Eagle Valley Chamber report includes food, too | VailDaily.com

Eagle Valley Chamber report includes food, too

Don Rogers
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado – If you have any interest at all in our business community, let me encourage you to attend one of two sessions Wednesday about the revival of the Eagle Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Or, if the promise of something to eat and drink works for you as it does for me – as a journalist an earnest believer in the concept of a “free lunch” – well, that will work, too.

We’re planning to provide full “State of the Chamber” accountings – one at noon at the Big Valley Steakhouse at the Gypsum Creek Golf Course, and another at 5:30 p.m. at the Best Western in Eagle.

It’s time. Six months have passed since the remaining three members of the chamber’s board called a meeting in January to say that the 70-something-year-old chamber had reached the point that either a new set of volunteers needed to step up or the chamber would fold.

I raised my hand, as did seven others. Foolish, maybe. But we couldn’t let the venerable organization die just yet, like that.

And so here we are, six months into building a phoenix fit to fly. That is to say, this bunch is determined to make good on the debt that preceded them out of that good old-fashioned sense of what is right, and I’d say even more determined to make the chamber viable and valuable to our community of businesses even in our difficult times. Well, maybe especially in our difficult times.

Business organizations matter, single-town focused as well as those that serve regions, retail-oriented as well as the wider panoply of companies in the Eagle Valley, as distinct from the marketing area known as the Vail Valley just as the high-tech center in northern California is known as the Silicon Valley. The area served by the Eagle Valley Chamber is at least as special as the “Vail Valley,” if under marketed to date. We all can change that, incidentally, with a little working together.

The Vail Daily is a member of chambers from Vail through the valley (or valleys) to Gypsum. Vail Valley Partnership to One Eagle, Eagle Valley to Vail Chamber and Business Association.

We want each to do good and to do well. We also believe that the sum can be greater than the parts as the organizations learn to work together.

But I raised my hand to serve on the Eagle Valley Chamber’s board because I could not overlook three-quarters of a century of heritage. I believe the right thing to do with the organization’s debt is to work itself free rather than stiff the creditors. And I think that the Eagle Valley business community is one that benefits from a regional organization as well as the specific groups.

I’m glad to say that the chamber has been able to continue with such traditions as monthly mixers, grand opening celebrations, putting on valuable seminars – such as the Tony Rubleski marketing presentation in April – and in partnership with the Gypsum Chamber the annual Screaming Eagle Golf Tournament, whose primary purpose is to raise funds for college scholarships. The Eagle Information Center is in full swing, and the chamber is participating in community events such as Flight Days, Gypsum Daze, and the new farmers market.

The chamber also is working on a website upgrade that we think will add a ton of value for the business community, as well as looking at how to best attract companies that would thrive in our unique environment.

That’s part of what we want to tell you about, as well as answer questions and take suggestions. Chambers matter, especially now, and we want this one to be the most valuable it can possibly be.

See you there!

Don Rogers is the editor and publisher of the Vail Daily and publisher of the Eagle Valley Enterprise. He can be reached at drogers@vaildaily.com or 970-748-2920.

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