Remembering what Vail is best known for | VailDaily.com

Remembering what Vail is best known for

Lourdes Ferzacca

As locals we see Vail as home, the place that all business owners have had the opportunity to create unique experiences for those who visit. Though every season has brought many changes, one that never seems to vanish is all the people who travel to the Vail Valley to enjoy time off.

Looking back at history, Vail has been the place where many tourists have traveled to enjoy skiing. As a community, we can acknowledge that snow has not been our best virtue this year, yet many tourists still decide to come back to our growing valley. Not only is the valley known for the skiing, our cuisine and shopping experience has created its own unique aspects. Our friendly customer service has been known to capture the attention of those who spend time in the Vail Valley. The feeling of being able to leave their hotel rooms or rented homes without being targeted as bait gives them the freedom to explore the villages and see what Vail has to offer.

Creating a warm welcome to tourists every day can impact the way our valley is looked upon. We want every visitor to feel welcomed not only at the slopes, but in every place they decide to visit. The more we focus on the visitor the more they feel at home, but without the feeling of being pushed outside their comfort zone. When one travels for leisure it is expected to leave the daily routine at home, and escape to a place where you are the one who gets pampered and treated with respect at every corner; these are the places we always want to go back to.

Why would anyone want to return to a place that gives them the same aspect as home, where they are targeted as customers. The places that create a unique experience are the ones that tourists always go back to.

As Winter season starts to diminish

As another winter season starts to diminish, we start seeing tourist numbers decline. This should not be a reason to target those people to come into our businesses so we can get the last few sales in for the season. The major focus should be giving those guests an exceptional experience that makes them want to come back. Business owners and managers should focus on training staff and making sure that they understand that providing a unique experience will be their major impact to sales. Creating a memory that they can take home and share with friends or family always leads to higher number of visitors for the coming years.

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Just as Michael Broadbent once said, "Drinking good wine with good food in good company is one of life's most civilized pleasures." Traveling to a beautiful place with good company and an exceptional experience is what makes people want to come back to a home away from home.

The Vail Valley is a beautiful place, and with the correct attitude we can make it every guest's dream vacation. As a community we need to learn to embrace the opportunity that is given to us. Treating visitors as customers will make them feel uncomfortable; the major goal is to make them feel like guests at every hotel, restaurant or shop that they decide to visit. We want them to leave with a good image of our valley, not a bad experience. Their experience not only goes home with them, it is shared with every friend and family member and those people share it with others.

Every experience is a chain that impacts every person's decision on where to go on vacation, and if we can send tourists home with an exceptional taste of the Vail Valley we can expect higher number of visitors for coming years.

Vail Chamber & Business Association board member Lourdes Ferzacca is co-owner of LaTour restaurant in Vail. Reach her at lourdesf@latour-vail.com.