Today we’d like to introduce you to Jason Harris.
Jason, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I think I was a born entrepreneur. I was always doing things to try and make money (my own mini golf, carnivals, paper route, etc). My first real business was a computer company at age 16, and in later years I would have some big success in the tech world culminating in an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist in 2000. At some point, I thought it would be a neat idea to try and get involved with something people really would enjoy, so I ended up buying the Christopher Creek Lodge, which is a short drive from Phoenix-metro, but seems like a world away. The lodge has been entertaining guests since 1950 (that’s 6 years longer than Disneyland). I am the lodges 2nd owner, outside of the Founders who built it. That was almost 10 years ago since that time, we have dramatically improved the property, added other lodges and own and operate the nearby Creekside Steakhouse & Tavern. Everything is within walking distance and so many guests don’t get back into their cars until it’s time to go home. As far as what the future holds: We intend to continue to make the lodging properties better and better to keep our generations of guests coming back (as a home-away-from-home, weddings, company outings, couple’s retreat, family get-togethers, etc).
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Far-far-far from a smooth road. Unfortunately, business isn’t always so easy. There have been so many challenges, that I’ve lost track. In the end though, I’ve been able to prove something to myself, and make sure that the business does well so that guests, and our workers always have a place to go!
EnjoyArizona.com and Christopher Creek Lodge – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
We specialize in family-friendly affordable destination lodging. Christopher Creek is a small community that is founded on the bank of the year-round Christopher Creek. Out guest can fish right on the property, take a boat out to nearby lakes, pick wild apples and grapes, see deer, turkey, squirrels, and other beautiful creatures. We had a birding expert up here years ago who chronicled over 60 beautiful birds, which guests are bound to see plenty of. Couple that with the other sights, sounds and smells of nature, and well it is a very special place.
I am proud that despite economic challenges along the way, and continuous reinvestment to make the place nicer that we have been able to maintain an affordable family get away. We want as many people to enjoy the place as possible.
What sets us apart is first and foremost the location. There is no better destination in such a short drive than Christopher Creek.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success to me is really pretty basic. Is everyone happy and are you making money. A business has to make money to be successful and be around for the long haul. This business has been open for almost 68 years now. I think if your workers are happy, then you have a much better chance of your customers being happy. So, we just try to make sure everyone stays happy, healthy and know that they’re appreciated, which is the same we’d hope for our guests.
- Prices range from $60/nt-$250/nt depending on season and cabin type
- www.ChristopherCreekLodge.com (for the Christopher Creek Lodge)
- www.EnjoyArizona.com (for all things Christopher Creek)
- Address: Christopher Creek Lodge
1355 E. Christopher Creek Loop
Payson, AZ 85541
- Website: www.EnjoyArizona.com
- Phone: 928-478-4300
- Email: info@ChristopherCreekLodge.com
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChristopherCreekLodge/
- Other: www.ChristopherCreekLodge.com