to let me run an ad,” she said with a chuckle.
After arguing with Google and Yelp, attending and hosting events to attract potential clients, and even attempting to get the word out by creating dating profiles, Grasmick finally hired a public relations company to give her a push, which led to a breakout moment — a feature in Westword, one of Denver’s longest-running independent magazines.
“They really took the angle of the cheating side of things, but in my world, publicity is always a good thing because if it opens up conversation, then I can let people know its bigger and more important than that,” Grasmick said. “I wanted to get this idea up and running before someone else did because [the market for this] is coming.”
Despite some backlash on social media, Grasmick isn’t backing down. In fact, requests for stays at the Chalet have skyrocketed and investors have taken notice.
“If we can capture and enchant the Denver market, I’d love to expand,” she said. “I’ve had investors approach me, and if we have the growth and success we need in Denver, they’re interested in opening the market in Phoenix and Florida.”
In the meantime, Grasmick is focusing on making improvements to the Chalet and providing a safe place for Denverites to get their groove (or sleep) on.
“I’d love to go out there and seize the day.”
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