Creativity can drive opportunity in todays environment |

Creativity can drive opportunity in todays environment

The Nov. 12 issue of USA Today ran an article in the Money section about how restaurants all over the country are getting creative trying to bring customers to their location or to their Web sites to order products. Some have even shifted product strategies and have packaged their meals for sale in grocery stores. The ideas ranged from Ruth Chris Steak House sending out $25 gift cards to McCormick & Schmick providing uncooked meals that can be ordered online and delivered anywhere overnight. Cold Stone Creamery is also making some radical changes and partnering with Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory to provide another sweet option to customers. From high end restaurants to local coffee shops, we are seeing creativity hitting an all-time high in an effort to drive and sustain revenue. The Vail Chamber & Business Association is encouraging our merchants to also think creatively about what they can do for their own businesses. The chamber and the Vail Daily are locking arms in this effort and will be offering special and aggressive advertising packages to members. Additionally, member merchants can contact the chamber office to schedule a free consulting session where ideas can be shared about creative initiatives to help drive business.The Vail Daily and the chamber will also be working on leveraging newspaper and media contacts nationally to promote Vail businesses. This will allow our guests and visitors to take advantage of the tremendous packages, products, and services available while they are here in town. Vail is a phenomenal place and our merchants can help elevate the experience for their guests and customers by thinking outside the box, or even just getting rid of the box altogether to come up with new and creative ideas for their business. Now is a time when everyone who has a stake in Vails continued collective economic success should be reaching out for fresh, new and innovative approaches to retain and attract business, Vail Daily Publisher Steve Gall said. We will be breaking down stale approaches for this effort and working closely with those interested to build up and bring fun, innovative, and out of the box multimedia campaigns to the market.As the business community comes together through networking events, mixers, and association meetings, I hear them all discussing ideas on how they can collaborate and cooperate to drive more business. Vail has the luxury of having established an incredible brand. This gives us a huge advantage, but the brand alone will not be enough in trying economic times. But because of the strength of our businesses we have an amazing opportunity before us to leverage the Vail brand and come up with new and fresh ideas to bring more folks to town. The snow is falling, the mountain is calling, and people are beginning to remember the epic ski season we experienced last year. People from New Jersey to California, from China to Italy, and especially our locals in the high country and loyal Front Range skiers are all anxiously waiting for that first powder day! Our opportunity as a business community is to give them more than just an incredible ski day. We can come together to make it an incredible ski, shopping, dining, and hotel stay.To schedule your free consulting session or to learn more about the Vail Chamber & Business Association, call us at 970-477-0075 or e-mail us at And thank you in advance for the opportunity to serve you in the future.Michael Norton is director of the Vail Chamber & Business Association.

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