Make the Vail Valley Partnership your ‘Destination Success’ |

Make the Vail Valley Partnership your ‘Destination Success’

Michael Kurz
Vail, CO, Colorado

The Vail Valley Partnership has evolved numerous times since it was established as the Vail Resort Association in 1963. Our name change two winters ago to the Vail Valley Partnership was considered a better characterization of our organization and what we do. We partner with community stakeholders, regional and state agencies, and our business partners to promote economic sustainability at all levels.

To serve as a guiding light to the creation of a 365-day economy, we adopted a supporting statement to accompany our name. That motto is: support, unite, lead. By providing our partners with a menu of effective operating tools, business development resources, relevant programming, continuing education, governmental affairs information, networking opportunities and cost-saving benefits, we support them, unite them and lead them toward success ” the goal we all seek.

We have just completed the illustration of that concept by adding what we call in the branding business a “positioning statement.” Such statements ” like Nike’s “Just do it.” or Porsche’s “There is no substitute” ” tell audiences about the core values of the brand in clear, elegant, memorable and “evergreen” statements that define a mission, delineate parameters and differentiate a brand from the competition.

The Vail Valley Partnership’s positioning statement is,”Destination Success.” Destination Success is a virtual place where the Partnership’s stakeholders and allies will find policies, procedures, programs and initiatives that provide a satisfying, valuable and memorable encounter with victory.

What does this mean? We believe Destination Success communicates an assertive, goal-oriented approach to achieving the outcome of economic sustainability that will, over time, prove us to be worthy of engagement by our partners and prove to the community at large the long-term value of our efforts.

Provided the multi-dimensional meanings of Destination Success, various audiences will interpret this statement based on what they expect to gain association with the Partnership. For example, business partners will make the association that the Partnership not only understands day-to-day challenges and long-term business objectives, but also will assemble and provide the business assets they need to help them achieve their goals.

Lodging partners will connect Destination Success to the Partnership’s role in, and commitment to, promoting the destination and bringing guests here.

Visitors will connect the meaning to their guest experience ” an experience we hope that will be so memorable that they’ll keep coming back ” and as a reinforcement of their decision to visit.

Employees may see Destination Success as symbolic of the opportunity they envisioned when choosing to work here. Strategic partners will view it as a representation of a harmonious relationship with the Partnership and as an indication of the commitments we undertake together… the list goes on.

Destination Success will also serve as the platform for launching brand extensions. To those without a marketing degree, a brand extension is a new product or service offered under the identity umbrella of the primary brand ” an extension of the current value proposition in line with brand’s primary mission.

The Partnership will unveil our new brand extensions gradually. But to offer a sneak peak today, Destination Luxury is the Lodging Quality Assurance Program at the Partnership. This program reinforces the Vail Valley’s effort to remain competitive and provide a brand-appropriate accommodations experience. Another program relevant to the lodging community is our Vendor Certification Program, now called Destination Resource. This program certifies companies and individuals providing remodeling and upgrade services to those wishing to improve their properties.

The last brand extension I’ll preview today is Destination Experience. This successful program was created nearly a decade ago as the Platinum Service Program and provides year-to-year customer service measurement tools and employee recognition for improving service at lodges, retail stores, restaurants and wide variety of businesses. It’s a program partners tell us is crucial to maintaining customer loyalty.

Still to come is the debut of a program that promises to be kind to the environment and another program that will prove to be a valuable resource for entrepreneurs, prospective Vail Valley businesses and small businesses.

Destination Success will unite many facets of the Partnership. The theme will also dictate our daily actions as we strive to arrive at Destination Success. It’s a lofty goal, but as Robert Browning said, “… a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?”

Michael Kurz is president and CEO of the Vail Valley Partnership. Reach him at 476-1000.

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