Zehren and Associates
Describe your success story.
Zehren and Associates is likely the longest running full service design and planning business in Eagle County. It was founded in 1983 by Jack Zehren and in 2023 the firm celebrates its 40th year in business. Jack founded the firm on the core principles of integrity, quality, creativity, and service. Today those principles continue to guide the practice.
The idea for the business was sparked by a realization there was a gap in multi-disciplinary and integrated planning and design services, ranging from planning, architecture, interior design and landscape architecture. Without question, some of the key moments in growing the business in its initial stages was the firm’s involvement with the Master Plan for Beaver Creek, and the Master Plan for parts of Cordillera. Then in the 90’s it was the development of key mountain facilities at ski resorts, including the Two Elk Lodge in Vail, the Beaver Creek Club in Beaver Creek, and the Arrow Alpine Club.
Paralleling this work is a long list of work at other North American Ski Resorts including hospitality, lodging and guest facilities at Taos Ski Valley, Stowe, Mammoth, Elk Mountain, to name a few.
More recently, Zehren and Associates handled the renovation of the Ford Amphitheater and the Riverfront development in Avon, in addition to the Eagle River Park, the Town of Avon’s Main Street Mall, the Dillon Town Park, the Town of Telluride Town Park Master Plan, and the Durango Mesa Master Plan.
Zehren and Associates has also worked on a number of special project assignments internationally including the Estancia de Cafayate in Salta Argentina, the Town Farm in Todos Santos, Mexico, and several projects in China.
Why did you choose to do business in the Vail Valley?
The Vail Valley is internationally renowned and recognized as a leading 4 season resort community. Many of the trends in alpine resort communities, in hospitality and leisure, have originated and evolved here. From day one there was a can-do attitude in Vail, and it was infectious. The idea to start a new interdisciplinary firm that could provide one stop shopping for Clients locally, nationally or internationally was born out of this same mind-set, that from Vail the firm could expand to do work in different unique locations through out the country and abroad.
What are the advantages of doing business here?
The advantages of doing business in our region are multi-fold. The caliber of local projects is very high and there is a great diversity that keeps the work fresh and interesting. Here we meet clients from all over the country and from different parts of the world. Being immersed in this setting is invaluable to give us exposure. Other advantages include an incredible natural and community setting that inspires our staff and provides unique opportunities.
Are you involved in the community? If so, how?
We are involved in the community at many levels. Our staff is involved on boards of non-profits and have served on planning and municipal commissions with Eagle County, Town of Avon and Town of Eagle over the years. At times, some of our staff have served as elected officials. We were a community partner for the 2015 World Alpine Championships and helped design the venue and key spaces where the events took place.
Several of our staff have families they are raising here, and have become intimately involved in the community by coaching sports such as lacrosse and running. We have participated in creating and planning community gardens, advocated for the arts and culture, and are active participants in Walking Mountain’s Actively Green program. This is home, and we immerse ourselves in the community both personally and professionally.
How do you acquire and retain your staff? What do you look for when hiring?
We look first and foremost for a positive can-do attitude, a willingness to work with others, and to learn. We acquire staff by word of mouth, by recruiting special one of a kind individuals, and by professional searches. We retain staff by providing a fun and casual place to work, founded on the original principles of the firm. Many of our staff are long time employees, with 10, 15, and 20 or more years of continued employment at Zehren. In this manner we have become family. We strive for a balance of work and play so our staff has time to participate and become involved in all the community has to offer.
What advice would you give to someone entering our mountain economy?
Be bold, be persistent, get involved in the community to meet others and gain exposure. Make each effort count. No matter how big or how small the task, bring the same focus, commitment and dedication to each effort. Care for this place, and be intentional and deliberate in delivering services, goods and products. Remember you are not alone, and everyone who is here was once in your same shoes.
Learn more at: Zehren and Associates
Zehren and Associates, Inc. is a full-service interdisciplinary design and planning firm based in Avon, Colorado providing services in Architecture, Planning, Landscape Architecture and Interior Design since 1983. The firm is locally owned and managed by a team of shareholders including Pedro Campos, Dave Kaselak, Tim Losa, Susan Nowakowski, Kim Stiak, Jack Zehren, and Darlene Zehren.