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It’s time for everyone to step forward

Michael Kurz
Vail, CO, Colorado

If you’ve been wondering what’s up since the United We Stand presentation to the Vail Town Council a few weeks ago, let me bring you up to speed.

As you’ve probably read in these pages and heard on the radio, there have been some pretty important heavyweights doing their moving and shaking thing. Kelli McDonald and Stan Zemler from the town of Vail, Chris Romer from the Vail Valley Partnership, Rob Katz, Chris Jarnot, Adam Sutner and a host of talented marketing management and staff from Vail Resorts, along with members of the Vail Local Marketing District Advisory Counci, the Vail Economic Advisory Council, outside consultants Ralf Garrison of Mountain Travel Research, James Chung of Reach Advisors, a host of local doers like Joel Heath and Trish Capello at Untraditional Marketing and literally dozens of others have fast been cobbling up devastatingly good promotional concepts, advertising and direct marketing tactics to help us all mitigate the effects of the impending slowdown in winter business. Kudos to them all.

This of course, is above and beyond the call of their regular duties of getting their own enterprises ready for the new season.



A few comments: First and foremost, thank the stars that we have the marketing talent we have in place. Without the working infrastructure of standing marketing/economic committees and this brain trust, none of this would be possible. It would take weeks if not months to outsource the skills, engage the companies or consultants and as my friend says, “edumacate” them to the point were they have a chance of being correct and useful.

Second, thanks to the Vail Town Council for the enlightened approach to attacking this problem. They may differ in preferred funding methodologies, but to a person, they recognize that this isn’t just a problem Vail Resorts is facing. They know a decrease in sales means a decrease in sales taxes and that means, potentially, a decrease in town services at some point. They know this isn’t an expense. It’s an investment.



Third. Thanks to everyone who showed up at the meeting a few weeks ago to discuss this. But, just like the marketing honchos and the town council, your work isn’t done. Please come to the meeting Nov. 14, at the Vail Marriott Mountain Resort and Spa, from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

I ask that you learn about the new program and take the proposed strategy to heart. Ask questions and gain the meaning of what’s happening and design, in whatever way is appropriate for your business, a promotional package to support the concept. Make it good and make it count. When our merchants, lodges and restaurants serve as a point-of-sale extension of the overall promotion, we’ll sell the concept through, the visitors will be delighted and the revenue will come. Trust me. You can’t afford to sit this one out. Be a team player. Be a winner and we’ll all win.

Event update:



– Nov. 14: “Emergency Marketing Bootcamp,” Presented by Bob Smith of the Genimation Group, 8 a.m. ” 5 p.m., Beaver Creek Lodge. Call Ruth Carlson at 970-477-4002 for more information.

– Nov. 19, 8 ” 11 a.m., “A View from the Top,” customer service seminar presented by Carol Verret, nationally known resort service consultant and trainer, Vilar Center, Beaver Creek. Call Ruth Carlson 970-477-4002 for pricing and to reserve your seats. This is a Vail Resorts Merchant Ski Pass qualifying event.

– Nov. 19: Business After Hours Mixer, SOS Outreach, Edwards 5 ” 7 p.m. Free to Vail Valley Partnership members.

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


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