The purpose of economic development is “to positively influence economic change.” This is expressed in terms of wealth generation, economic diversification, job growth and preservation and building the local tax base.
This past week in this space, I advocated for voters in the upcoming election to vote in a way that put more money in their pockets, thus helping to create an environment where consumers have more discretionary income to spend at local businesses. My belief is that business vitality is key to our continued economic health as a community.
Opportunity to Succeed
One key component — and arguably the most important thing for businesses at a localized level — to ensure businesses have an opportunity to succeed is to have more customers.
Vail Valley Partnership, as a membership-based organization, is committed to providing tools, resources and programming to help our member businesses succeed, in large part by continuing to provide more customers.
Success for our members means more customers, which hopefully translates to increased revenue and more profits. Success means resources to help you attract and develop your workforce. It means access to cost-savings programs and other community programs to lower your costs or increase your access to visitor information, second homeowners or regional resources. Success means a business environment that is attractive to businesses large and small, in all job sectors. We are here for your business!
Encouraging Economic Development
Dating back to our start as the Vail Resort Association in 1964, Vail Valley Partnership has represented businesses of all sizes. Through the years, we have remained focused on our mission to take the leadership role to create and manage collaborative programs that encourage economic development and result in increased destination tourism in Eagle County. We are committed to efforts to increase the number of customers visiting the Vail Valley and connecting them to our members. All of which results in more money spent at businesses (thus more tax dollars for our towns, more jobs available for locals and more opportunities for wealth creation).
Outside of driving destination visitation, we promote business success in the Vail Valley through a variety of events, programs and initiatives. We host events that connect members with other members who may be potential customers. We continue to collaborate with other chambers and business groups in Eagle County and beyond to host events that create opportunities for our members to extend their marketing efforts, extend their professional networks or develop worksite wellness programs or other internal systems.
We host dozens of educational and professional programs to help businesses and employees improve their productivity and performance. We also have special initiatives such as our business leads program and our Lodging Quality Assurance Program (and associated Certified Vendor Program) designed to help keep our community a step ahead of other vacation destinations and to enhance the guest experience.
Many organizations do a great job of providing an environment beneficial to businesses. Obvious examples include Vail Resorts and their continued commitment to the Epic Pass and capital improvements on Vail and Beaver Creek mountains. The Vail Valley Foundation continues to up the bar from an event standpoint with the GoPro Mountain Games, USA Pro Cycling Challenge and 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. The town of Vail, Beaver Creek Resort Co. and others are equally invested in driving economic vitality through special events and providing reasons for visitors to choose our destination instead of others.
We continue to collaborate with other like-minded organizations who are dedicated to increasing visitation and thus providing an environment conducive to business vitality. A key component and driver to our economy is the Eagle County Regional Airport. Success at the airport means more flights and more available seats so visitors can take advantage of our resorts and events that we, as a community, continue to make investments.
The decline in available seats to Eagle County Regional Airport has a detrimental effect on our economy and is an immediate threat to our continued economic growth, and as a result, to the continued success of our business members and the overall business vitality in our valley. The EGE Air Alliance has helped reverse this trend by adding nonstop service from Houston.
Every town, business and resident in Eagle County benefits economically from tourists who fly into the Eagle County Regional Airport and stay longer and spend more. We should all support efforts to increase flight service as one of the easiest ways to ensure that businesses have an opportunity to succeed is to increase our visitor base.
Businesses interested in learning more about increasing their business can learn more about Vail Valley Partnership at vailvalleypartnership.com and learn more about the EGE Air Alliance at egeairalliance.com. More customers means more money, and we’re committed to efforts that increase your customers base.
Chris Romer is president and CEO of the Vail Valley Partnership.