Kaye Ferry resigns as Vail Chamber director | VailDaily.com

Kaye Ferry resigns as Vail Chamber director

Scott N. MillerVail, CO, Colorado

VAIL The public face and voice of Vails merchant group is leaving her job, but staying in Vail.Less than a week after being quoted as calling Front Range skiers riffraff, inaccurately, she says Kaye Ferry over the weekend resigned as director of the Vail Chamber & Business Association.Ferry quickly denied her resignation was due to the story in which she was quoted which appeared on the Colorado Confidential and RealVail Web sites last week and was later picked up by The Denver Post.Instead, Ferry said, her decision to leave the Vail chamber had more to do with a period of personal reflection following the deaths of several friends over the last 18 months or so.Id actually written a letter of resignation last fall after (longtime friend) Bill Jewitt died, Ferry said. Vail Chamber Board Member Steve Rosenthal, whos known and worked with Ferry for years, knew about the letter last fall, and said he accepts that Ferry believes its time to move on.I dont think anything can force her out of anything she wants to do, Rosenthal said.But another chamber member said he believes its time for a change in the groups leadership.Somebody representing the community cant be running their mouth like that, Tap Room owner Steve Kaufman said. My business relies on Denver folks. My success is based on the number of people who come to Vail.Kaufman said Ferrys quoted comments about the need for Vail to remain an exclusive resort at the expense of day skiers isnt the voice he wants to hear from his local merchants group.That voice is changing, and for now, the group will be led by Susie Tjossem of the Colorado Ski Museum.Between now and next ski season, Rosenthal said the group intends to find a new director.Im sorry to see her go, but its important, whether Kayes there or not, for the businesses in Vail to have an organization that works just for them, Rosenthal said.Whoever takes the job will have a lot of Ferrys history to deal with. She helped found the Vail Village Merchants Association in 1990 when she owned the Daily Grind coffee shop on Bridge Street.That group later merged with the Lionshead Merchants Association and the Vail Community Chamber to created the Vail Chamber & Business Association in 1999.Until that final merger, Ferry ran the business group out of a plastic box from Wal-Mart in the back of the coffee shop.My cell phone was the official number, she said.Through those years she ran the group as a volunteer. When Ferry sold her business in 2004 she was asked to take the directors position as a part-time job.Somebody asked me once how many hours a week my part-time job took and I said, Oh about 80, Ferry said.Ferrys successor will take on a group thats facing numerous changes. The biggest of them may be how Vail Resorts bargain-priced Epic Pass will affect membership. A lot of businesses joined local chambers to receive merchant pass discounts. There will be another merchant pass program, Rosenthal said, but its still unclear what thats going to look like. The Epic Pass is going to affect a lot of organiztions, Rosenthal said. We have to figure out what percentage of our membership were going to lose and plan from there.While Ferry says this resignation from the chamber shes resigned twice before is definitely it, she said shes going to continue living in Vail, attending town council meetings and writing columns in the Vail Daily.Ive tempered my positions on a lot of things out of deference to my role with the chamber, Ferry said. I have a feeling my columns may be even more pointed in the future.

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