Going that extra 100 miles | VailDaily.com

Going that extra 100 miles

Geraldine Haldner
Bridget Hitt is January's premier employee because she drove a man with a broken leg to the airport in Denver.

“He had come to visit his son, who was in a snowboard accident, and he slid and fell in front of the hospital,” Hitt says of the guest, who seemed to be plagued by misfortune from the moment he arrived in Vail in early January.”It was terrible. He was only here for two days, and he had a rental car,” says Hitt. “His son was in a back brace and he could barely get through the door – much less drive a car.”An inquiry with the car rental agency didn’t lead to a solution, so Hitt decided to go the extra mile that separates customer service from excellent customer care. She drove – more than 100 miles – to drop the man off at Denver International Airport.”It was my day off and I remember having a broken leg. It sucks,” says Hitt, who has been running the Park Meadows Lodge since she and her husband, Farrow, move to Vail 13 years ago.In true modest fashion, Hitt, has won January’s Premier Employee Award, says she is embarrassed about being highlighted as a premier Vail customer service representative.”I just do to others what I want them to do to me,” says the mother of a 12-year-old girl, adding that if everyone would follow that simple Biblical rule, life, not just business, “would be so much easier.”For the past two winters, Vail Resorts, the town of Vail, the Vail Chamber & Business Association and the Vail Valley Chamber & Tourism Bureau have teamed up to change Vail’s perceived image problem as a not outright friendly resort. The Premier Employee Award program, which rewards Vail shopkeepers, waitresses, lodge employees and anyone else in Vail’s service industry for going the extra mile with a smile, rewards an overall winner each month with a signature pendant, donated by the Golden Bear jewellery store on Bridge Street. Three more pendants will be awarded before the program’s seasonal ending in April. Anyone nominated through a form available at the two chambers, the town offices as well as at businesses all around town, receives a $25 voucher for food on Vail Mountain, courtesy of Vail Resorts.Last year more than 120 local workers received vouchers.In addition to fame and food, nominees are invited treated to an end-of-season party where they have the chance to win $5,000 in cash along with a plethora of other prizes.Geraldine Haldner can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 602, or at ghaldner@vaildaily.com.

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