Businesses impacted by circumstances outside of their control
Regardless of the size or scope of your business, the Vail Valley business community is subject to the impacts of circumstances we cant always control. As small-business operators in this type of environment, it is imperative that we recognize those circumstances where we can to prepare, adjust and ultimately manage the impacts on our business. This lesson is most profound when we are faced with a condition that is outside our grasp and often comes as a surprise or as an unexpected moment in the life of the business. Of course, Murphys Law often seems to apply, too.On the cusp of the start of the summer season, this Memorial Day weekend attention will be turned to gas prices and how they will impact the summer vacation season.This is incredibly important to a destination like ours, which depends on the driving market, especially in the summer. It is no secret our Front Range audience is an important one; it is also no secret many of our destination guests arrive at an area airport and then rent a car. It is important that during this time of market volatility that appears beyond our control we look at factors we can control to promote travel to the Vail Valley, thus effectively managing this economic condition to our benefit.Businesses in the valley that are directly tied to the traveling consumer are most obviously affected by the price of gas, but the impact reaches beyond the travel and tourism industry and affects most all businesses in our Valley. Retailers will be faced with higher surcharges on product delivery services will be faced with the threat of higher fees to move their documents and contracts in our overnight world.Successful businesses are those that turn challenges into opportunities. Recognizing the fact that America is hugely dependent on international markets for our fuel, how can local businesses lessen the impact of rising fuel costs to their bottom line?Get creative. Take matters in your own hands and fight back. Two local lodges are currently practicing this philosophy by offering incentives to guests. The Tivoli Lodge in Vail is advertising a $25 gas credit to guests who stay at the hotel Sunday through Thursday nights through September. Destination Hotels & Resorts Mountain Collection, in partnership with Bonneville Environmental Foundation, has rolled out a Green Guest program to support renewable energy, which gives guests 10 percent off lodging with the purchase of 10 or more Mini-Green Tags that support 100 kilowatt-hours of new renewable electricity generated by wind power. Can your business offer an incentive for a people who travel 100 miles? Can you partner with a similar business to create a theme package? What about offering a package that gives back cash to those who arrive in hybrid or alternative-fuel vehicles? The Partnership welcomes the opportunity to bring together the business community in an effort to create incentive programs that help market the destination. Please contact us with ideas and/or willingness to create these types of creative solutions to this issue.Attempting to predict the unpredictable and having business nimbleness is priceless. Of equal value is a take control mindset, which will allow your business to adapt to any situation. Consider these and other survival tactics and an approach that anticipates the trends coming down the pike.Business, like life, can throw curve balls when we least expect but knowing that at some point a curve ball is coming will be sure to help. This is a primary responsibility of the Partnership to help businesses by having our ear to the ground, providing education and solutions.This Memorial Day weekend, as TV and print reporters interview consumers paying record gas prices and reports abound on what it means to the summer travel season, I invite you to heed a call to action. Prepare for this type of economic impact as best you can, work with colleagues, competitors and others to create solutions that will create a stronger economic shield for not only your business but our greater community.