Sitting in The Clear Creek Group’s conference room for an informal chat about his job as Lead Caretaking Inspector, Scott Mele can’t help himself: He gets up to straighten a crooked picture hanging on the wall and unscrews a burnt-out light bulb. “I’ll bring a new one down when we’re finished,” he says. “I wasn’t very OCD, but I’ve become much more so. This job is all about attention to detail. I’ve been doing this for seven years, now, and whether I’m working or not, I walk into a room and immediately notice things that may be out of place. Even if I haven’t used my own stove, I’ll leave my house and worry that I forgot to turn it off! This job comes with a lot of responsibility, it is fast-paced, and it’s satisfying. It is up to the caretaking team to ensure homeowners and guests can focus exclusively on enjoying their time here without worrying about any details. I want them to walk into their home and find that everything is exactly the way they like it, with the keys on the counter, so all they have to do is settle-in and relax.”
Mele, who moved to Jackson Hole from Atlanta, Georgia, for a winter in 2000, then returned full-time in 2004, says, “If everything goes well, homeowners and guests don’t see me. Of course, since I’ve been on the job for seven years, there are some homeowners I have relationships with, and we see each other around town, but generally, if I’m knocking on the door of a house, something’s amiss. Having done all the necessary prep work, my goal is to not be seen, to ensure homeowners and guests arrive and are able to immediately go into vacation mode, because there’s nothing for them to worry about.”
Before homeowners arrive, and after they leave, Mele and his team of 11 tackle everything from stocking firewood to setting thermostats to the correct temperature—it’s not unusual for homeowners to request different temperatures in different rooms—to routinely inspecting crawl spaces for leaks, testing that Wi-Fi is working, arranging for snow plowing and shoveling (of both sidewalks and roofs), even checking propane levels and hot tubs, and, and, and.
“Looking at today’s list, I have 20 things going on,” Mele says. It’s 8:45 a.m. “It’ll grow throughout the day, but I have no doubt, we’ll get everything done.” When Mele started at The Clear Creek Group, the caretaking staff consisted of just three people. Today, “We have multiple professionals collaborating at the same time,” he says. “We all love our jobs and take them seriously because the stakes—a family’s home and their time together in it—are high.”