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The art of discovery

Michael Robinson

Recently, the board of directors of the Vail Valley Chamber & Tourism Bureau heard arguments for and against the proposed redevelopment of Crossroads. Both sides of this issue presented compelling arguments as to why the board of the Vail Valley’s largest business organization should support their view. After a thoughtful and meaningful debate, the board elected to support the project based on the economic benefit the redevelopment would realize for the town of Vail, the business community of Vail and the entire Vail Valley.Our endorsement of Crossroads may be perceived as an expected outcome. However, as the new leader of this organization, I am of the belief that no outcome should be expected, but that only the process by which an issue is considered should meet the expectations of the community that this organization serves. Henry David Thoreau, when considering the concept of “process,” wrote, “The process of discovery is very simple. An unwearied and systematic application of known laws to nature causes the unknown to reveal themselves.”And so the real issue, in my mind, is not so much our position on Crossroads but that the Vail Valley Chamber & Tourism Bureau be able to consistently deliver a process by which issues large and small be reviewed and evaluated based on the needs of the business partners we represent. Our mandate is to create an evaluation method that is fair and balanced, that provides ample time and opportunity for thought and consideration. To do anything less, in my opinion, undermines the confidence that our business partners have entrusted to us through their investment in this organization.I believe the fact that the VVCTB took the time to evaluate the redevelopment proposal and arrive at a clear, defensible position is the action that should be applauded. Members of the board of directors of the VVCTB serve in the capacity as caretakers of the greater business community. They are in fact representative of all our business partners. In my short time working with them, I have learned that this responsibility is one that is taken very seriously by each and every member of the VVCTB Board, as evidenced by their Crossroads’ position.As this organization continues to develop its relevancy and increase the value proposition it offers to businesses throughout the Vail Valley, I invite our partners, friends and skeptics alike to assist in the development of a structure that will hearken Thoreau’s call for an “unwearied and systematic approach.” In that spirit, the process must begin assuming nothing but the “unknown” and only then, once completed, will a result emerge – a result that is the byproduct of a well-honed process. I hope that community leaders, both residential and business, will participate in this process, and join with the VVCTB. Together, we can ensure a future that is respectful of the quality of life enjoyed by longtime residents as well as more recent additions like me, and create an economic foundation that will allow the greater business community to significantly contribute to that quality of life. To learn more about how the Vail Valley Chamber & Tourism Bureau can include your business in our partnership roster, represent your interests and anticipate your needs, please call us at 476-1000.Michael Robinson is the president and CEO of the Vail Valley Chamber & Tourism Bureau.Vail, Colorado


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