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Talented Vacation Rental Website Aggressively Competes with the Big Boys
Monday, March 03, 2003

1st Choice Vacation Properties has combined a time-proven website with a sensible stance on growth, and the smarts to give their competitors a run for their well-funded budgets.

Hailey, ID... In a historically restored cornerstone building in small town Hailey, Idaho, a one time concrete contractor turned Internet entrepreneur sits at the reins of a solid Internet business idea aggressively competing in the world of travel opportunities on the web. Utilizing the popularity of travel on the internet and discovering a niche to reach the growing segment of vacation home owners, Tracy Lotz established 1st Choice Vacation Properties and become a leader in the expanding world of web development.

Lotz founded his company on the premise of big-company ideas combined with a more conservative outlook on growth. "In 1994 I had just discovered the Internet and I sat down and thought what could one little guy like me do?" Relocating to Hailey from Manhattan Beach, California shortly after the realization of his new business, Lotz recognized that the Internet "big guys" would be going in directions he wouldn't be able to compete in, and instead headed in the direction of travel and vacation rentals. Little did he know that travel would become one of the top reasons people use the internet today.

1st Choice has been successful because it has built the business one customer at a time. The use of sound fiscal principles and growth through company revenue rather than outside investment means that 1st Choice has "grown slower, but the growth has been maintainable and manageable," Lotz notes. "Too many of the dot-coms that went public raised millions of dollars with little more than a business plan on a piece of paper. In fact, many of them went public with zero revenues and drowned themselves with internal debt that the company would never be able to recover."

So, what is the secret to success for a small company staying afloat, and in fact leading, in the vast world of Internet travel opportunities? "In a nutshell, our technology," claims Lotz. From a technological standpoint, 1st Choice is light years ahead of the many mom-and-pop Internet businesses run from a home office. Lotz's company has not only developed systems for advertisers to manage their own page content, but the automation of sales and payment processes that other businesses have not. Another fact that should not be ignored is that 1st Choice has been online for over eight years and has created a loyal following of clientele. Lotz adds, "Outliving other sites may not be the question. The Internet is a big place and there will always be other sites. Staying ahead of the competition through value-added features will allow us to maintain our position as a leader in this industry."

The explosion of dot-com businesses makes it easy to see how contagious the appeal of an internet-based company is. However, many of these companies failed in the face of so much innovation combined with so little planning. According to Lotz, 1st Choice avoided the "dot-bomb" phase "by taking a conservative approach to growth, being realistic about our limitations, and not being confused about who we were and who we were not, meaning, we understood our market."

Along with his wife Megan and 2 children Kelly and Katie, Tracy Lotz lives in the Central Idaho Rockies located in Hailey, Idaho. He enjoys skiing on Sun Valley's Bald Mountain and fly-fishing in the Big Wood River. To arrange an interview, please contact 1st Choice Marketing Director Mary Fauth at (800) 343-2891 ext. 104.

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