Vail Daily column: Let’s work together to improve economic vitality
Ryan Summerlin January 4, 2013
For 50 years, Vail’s leaders have invested in the town. For 50-plus years prior to the resort development, others did the same in the western part of our valley dating back to Eagle’s incorporation in 1905 and Gypsum’s incorporation in 1911.
The hard work helped to build a great place that we all now call home. It didn’t happen by accident.
But what’s next? How do we build on our tourism success, yet develop other industry to diversify our economy on a year round basis? How do we work together to improve the economic vitality of Eagle County and build on the success of previous leaders? How do we avoid pitfalls and focus our time and energy on projects that will benefit Eagle County? How do we address regional issues in a consistent manner – and ensure our community members know how to participate and have their voices heard? How do we create a business environment in Eagle County that helps the business community succeed?
There is a lot of work to be done. That’s where you come in.
We invite you, the business community and other interested parties, to get engaged in the Economic Council of Eagle County’s Economic Development Leadership Council. We hope you will choose to participate in a high-level working group to help identify collaborative actions that will grow our economic development efforts, working to strengthen our various economic drivers in the Vail Valley region. Now is the time to act together as a business community to move our economic development initiatives to their next stages. We are actively soliciting participation in the Economic Development Leadership Council and encourage interested parties to get involved.
What does it mean to be on the Economic Development Leadership Council? What will they do? The Leadership Council will be our economic development ambassadors and will assist us with economic issues and strategies, and will work with the Partnership to coordinate economic development related efforts. Specifically, Leadership Council members will help prepare testimonials on doing business in Eagle County, serve as official ambassadors for prospective businesses and most importantly to be instrumental partners in building our “economic development toolkit” and annual work plan.
This group will serve as our economic development ambassadors and will be a working group to help address economic development issues and planning in Eagle County. Our business community, our municipal leaders, our second homeowners and our emerging leaders all have something to offer to help build our economic development effort here in Eagle County.
The expectations for the Leadership Council participants are fairly straightforward; we want people who want to engage in the community. All current Vail Valley Partnership members are encouraged to express their interest, and we’ll narrow it down to ensure a diverse group of people (both geographic diversity as well as business segments) to ensure it’s well rounded and not too large as to be cumbersome to actually get things done.
Our goal is to have representatives from a variety of locations and business interests including real estate, dining/culinary, retail, development, professional services, financial services, lodging, education, health and wellness, recreation and municipal government. A diverse group will help ensure that all viewpoints are brought to the table as we build future economic development efforts and opportunities.
The group will focus on a variety of issues related to economic development and will be charged with developing a comprehensive action plan. Monthly meetings will focus on things such as eliminating barriers to doing business in Eagle County, helping define regional assets and challenges, and identifying regional workforce issues.
Most importantly, this group will work with us to help define future regional economic development goals and strategies. We use a simple measure of economic development success: A net increase of dollars into the valley’s economy. At the Vail Valley Partnership, we believe that our community is poised for excellence and that greater collaboration among key industry groups will benefit us all. We invite you to join the team.
How can you get involved? Simply submit a letter of interest by Jan. 11 to Chris Romer, Vail Valley Partnership executive director, via email at email@example.com or call at 970-477-4016. For questions on the Economic Council of Eagle County or the Economic Development Leadership Council, please visit VailValleyPartnership.com
Chris Romer is executive director of the Vail Valley Partnership.