Getting to Know The Quiet Place’s Mark and Catie Tortarella
Whether you want to celebrate a special occasion or simply want to get away, there’s a spot for you at The Quiet Place. The company, owned and operated by Mark and Catie Tortarella, provides getaways scattered across the Finger Lakes Region, perfect for individuals or small groups.
The Tortarellas share their story and what sets The Quiet Place apart.
When did you become owners of The Quiet Place? What was the inspiration for doing so?
We first learned about The Quiet Place in September 2020 – in the heart of COVID – but we took it over in January 2021. We were about to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary and were looking for a place to get away, since our original travel plans had been cancelled. A friend of ours recommended The Quiet Place, so we put in a request online and the next day Eric, the founder of The Quiet Place, called. Long story short, there was nothing available but we learned all about The Quiet Place’s 20-year history and we were impressed! At a crossroads ourselves, we shared that “someday we hope to have a story like this one” and Eric responded that his “story was for sale” … well, let’s just say that instead of getting away for our 10th wedding anniversary at The Quiet Place, we bought the business, the original Bloomfield Cabin, and five acres of land!
What did you both previously do before getting into the vacation rental business?
Prior to running The Quiet Place, Mark managed a fast-paced pizza restaurant. When the world was shutting down, pizza became essential and Mark was working around the clock. At the time, Catie, a school psychologist, and our son, Benjamin, were just heading back to some version of in-person schooling. In order to keep some consistency for Ben while he attended second grade for just two hours a day, Mark took a leave and much-needed break from the pizza world. Just two weeks later, we had our first conversation with Eric about The Quiet Place!
Catie has been a practicing school psychologist for 15 years. As much as she absolutely loves working with kids, she has recently resigned from the school system.
We are beyond excited to focus solely on The Quiet Place and see what the future brings!
How many properties does the business own/manage?
There are currently 20 properties listed on our website. Each property is individually owned. We personally own the first quiet place, Bloomfield Cabin.
Can you describe how you stand out from other vacation rental businesses in the area?
There are a number of things that make us stand out! The first thing that comes to mind is that we have a huge following of over 15,000 past guests. Because of this, we are fortunate to be one of the only vacation rental companies that is direct booking – meaning we do not rely on any of the larger booking platforms.
We personally interact with every guest that stays at The Quiet Place, whether it be by phone or email. We also communicate directly with each homeowner to ensure that each stay meets our high expectations for our guest experience.
Although each property is individually owned with a unique style and amenities, they all have a common theme of providing a getaway that allows guests to relax, connect and unplug. The Quiet Place provides a personal touch from booking to check-out.
What is the favorite part of your job?
The best part is connecting with guests and learning their story! Guests come from near and far for a number of reasons … we have couples celebrating engagements, honeymoons, babymoons and anniversaries. We welcome friends and families traveling to honor important milestones or just get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. People even come for much-needed solo retreats to write or just reconnect with nature. We truly are providing something that is just what someone needs and we are honored to be given this opportunity.
The other great thing about this job is that it has provided us the opportunity to work from home. We get to be more present in our daily life as a family – which is just what we needed, too!
Any future plans for expanding or improving the business?
Of course, but we have definitely learned that expanding or improving has to be done thoughtfully and carefully. When you have a business like The Quiet Place that has been successful for more than 20 years, doing things the same way for so long, it is important to make sure that any expansion or advancement (particularly with technology or automation) does not take away from the essence and authenticity.
What do you enjoy most about the Finger Lakes Region?
What’s not to love! We should add that one of the most fun parts of our job is exploring and getting to know the Finger Lakes Region even better. We love that our getaways provide a different side of the Finger Lakes – small towns, mountains and hills, wooded adventures, waterfalls, hikes and more!
Do you have any favorite local activities you enjoy?
Our favorite thing to do is to enjoy all the local flavors of the region and there are so many! We love to check out the local breweries, wineries and eateries with our family and friends.
To learn more about The Quiet Place and its locations, visit thequietplace.com or call 585-657-4643.