BEAVER CREEK, Colorado - People filtering into the Vail Valley for the ski season - especially those coming for the first time - are often looking for work, information and, of course, a place to live. A business show happening today can help with a couple of those things.
The inaugural Apres Expo - an evolution of the Vail Daily's long-running BizTech show - is set for Thursday at Gerald R. Ford Hall at Beaver Creek. The event is a good chance for both valley rookies and long-timers to learn more about the companies doing business in the valley.
The event used to be just a business show, with exhibits, snacks and, sometimes, a job fair. This year is a bit different, and features some educational opportunities, too.
People interested in beefing up their online tactics are welcome at a free "digital strategy" seminar from 3 to 4 p.m.
After the seminar, the 4 to 5 p.m. time slot brings an invitation-only event for people on hotel concierge staffs. People on those crews are crucial to steering guests to services from ice sculpting to baby-sitting. That session will be a chance for business owners to get to know the people who often answer a guest's first call of "Where can I find ... ?"
"Any opportunity to educate front-line staff is a good thing," Vail Valley Partnership Executive Director Chris Romer said. "This is an opportunity for the business community to spread the word about what they have."
Besides the concierge event is an old-fashioned business show and job fair. People who attend the free event can pick up brochures, business cards - and, of course, some snacks.
The pre-season show has long been viewed as an opportunity for people in the guest-service business to take one last opportunity to renew or establish connections before being buried in the bustle of ski season.
This year's event also features a job fair, something the valley hasn't seen much of since the "do you have a pulse?" days of the boom years.
Raj Manickam of SteamMaster said his company hasn't had a job fair at the business show in a couple of years. There simply hasn't been a need. This year, though, people can fill out applications for SteamMaster and other companies at the Expo. And, Manickam said, those job fair have been productive in the past.
"We're trying to get ready for a busy season... the Apres Expo will help," Manickam said. "Two years ago we found seasonal help and our restoration manager."
Business Editor Scott N. Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930 or firstname.lastname@example.org.