June 29, 2013
EAGLE COUNTY — Andy Jessen and Kelly Moser are neighbors and friends who live in Eagle, which seems an appropriate way to start a story about the new "Live Local" campaign from the valley's biggest real estate company.
Jessen is the co-owner of Bonfire Brewing; Moser is part of the marketing team at Slifer Smith & Frampton. Moser and Jessen started talking about Slifer Smith & Frampton's new "Live Local" campaign — before long, Bonfire had produced and canned about 175 cases of "Live Local Golden Ale," an easy-drinking brew that will go in the gift baskets home buyers receive at closing.
"It's more personal than a bottle of wine or champagne," Jessen said.
The gift of home-grown beer also goes to the heart of the Live Local idea — that local residents and local companies all depend on each other. Company marketing director Eric Burgund said Live Local is part of a national trend in which people want to know more about the communities they invest in, and the companies they do business with.
Restaurant Kelly Liken is one of several other companies involved in the Live Local campaign. Sarah John, the restaurant's development director, said the new effort by Slifer Smith & Frampton fits in with Liken's business philosophy.
"We try to support local businesses, from our food suppliers to where we buy our light bulbs," John said. "It's why they approached us."
Burgund said the idea of the Live Local campaign evolved as company executives were looking for ways to "refresh" the idea of what the company is.
"We had our 50th anniversary year, along with Vail Mountain," Burgund said. "That had kind of run its course."
Whatever the company did had to reflect the idea that it started with Vail, and is a "true local" company, Burgund said. Of course, the company is already involved in numerous local non-profit groups and other projects.
That's something the company's second-home clients appreciate, Burgund said, adding that in many cases, those who buy a new home here immediately write a check to the Vail Valley Foundation or other local non-profit.
"People want to invest in their community," company president and managing broker Jim Flaum said in a statement. "Buying a home is not just about sticks and bricks — it's about buying into a lifestyle."
To reflect that lifestyle, several of the company's new ads feature people who work for the company doing everything from biking to yoga to — of course — skiing.
That's because company employees live the Vail Valley lifestyle, too, Burgund said. That's important, especially for buyers who spend most of their time somewhere else.
"Brokers are the local connection for those buyers," Burgund said.
Strengthening local connections is a big deal for the companies Slifer Smith & Frampton has partnered with for Live Local.
"It's something we try to do," Jessen said. "We try to find other businesses doing it, too." Those ties make communities stronger, Jessen said.
"It's good for business, and it makes it more fun to be in business," he said.
Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at 970-748-2939 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.