Is your Vail Valley business fit for the fight? |

Is your Vail Valley business fit for the fight?

Michael Kurz
Vail, CO, Colorado

I’m sitting at my desk, lunching on a tasteless, textureless, protein shake and feeling like I’m being punished. My own fault, of course. A little to busy to work out as much as I needed to this past winter. A little too much appreciation for the great food and drink around here. A little too much time at the keyboard for a man of my advancing years. So I’m pudgy and that’s not conducive to good health, clothes fitting well or carrying out the activities I have planned for the summer months.

It got me thinking that fitness is strategic. It involves a lot of disciplines that all have to be in order to accomplish the things I really want to do. Then I was thinking that business fitness is kind of the same thing. It involves a lot of different things that, if they are all in harmony, will produce better results and deliver the end product we’re looking for.

So what are the business equivalents of eating right, getting enough exercise and trying to moderate stress levels?

I can think of a dozen or so things, but you undoubtedly know them and the ones that affect your business a whole lot better than I do. I guess the point here, is that as we try to deal with a funky economy, unpredictable spending patterns and targets that move like drunken dragonflies, the idea of a “holistic” approach to business makes a lot of sense. Just like trying to balance calorie intake with the need to enjoy an active and social lifestyle, a business needs to balance purchasing and demand. Marketing needs to be balanced with product quality and service, and pricing/product mix needs to be in line with current consumer demand.

I saw a great example of this in Vail Village last weekend. This unnamed store that for many seasons has been displaying lovely and tempting, but assuredly upscale bling, all of a sudden changed its window offerings to a well-done but decidedly mid-scale offering – very inviting yet definitely not the “you can’t afford to shop here” look the store had boasted in the past. The high-end goodies were still in the store, but the windows were warm, fun and begged street traffic to come in and take a look.

I thought the change was smart, timely and prescient. I think it points out that we all need to check our facades, inventory and presentation these days. I believe that reinvention is the new mother of necessity. GM is doing it way too late. There are still many in the consumer credit business that give no indication they’ll ever get it, and some are learning that no matter how deeply you discount your products or services, consumer needs and wants have changed and sales of tired goods in tacky environments continue to drop.

But those of us who have to confront the mirror every day see the need and feel a renewed sense of motivation to innovate. So I encourage you to be bold and fearless in creating your business fitness plan for the new economy and stick with it. Don’t wait until you have to drink a protein shake for lunch.

Ultimately though, in a few months, I see myself back in my skinny jeans and enjoying the climb up Berry Picker at a quick clip. Let us know if there’s anything we can do to help you tone up your business and get it as fit as you’d like. We have nearly 800 members in a vast array of enterprises, many of which support growing and established businesses and we know there are plenty of members that can and will help.

Event update

• June 16, 8 – 9:30 a.m., Success in :60 Seconds, Manor Vail.

• June 17, 5 – 7:00 p.m., Business After Hours Mixer, Ruggs Benedict Carpet One Flooring, Avon.

• June 24, 8-9:30 a.m., Partner 101 Benefits Orientation, Vail Valley Partnership offices, Traer Creek Plaza, Avon.

• June 25, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., Platinum Service Program Awards Annual Luncheon, Beaver Creek Chophouse.

• June 26, 9 a.m. – noon, Non-Profit Network Seminar: Fundraising in tough economic times. This is a members-only event at the partnership offices at Traer Creek Plaza, Avon. To register RSVP to events coordinator Ruth Carlson, 970-477-4001 or e-mail

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

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