Changes in Vail will have positive effect
On the political side, the Vail Town Council amended the previous noise ordinance to allow another hour of amplified sound in the villages. On the recreation side, the Vail Recreation District has developed several merchant passes for golf that offer new employee benefit options to area businesses and their employees.Although the amplified sound ordinance initially caused quite a stir among opponents, it is the Vail Chamber & Business Associations position that the amendment will ultimately be a positive change. Primarily, the increased time to play amplified music one hour later on the weekends will help businesses that use amplified sound and will potentially encourage more businesses to provide such entertainment. As the unified voice of Vail merchants, the chamber unconditionally supports those programs that will increase business. Guests must perceive that Vail does not cater only to day shoppers and skiers they must also know that there are activities later at night.Opponents of the sound ordinance frequently said this change signifies a departure from Vail tradition. This thought is not erroneous Vail is changing, and some might say becoming less and less like the Vail of yore and becoming more modern. However, these changes are clearly occurring on a much larger scale, and to keep up, we must continue to modify outdated rules and procedures as long as changing them is beneficial to business.And in reality, this change represents a compromise. Proponents of the original proposal suggested that the sound curfew should be extended every night. A compromise was struck to extend the hours only for Friday and Saturday, and even then only on a trial basis. At the end of the summer, the decision will be reviewed. We applaud the council for voting in favor of the amendment, the benefits of which we will certainly see this summer and hopefully into next season. On a different note, these next changes should make everyone happy or at least please those who play golf. Due in part to the chambers suggestion to offer a discounted golf pass to business owners and their employees, for the first time the Vail Recreation District has decided to do just that. Taking a cue from the Merchant Ski Pass program, the golf club is offering two options. The first is a fully-transferable season pass punch card. Cards will be available for 18 or nine holes or for the driving range, and it will belong to the business that purchases it. The best benefit to the pass is that any employee will be able to use it. The second option is an actual Merchant Pass Card for the 2007 season. Vail business owners who pay property tax to the recreation district will be able to purchase passes at taxpayer rates. To purchase the Merchant Pass, business owners must provide proof of their Vail-based operations via tax receipts and by showing an active membership in business organizations such as the chamber, specifying a Vail location. Employees must provide a current paycheck stub or employment verification letter. Similar to the Merchant Ski Pass, the business will own the golf pass. Aside from being able to offer employees another benefit especially a benefit for working in the offseason what is so fantastic about this new pass is the evolving pro-business climate shaping the town. The Merchant Ski Pass program is the most employee-friendly program in North America. In this time of transition, the Vail town government has been extremely amenable to business concerns. Once upon a time, the chamber fielded many complaints from merchants. These complaints seem to have tapered off in recent years, and we hope that the reason for this calm is because merchants feel more represented and supported. That said, we encourage all merchants to support the recreation district and the golf club by taking advantage of this new opportunity.For information, contact Alice Plain, director of golf, at 970-477-2260, or e-mail email@example.com. You can also visit the Golf Clubs Web site, http://www.vailgolfclub.net. The chamber is constantly searching for ways to create positive change for businesses, and our support of the sound-ordinance amendment and promotion of the golf pass are just two examples of how we are active in doing that. Keep reading future columns for more information.
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