Government tracker: Vail wants events to drive economy |

Government tracker: Vail wants events to drive economy

Lauren Glendenning
Vail, CO Colorado

Who they talked to: Robert McKown, Commission on Special Events co-chair; Meggen Kirkham, Commission on Special Events member

What they talked about: Vail Town Council members talked about the Commission on Special Events’ operations, focusing mainly on whether the commission could save money in the future by seeking sponsorship money for various events, for example, and coordinating with other town boards to prioritize spending.

Councilman Andy Daly said the commission should work more closely with the Vail Local Marketing District and the Vail Economic Advisory Council in order to make sure everything is being done to increase destination business to the town.

The Town Council recognized that it’s too late this year to coordinate such meetings in time for the 2011 budget, but that the various boards should meet in the future to make sure everyone is doing all they can to drive the economy.

“I think what we’re saying is dollars are precious, so the more we can do to make sure every dollar – whether it’s Vail Local Marketing District or Commission on Special Events – is spent in a way to drive our economy, the better off we’re going to do,” Daly said. “All our hearts are in the right place.”

Who they talked to: John Power, town of Vail human resources director

What they talked about: As the town of Vail faces a deficit in 2012, the Town Council has asked town staff to compare town benefits packages for employees to benefits in other resort towns.

Power told the Town Council that the benefits and compensation in Vail are competitive for the market.

The Town Council is at a point where it has to ask whether those benefits are justifiable for the current and future economic environment, Councilman Andy Daly said.

Councilwoman Margaret Rogers told Power to take a survey of town employees that would ask them to rank their benefits in order of importance, so if the time comes where benefits do have to be cut the town knows where to start.

The Town Council also told Power to look at potentially opting back into Social Security and Medicare – something the town opted out of for its employees years ago so it could contribute more to retirement funds in its place – as another option for ways to save.

A two-tiered employee benefits system that covers employees who meet specific criteria is also something council members want to research .

“That’s definitely an option as we look at the 2012 budget,” Power said.

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