Eagle will help market businesses | VailDaily.com

Eagle will help market businesses

EAGLE, Colorado – Eagle has a good thing going, but its merchants don’t quite know how to spread that message.

But during 2010, the community will hone in on its message by hiring some professional assistance and developing a formal marketing plan.

During discussions with the Eagle Town Board earlier this month, representatives from the One Eagle business organization and the Eagle Valley Chamber of Commerce both stressed the need for a local, comprehensive marketing plan.

While town leaders voiced their support for that effort, they questioned whether marketing Eagle is really a town government responsibility. However, they added, they were willing to prime the well to get the effort moving.

The town has voiced willingness to allocate a portion of business fee collections to a marketing fund. Currently the town has a $50 business license charge and suggestions for marketing have included everything from doubling that charge to keeping it the same and shifting over a large percentage of the dollars.

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A final decision about exactly what Eagle charges for a 2010 business license fee won’t be made until the next town board meeting, on Jan. 12. But members have noted that by allocating $25 of the business license fee to marketing, the town could contribute roughly $18,000 to the effort.

Additionally, the town has $90,000 called out for community requests as part of its 2010 budget. Town board members estimate another $14,000 could be culled from that fund for the marketing costs. One Eagle has pledged $2,500 for marketing.

Several One Eagle members have been strong advocates of raising the Eagle business license fee to $100 with at least $50 earmarked for marketing. However, since that idea was first floated about a month ago, some town board members have reported getting a very negative reaction.

“I didn’t get one positive phone call about it,” said town board member Roxie Deane.

She noted the callers expressed concerns about doubling the business license fee in this difficult financial period.

“I don’t want it to be a negative thing for people,” she said.

Doug Seabury continued to advocate for an increased business license fee, saying that a marketing effort would benefit all Eagle businesses and would be a great value at just $100.

“If you can’t afford $100 to support your town, you probably shouldn’t be in business in Eagle,” he said. “Those people who say it won’t help them, I disagree.”

While the town didn’t make a final decision about what to do about its business license fees, it did agree to partner in a marketing committee effort. A special six-person committee – which will include two representatives each from the town, the chamber and One Eagle – will be tasked with looking at various marketing proposals.

While town board members voiced support for the overall effort, members did note they wanted to proceed with care as a marking message and method is mapped.

“The last thing that got branded in this county was the airport, and that was a disaster,” said Mayor Ed Woodland. “We need to make sure we get this right.”

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