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Boreal Community Media

A Conversation with Sarena Nelson, Co-owner of Cascade Vacation Rentals

Jun 13, 2021 10:07PM ● By Editor
Photos submitted by Sarena Nelson

From Boreal Community Media - June 14, 2021

Lisa Bauer from Boreal Community Media invited Sarena Nelson, new co-owner of Cascade Vacation Rentals, to share a bit more of her life. 

Congratulations on your recent promotion to co-owner of Cascade Vacation Rental!  How exciting for you!  Can you share a bit of your background?  How long have you been with CVR and what does a typical day at work look like for you?

Hi Lisa. Thank you. It is an honor to have been asked to be an owner of Cascade Vacation Rentals and Cascade Maintenance Services. I started with Cascade Vacation Rentals in September of 2014 right after the merge with Lutsen Lodging Company which happened the month prior in August of 2014 (busiest month of the year). My workday has progressively changed over the last 6 years as I started out as the Account Manager up until October of 2019 when I became the Operations Manager. On any given day I am assisting my Guest Services team to navigate guests and assist in solving problems, meeting with the Maintenance Supervisor on current projects and next steps, to discussing how to deal with the trash disposal at certain properties to the monthly accounting and payroll as well as HR.

How has business changed over the past year?  Are reservations filling up fast this summer?

Over the past year we have been surprised at the rate at which reservations have been filling up the calendars. The pandemic did not seem to slow our human need to travel and venture out. The biggest struggle was the inability to hire the necessary international staff that we need in addition to our great local staff during peak season. Even with that struggle, our staff knocked it out of the park in 2020 and endured long hours under tough conditions.

So many people say that the pandemic has changed their views on life, work, and family.  How has this past year impacted you?

It was hard for me to say the least. Working from home does not work for me and I discovered that early on in COVID. For the majority of the year, my kids were able to still attend school and summer programming but the schedules were reduced which made it challenging. With my fiance working anywhere from 8 to 12 hours days on any given day it was hard to have consistency. But at the end we made it work and we all discovered things about ourselves that we did not know.

What is your favorite part about coming to work each day?

My favorite part about coming to work is seeing my team. The laughter on both normal and hard days makes it all worth it. There rarely is a dull moment at CVR.

What is the best thing about living and working in Cook County for you?

I have lived in Cook County my entire life and I enjoy that the challenge of living here along with the solitude of the wilderness here. Living here challenges you to work hard for what you need and want.

What do you do for downtime when you are not working?

In my downtime I am typically running around with my two kids trying to keep them occupied and warn out. We do a lot of camping and fishing whenever we can.

Your favorite quote to live by?

I have two :)
1. There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind - C.S. Lewis

2. "Integrity is choosing courage over comfortable; choosing what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy; and choosing to practice our values rather than simply professing them" -Brene Brown


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