Business Owners: James & Joseph Ballstaedt
Business: Resorts West
Location: Park City, Utah
Meet James and Joseph
James and Joseph Ballstaedt founded Resorts West in 1999. At Resorts West, these brothers have combined their passion for the mountains and love for the outdoors, with their desire to serve others. They have created a niche market where they are ambassadors of the outdoors and provide lodging for a high end demographic.
How It Happened
James and Joseph both love the outdoors. The spirituality of the mountains feeds their hobbies and lifestyle. Both avid mountain bikers and snowboarders, James and Joseph’s lives have been greatly impacted by what they have done in the outdoors. They believe the mountains are for everyone. “We are strong believers that the mountains are a special place, and they are for everyone. When people come here, it changes them. We are ambassadors of the mountains. Our goal is to bring people into the mountains and help them feel the spirituality here.” As they implemented this ideology, they were able to come up with Resorts West. Over 15 years later they are still living the principles they founded this company upon.
The Environment & Lifestyle
James and Joseph both expressed similar feelings that their biggest win as business owners revolves around the lifestyle and environment. As business owners they have a lot of control over their work life and they both love the environment that they have created. “It’s not so much about creating our own business as much as it is about creating our environment.” says Joseph, “so I think that is the bigger reward. It’s fun to come to work because we know what our environment is. The number one thing has always been that we control the environment that we work in. We work hard to keep our environment positive.”
James and Joseph both have families that they love immensely. Being business owners is a huge help in being able to spend time with their families. “We understand work ethic, how to work hard, and what hard work does, but at the same time, family has always been most important to us and we have been able to make the sacrifices necessary so that we can spend time with family and prioritize that way.”
Entrepreneurial Advice From James and Joseph
James is a passionate man, so his advice comes from the realm of being happy in what you’re doing. He said, “One of the things that we talk a lot about around here is figuring out what you are passionate about – money is a part of business, but you initially have to take money out of it. Passion and drive are critical.”
Joseph adds, “What I would add to it if I were talking to my son or a close friend who was getting ready to start a business – always be true to who you are. I remember one time I was sitting in a board, I have a tie on and every person at the table was no less than 30 years older than me. I just remember listening to the conversation that was going on and thinking ‘this isn’t who I am, these people who are talking, this isn’t who I am’ and I started to feel myself slip into an area where everything I was doing was a little bit different than who I really was.
The truth of the matter is often times when you start a business, depending on what it is you are doing, you have to adapt. You have to do things differently, those things transpire; some of it is good, but you can’t let those things change you. I could go back to that same meeting, I might not wear that tie, and I can sit there with the same people, and have the same dialogue, and just be true to who I am. Not only would it be a positive experience and they would accept me more, but I’d be happy and I’d probably grow and learn more.”