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Symposium a chance for Vail to shine

Ian Arthur
Vail, CO, Colorado

This spring, the Vail community has been selected to host the Mountain Travel Symposium, which will bring more than 1,200 mountain travel professionals to the resort and town for a week of professional and social events.

The symposium will take place from April 6 ” 12, with events scheduled on Vail Mountain and throughout the town of Vail. The conference will provide a unique and valuable opportunity for the Vail community to showcase the experience it offers to guests both on and off the slopes.

The Mountain Travel Symposium is the largest and longest-running gathering of mountain travel professionals in North America. In past years, the event has been hosted by resorts such as Aspen and Whistler-Blackcomb in British Columbia. This year’s symposium at Vail will be hosted by multiple organizations and businesses in the valley, including the Vail Cascade Resort and Spa, the Vail Valley Partnership, the town of Vail and Vail Resorts.

The event will be divided into three components: trade shows, a forum, and social networking. There will be two trade shows, one for tour operators (“The Trade Exchange”) and one for ski club organizers (“The Group Exchange”). There will also be educational seminars, apres ski parties, and more.

The 2008 Vail Mountain Travel Symposium is predicted to be the largest of these events to date, with a 20 percent increase in participation from last year’s gathering at Whistler. Participants hail from all areas of the ski industry, including representatives from various mountain resorts around North America, wholesale sellers, domestic and international tour operators, and ski club/council organizers.

The Mountain Travel Symposium also provides a tremendous business opportunity for the ski industry and for Vail in particular with more than 1,200 participants attending. The symposium provides an opportunity for resort communities to meet and do business with potential consumers, arranging wholesale contracts and ski club visiting schedules for the upcoming winter season.

On average, more than 41 percent of total North American mountain tour operating business and 22 percent of ski club and council business for the next year has been conducted at the symposium. The symposium also generates over $1 million of revenue to local businesses. The Vail business community and local merchants are an important part of showcasing who we are and are encouraged to support the event by offering specials throughout the week to attendees.

In addition to marketing Vail’s winter activities and offerings, the Vail Local Marketing District will showcase Vail as a summer destination. The event’s timing could not be better for this effort. Bringing industry insiders to Vail during the last week of the ski season, visitors will experience the mountain’s great spring skiing on the slopes and get a preview of warmer temperatures in town.

The event also coincides with Spring Back to Vail, providing great afternoon and night entertainment to locals, guests, and symposium participants alike.

Attendees will also enjoy offerings from local restaurants, shops, and businesses. Local businesses and community organizations are encouraged to participate in the symposium and help showcase the variety of activities offered in Vail.

To learn more about how to involve your business, contact the Vail Valley Partnership and Rich TenBraak at 477-4003 or visit http://www.vailvalleypartnership.com and click on the “Events” icon. For more details, registration information and a full, updated schedule of events for this year’s Mountain Travel Symposium at Vail, visit http://www.mtntrvl.com.

Ian Arthur is Vail Resorts’ Vice President of Sales and Marketing and a member of the Vail Valley Partnership Board of Governors.


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