Vacasa’s Tracy Pogrelis discusses the rhyme and reason behind their Dr. Seuss-based vacation cave

How the cave from ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’ became a real-life holiday home!

Tracy, how lovely of you to join me – thank you. You’re the Director of Corporate Communications, Marketing, at a company called Vacasa. For those unfamiliar with the company, what does Vacasa do?
Vacasa is North America’s leading vacation-rental-management platform. We professionally manage over 37,000 vacation homes across North America, Belize and Costa Rica, and welcome over three million guests a year.

And we’re going to talk about a very specific and unusual property today, but for the most part…
For the most part, these vacation homes are located in the top vacation destinations! They range from studios and condos to bungalows and cabins, as well as expansive, luxury homes that accommodate large groups. We also have unique inventory that includes treehouses, lighthouses, shipping containers and tiny homes.

Tracy Pogrelis, Vacasa, Dr. Seuss
I’ve spent a bit of time browsing your website. The properties are fantastic. How did the company come about?

Vacasa was born around a dining room table. It began in 2009, when our founder – Eric Breon – struggled to find the right property manager. He needed one that could offer both professional care and strong financial returns for a family vacation home on the Washington coast… He knew there had to be a better way, so he decided to give the vacation rental industry a renovation.

So it’s one of those stories of someone really wanting to use a service, but finding that precise market wasn’t catered for?
Exactly. The market was ready for a company with a forward-thinking approach – using technology and data to enable local teams to care for homes and guests – while maximising revenue for homeowners. Vacasa quickly grew from one house on the Washington coast to servicing homes across North America.

And just so that I have some context, when was this? And how has it grown since?
This was in 2009. Today, Vacasa’s the leading full-service vacation rental management company in North America. We have big plans for the future… But our focus remains true: to create the best vacation-home experience for everyone, everywhere.

Tracy Pogrelis, Vacasa, Dr. Seuss
Great! So now… You know what, this isn’t the most obvious brand to segue into! Dr. Seuss! Late last year, you teamed up with Dr. Seuss Enterprises to offer stays at the Grinch’s cave… This is based on the home of the eponymous meanie in the book, How the Grinch Stole Christmas. How on earth did this come about?

Ha! No, it’s not at all obvious, is it? But we were approached by Counsel, a creative agency out of Southern California. Counsel works closely with Dr. Seuss Enterprises on an ongoing basis. Fortunately, we were considering large scale activations that would really make an impact with consumers during the busy holiday season, so the timing was ideal. Once we connected, it was off to the races to build an authentic and memorable cave that the Grinch would be proud to call home.

Tracy Pogrelis, Vacasa, Dr. Seuss
So they approached you about making this cave a reality?

Yes, and we immediately recognised the potential of such an unusual offering, and helped shape the narrative. We had the opportunity to work with Dr. Seuss Enterprises to give Grinch fans this incredible, immersive stay… And also create a story that demonstrates our elevated approach to home care: even the skeptical Mister Grinch trusts us to care for his home!

Ha! I haven’t thought about that; I love it! What was it like to work on such iconic brand?
The Grinch is beloved by people of all ages, so we really wanted to make sure that every detail of the cave was reflective of the story consumers have come to know so well. We also had the freedom to be creative with certain elements of the cave, though. We were thrilled at the response people had: from consumers and the media, to our employees at Vacasa – even celebrities! It was a truly magical experience for everyone involved.

Tracy Pogrelis, Vacasa, Dr. Seuss
Let me just check something… In the book, the Grinch’s cave is three thousand feet up the side of Mt. Crumpit. Where – in reality – is the actual cave?

The Grinch cave, which is an actual sandstone cave that was custom built—well, blasted— into a home, was located in Boulder, Utah.

Appropriately enough, yes! There isn’t a physical address, so we had to provide GPS coordinates to guide guests to the location and provide special instructions about accessing the cave. The remote location and natural surroundings gave it a Mt. Crumpit look and feel without us having to transform much of the cave’s exterior.

“We considered every touchpoint an opportunity to provide an exceptional experience…”

I’m loving this! Inside, though, is a different story… Some of the details are amazing! Guests can see stocks of food on the shelves – roastable beast, Who-pudding, Cheery-O cereal and cans of Who-hash. How important is creativity on a project like this?
For a home transformation like this one, the details are incredibly important as guests come to immerse themselves in a make-believe world. We considered every touchpoint as another opportunity to provide an exceptional experience for the Grinch fans who were able to stay in the home. From Max’s bed and food bowl, to the whimsical organ that actually played music, and the cans of Who-hash. We wanted to create a world that was as close as possible to the Grinch’s actual lair.

Tracy Pogrelis, Vacasa, Dr. Seuss
And what was the Who-hash in reality, then?

The Who-hash was, in truth, corned beef hash!

Makes sense! Another detail that caught my eye was the price of the overnight stay… It seemed to be an homage of sorts. Why, tax excluded, was it priced at $19.57?
Since the booking window was limited, we priced the Grinch’s cave at a commemorative price of $19.57. That’s because the original How the Grinch Stole Christmas book was released in 1957!

Tracy Pogrelis, Vacasa, Dr. Seuss
I love it. And I was very keen to speak with you now, in April, because my understanding is that Dr. Seuss wrote the book in April 1957. So it’s a lovely touch… $19.57, though! That’s an absolute bargain!

Well, yes… But the goal for these activations is not revenue generation. It’s about creating an immersive experience for a few lucky guests, and allowing fans around the world to participate in the merriment of the season through the images and a 3D Matterport tour of this one-of-a-kind holiday vacation rental.

“Be on the lookout for similar activations with nostalgic, celebrated brands…”

Got it, yes. People will talk about this endlessly! Are there any plans to repeat the experience in 2022?
We will not be relaunching the Grinch’s cave in 2022, no – but be on the lookout for similar activations with nostalgic, celebrated brands in the near future!

Tracy Pogrelis, Vacasa, Dr. Seuss
Great! Please keep us posted on that front, won’t you? And out of interest, then, let me ask you this: with which other kinds of brands would Vacasa like to work?

We’re open to a variety of partnerships, but our sweet spot is working with established brands that are like minded, and can help us boost brand awareness for Vacasa.

Fabulous! For people that are interested in finding out more, what’s the best way to do that? Just plug away; be shameless!
Follow us on our social media channels to stay up to date on our company news, stunning vacation homes and upcoming activations.

Finally, what’s the one question I could’ve asked you but didn’t?
What assets did you use to launch the Grinch cave?

Tracy Pogrelis, Vacasa, Dr. Seuss
And what’s the answer?

The Grinch’s cave was listed exclusively on, and included high-quality photography of the entire cave, as well as a 3D Matterport tour that allowed guests who weren’t able to book the cave to experience it. We also created a promotional video of the cave that’s reminiscent of a movie trailer and featured a Grinch voiceover.

Tracy Pogrelis, Vacasa, Dr. Seuss
Is that online? We could post a link!

Absolutely! I’ll send you the link.

Brilliant. Tracy, what a great pleasure to chat with you – thanks for making time!

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