Smother Vail Valley customers with love |

Smother Vail Valley customers with love

Michael Kurz
Vail, CO, Colorado

A couple walks into a Vail restaurant for lunch. The restaurant is half full. The hostess escorts the couple to a tiny two-top in the back, near the busing station. They ask for a four-top by the window and she balks, saying “We save those for parties of four.”

A guest is having his rental boots fitted. Another customer walks in with a problem and interrupts the technician. The technician stops what he’s doing and leaves the customer he was serving alone with a foot half in the boot.

A family shows up two hours after check-in time and their rooms aren’t ready.

Are these problems? You bet, even in normal times. This year? Huge mistakes.

Because this year, our guests have decided to cut back to one big vacation and they’ve chosen Vail as the destination where they’ll spend their now-precious vacation dollars. They are flying in on crowded planes at inconvenient times. They’ve faced delays and extra baggage charges for their skis. They had to leave their water bottles at security, their polyester pillows cost an extra $6 and there were no “squat and gobble” snack boxes left for purchase.

They’re forced to pay more for aisle or window or exit row seats and Interstate 70 is a mess. Or, they’ve braved the highway at 30 mph from Denver, they’ve parked on the frontage road and the pass closed while they were making their last run.

May I make a suggestion? Traveling this year is going to be tough on our guests. They’re going to be harried before we even see them. So, when you see someone who has gone to extraordinary lengths to spend time here, take really good care of them ” really, really good care of them.

Make sense to you? Let’s see, better care, better tips. Better care, repeat visits. Better care, longer stays. Better care, more positive stories to tell. Sorry for the mantra, but if we’re not superior brand missionaries at the top of our game this year, there could be more consequences than usual for average to bad service.

Want some great ideas about how you can turn issues into opportunities? On Nov. 19 from 8-11 a.m., at The Vilar Center for the Performing Arts, The Vail Valley Partnership will present its fall edition of our “View from the Top” speaker series.

Following in the wake of our hugely successful spring event, “Creating a Culture of Service Excellence,” presented by author, consultant and ex-Disneyite Dennis Snow, the partnership has engaged the service of hospitality and customer service expert Carol Verret to demonstrate how to create the magic of superior customer service for our winter guests.

Verret has presented similar programs to an impressive list of clients throughout the U.S., including LaMars Donuts, Wyndham Hotels, The Resort Company, Adam’s Mark Hotels, the Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association and the Mountain Travel Syposium.

The program has also been designated by Vail Resorts as a qualifier for its Merchant Ski Pass program and will be the last, live, in-person event this year.

Employers should contact partnership event coordinator Ruth Carlson at 970-477-4001 to reserve space. The program will cost $25 for partnership members, $20 for Platinum Service Program participants and $50 for non-members.

Event update

– Nov. 19: Business After Hours Mixer, 5 -7 p.m., Snow Sport Outreach Society, Edwards. Free to partnership members.

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

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