Party honors season of great work in Vail |

Party honors season of great work in Vail

Scott N. Miller

VAIL – Barb Palmieri didn’t really consider herself a winner until Wednesday. Then good luck found her.Palmieri, a Vail ski school instructor, walked out of the 8150 night club with $2,000 in cash, courtesy of the luck of the draw at the Vail Chamber and Business Association’s fifth annual “Premier Impressions” party.”I won a pair of goggles once,” Palmieri said. “But this is incredible.”Just getting an invitation to the end-of-season party for Vail employees was a surprise for Palmieri. But someone took a few minutes to fill out a nomination form to recognize Palmieri for a job well done. Those nominations recognize outstanding customer service. Monthly prizes are awarded through the season, and everyone nominated earns an invitation to the season-ending party.Over the course of the last ski season, guests and managers turned in more than 400 forms – recognizing more than 100 people – to the Chamber and Business Association’s office.For some, like Palmieri and Randy Braden, the manager at Christy Sports’ Vail shop, the party invitations came as a surprise. Others kind of expected it.”I’ve been nominated three years in a row,” said Bear Hilliard of Vail Ski Tech. This year’s party was his first, though.”I’ve had to work,” he said.For Hilliard, there’s no secret to snaring a nomination. “It’s getting people into boots that fit,” Hilliard said. “It’s making beginners want to come back next year.”That level of service is easy, at least for Braden.”I always have a great day,” he said. “People come in all the time and ask why everybody’s so friendly. I tell them, ‘Look at what we do, look where we live.'”Rewarding that kind of attitude is the reason Premier Impressions was started.”We had meetings with young employees who told us, ‘Nobody appreciates us,'” said Kaye Ferry, director of the Chamber and Business Association. “This is our way of saying thanks to them.”The thanks at the party extended beyond the top three prizes of cash, a trip to Mexico and a 2005-06 ski pass. Drawings were held for gift certificates from several Vail restaurants and shops.”I’m just happy to be nominated, and really happy to win,” City Market employee Tina Reid said after winning the ski pass. The mountains have been good to Reid and her husband, who won a restored 1985 Corvette in Frisco a few years ago.”I’m never leaving here,” Reid said.Staff Writer Scott N. Miller can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 613, or, Colorado

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