Here’s an update on Vail’s loading and delivery plan
The town of Vail formed a working group during the summer of 2007 to evaluate loading and delivery practices in Vail Village. On Monday the working group reconvened to evaluate the pilot programs performance and hear public comment on the subject. The purpose of the review was to provide guidance to the town council, which plans to formalize loading and delivery policies for the remainder of the year on March 17. The needs of our residents and businesses are varied. It became apparent in the meeting that, while all in attendance want the best possible experiences for our guests, a few hurdles still exist in the current program. The lodging community and the residents do not wish to have their guests or families awakened in the small hours of the morning by delivery vehicles. The restaurants would like their groceries to arrive prior to the start of the business day. The town would like the skiers walking on our streets to not be in harms way as they head up Bridge Street for a day of skiing. The retail businesses around town would like an efficient path to their front doors as many of their deliveries are large and difficult to maneuver for long distances. The vendors who deliver the products to Vail need to operate their businesses in the most efficient way possible while attempting to follow the delivery rules.It is clear that the delivery companies want to accommodate our businesses while having the least impact on sleeping guests. The town has taken a bigger role in enforcing the rules that all delivery vehicles need to follow to help ensure more equitable use of the limited delivery spaces around town. All parties at the meeting truly want to come to a consensus on how to manage the program toward a positive end. It became apparent that we may need to look for some greater flexibility in the delivery schedule; this may need to be evaluated at both the seasonal as well as a daily level. There also seem to be some delivery areas that could benefit from greater organization to increase their use this may allow for smaller deliver vehicles like mail trucks to stay out of the loading docks and cut down on the overlap with bigger tractor-trailers that need the delivery bays. Many of these ideas, as well as the general comments from the community were discussed to give greater guidance to the working group about the realities of what happens in the village between 4 a.m. 8 a.m. The primary goal of the Vail Chamber & Business Association is to take specific action to help improve the opportunity for local businesses to achieve and sustain success through cooperation, collaboration and communication. I have not witnessed a better example in recent town meetings of how productive the Vail business community, town government and residents can be when these ideals are applied to town issues. This meeting left me confident that the town council will get a well-organized overview of what is working and where the pitfalls still exist. This collaboration will help create a useful and efficient loading and delivery program for Vail. The program is still a work in progress, and I would like to encourage anyone who would like to know more or add their comments and concerns to attend the next Vail Town Council meeting March 17. Craig Cohn is the director of sales marketing and leasing for Solaris Real Estate and a member of the Vail Chamber & Business Association Board of Directors.