I’m Fred Cercena. As a kid, I grew up vacationing in Vermont. My family used to go on skiing trips to Vermont every year, and I always looked forward to it. For a long time, that was all I knew of Vermont—it seemed like skiing was the only thing to do in this small, quiet state.
Sometime around 2002, I got an invitation to come to Vermont during the summer. A friend of mine had a rental house, and would go up every summer. I’d only been to Vermont in the winter, so I decided to go and check it out.
It was during this trip that I realized all of what Vermont truly has to offer. Sure, skiing is great, but these summers were unbelievable! Cool nights, festivals during the day, amazing hiking, mountain biking, kayaking… I was blown away. I knew right then and there—something special was going on up here. I knew I wanted to invest in a rental property in Vermont—mainly as a financial investment—but also to use for myself when it wasn’t being rented.
I was working in internet consulting for car dealerships in 2008 when I bought my first property in Vermont. I figured I could use my knowledge of marketing cars to get into the rental market, so I took the plunge.
Two years after buying my first property, I bought a condo. I started to develop relationships with other owners in the area. By 2011, I was managing seven properties—and still working full time! I was trying to do this rental business on the side, as a sort of part time job. It was stressful, and I realized that I didn’t want to be working in internet consulting anymore… I wanted to build my own vacation rental company in Vermont. I loved this business and I wanted to turn what I had into something bigger.
So I quit my job, and GetAway Vacations was born.