The Sitzmark Lodge was built in 1969 by Kaiser Morcus in the early days of Vail Village and has served as a fixture in the heart of the community that has flourished around it.
Robert and Helen Fritch were avid skiers from Chicago who would vacation in Colorado. In 1973, Bob was working as a mechanical engineer and Helen was busy raising their three girls. However, they were searching for something that they could do together, earn a living and enjoy their work. Having been travelers themselves, spending time in both good and bad hotels they figured they at least knew what not to do. The couple searched both Aspen and Vail for the perfect place to begin their new life and raise a family. Vail fit their needs and in 1974 they purchased the Sitzmark.
Their philosophy was simple – To provide outstanding accommodations in a warm, friendly atmosphere. Offering personalized guest service, well-appointed rooms, and first-rate amenities at a reasonable price for guests to enjoy. This method of customer first based business has served them well and kept clients coming back year after year.
Bob was everything from the business man to the maintenance man. Helen was the head gardener and marketer and together they provided the core operation that made the hotel work. Over the years Bob and Helen have made changes to the lodge constantly adding amenities, keeping it relevant and appealing to a growing and changing demographic. Being an engineer, Bob always had a project going. The projects have been endless but the results have been wonderful.
The staff has been a major key to our success. We have been fortunate to have staff members stay with us for many years. Jerry, Shelly, Jake, Mike, Andrea, Tina, Bernice, Jennifer, and Chad and many more have helped to create the family environment we all enjoy. Many of our guests return year after year making friends with the staff and other visitors, creating a reunion every week of the year.
The hospitality of the Sitzmark is what still sets us apart today and is something only a family owned and operated hotel can provide. Bob and Helen still live upstairs and are daily fixtures around the hotel. They host weekly wine parties in the winter and also provide guests with a bottle of wine on check-in during the cold months. Recently, their youngest daughter Jeanne has decided to carry on the traditions of her parents and, as general manager, will continue the enchantment of the Sitzmark for generations to come.