"How’s it going?" more than an idle question in the Vail Valley | VailDaily.com

"How’s it going?" more than an idle question in the Vail Valley

Michael Kurz
Vail, CO, Colorado

You know how when you drive down a tree-lined Vail Valley lane on a sunny day the impact on your senses is palpable? Bright, dark, warm, and cool patterns all changing in a matter of seconds. Your eyes barely have time to adjust to the brilliance, when they have to adjust to the shadows.

That’s what this season feels like to our members. The same folks who were lamenting a bad week a few days ago are thrilled at great sales this week and, of course, others have exactly the opposite experience. Business seems to be going up and down, but not necessarily in that order and those of us frantically trying to track this yo-yo are asking incessantly, “How’s it going?” If I had a buck for every time I asked a member about sales, I’d be commuting by helicopter by now.

To those folks, I apologize. It’s bad enough riding the roller coaster without having to take the time to describe every hill and gully on the track. The upside, though, is that getting almost immediate intelligence from the street is paying off.

Every week, dozens, if not hundreds, of us are involved in meetings at all levels, from town committees to private groups involved in marketing, education, airport planning, industry/competitive comparisons, group and conference sales, central reservations, town/mountain activities, and Interstate 70 traffic.

The information gathered is transferred almost instantly by voice mail, e-mail, word of mouth, reports and meetings, to anyone and everyone who can use it. When we add this information to formal reports on sales tax and revenues from food and beverage sales, lodging reservations and gross retail sales figures, it helps create the big picture.

So forgive our curiosity (prying) and if you have something you’d like to share, please do. Aside from the Vail Valley Partnership member services group, share with your local chamber, the town of Vail’s economic development manager, your neighborhood merchants association or your local/county government representative.

One person’s story is just an anecdote, but when we put all the stories together they indicate trends and become very helpful. Drop a line and let us know what’s up. I’m not saying that we can help every enterprise going forward, but we can show you what the bulk of the market is experiencing and let you make decisions against that backdrop.

In the meantime, the fighters will win the day. So let’s lace ’em up and get ready for the next round. We know from recent experience with “Vail All the Love” that we’ve got the market’s attention, so keep up the promotional pressure, stay creative and original and communicate with your loyal customers. In the worst case, the less behind we fall, the farther ahead we’ll be.

Event update

– March 18, 5 ” 7:00 p.m.: Business After Hours Mixer at The Marketplace on Meadow Drive, Vail Village.

Michael Kurz is president and CEO of the Vail Valley Partnership.

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