Don Rogers: Eagle businesses band together
Vail, CO, Colorado
Reality hit the Eagle business community recently.
A key town local, Eagle Valley Chamber Director Tim Cochrane, had to resign last week from his post of a decade because the chamber no longer could pay him.
The chamber could no longer pay him because the downturn has sapped the ability of the local businesses to support the chamber.
The headline for this story is pretty hard to spin as bright and happy. But the truth of it may well lead to better days ahead for Eagle.
Cochrane started up a weekly discussion among the business leaders, and anyone else interested, about how to better market Eagle to the outside world.
The discussion continues at 1-3 p.m. Thursday at the Dusty Boot in Eagle Ranch.
After this session, I see the group disbanding or formalizing into, say, a marketing entity that collects funds and puts that money to work promoting Eagle. Whether that means a big concert like Charlie Daniels in Gypsum, a “Vail All the Love” promotional campaign, branding Eagle as the family gateway to the forest or all of the above plus more, I can’t tell yet from the discussion so far.
So far, there’s energy and ideas. Lots of ideas. Last week at Pastatively those ideas clashed and collided, splitting off new ideas. The whole effect was dizzying.
But that’s normal at this stage.
The crucial step, of course, is moving to the idea or ideas that evolve to a plan and then that event, campaign or promotion that succeeds.
What idea will emerge that’s compelling enough to put a smaller group to work? Or is the thought of a forming a marketing panel, like Vail and some other towns have, enough to attract dedicated, creative people to work on Eagle’s grand challenge?
We’ll see. I like the start, though. I like that the business community has come together long enough to have the serious discussion they’ve had to this point.
I’m not frustrated at the wide range of thoughts about what Eagle can do. I think you have to put it all on the table, talk out the crucial challenges and the means of handling them for the right idea to ignite.
I hope Eagle keeps talking. I hope a smaller group forms out of these discussions. If so, in time that group will build hope in a new reality for Eagle, and I’ll bet they pull if it off, too.
Don Rogers is the editor and associate publisher of the Vail Daily. He can be reached at 970-748-2920 or firstname.lastname@example.org. He welcomes your comments.