EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado - The Vail Valley business community is quite a bit different than it was a decade ago. The same is true for the event that honors those businesses.
The Vail Valley Partnership's annual Success Awards remains the organization's primary fund-raiser, both through ticket sales and a large silent auction with times ranging from golf to lodging to meals and more. The event has also expanded over the years to recognize more area businesses and entrepreneurs.
But the party is different this year - although dress remains the same, with jackets and ties for guys. In the past, the Success Awards party was held at local hotel/conference centers, with a big meal and awards ceremony followed by dancing. This year, the party starts at the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek.
The cocktail hour will the silent auction items, drinks and "heavy appetizers" out in the lobby, followed by the awards presentation in the auditorium.
Partnership executive director Chris Romer said in an email that the idea was to focus more on the businesses themselves, not the party. That's in line with one of the constants of the awards - the focus on local businesses.
"The (Partnership) feels it's important to take a moment to recognize the folks 'that make the magic happen,'" Romer wrote. "Plus, it's an excuse to get dressed up and network with the best and brightest the valley has to offer, based on the nominations of their peers."
Just being nominated is a big deal, given the number of businesses in the valley. And the glow from a win can linger for some time.
Megan Gilman of Active Energies knows about the glow. Gilman was one of the winners last year, in the "young professional" category.
"We got outstanding exposure from it," Gilman said, adding that the Partnership did fine work getting out the names of all the nominees.
"It was all pretty fun - it was a brand-new award and there were a lot of great nominees," Gilman said.
Winning, though, was even more fun, especially given the competition, Gilman said.
That's one of the reasons Gilman will be there to honor the next winner in the "young professional" category, as well as the other winners - including in two nonprofit categories - and to support all who were nominated, as well as the Partnership itself.
That's one of the secrets of the Success Awards' success, Romer wrote. The constant is shining a "spotlight on local businesses that not only run their businesses efficiently, but strive to give back to the community."
Business Editor Scott N. Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930 or firstname.lastname@example.org.