Time to try harder, Vail Valley merchants | VailDaily.com

Time to try harder, Vail Valley merchants

Michael Kurz
Vail, CO, Colorado

Dozens of great events are on the Vail Valley’s summer schedule. Service levels are at an all time high. Discounts are in place, but that may not be enough.

I think this is going to be a very challenging summer. Everywhere I go, everybody is trying very hard to attract customers and clients, and they’re doing just about everything they can think of to make it easier to buy, easier to stay and easier for our visitors to enjoy themselves. Will it work? I hope so, but now that you’ve done everything you can think of, I think you’re going to have to do some things you haven’t thought of to make it the best summer season possible. It’s time to be more creative.

William Plomer said, “Creativity is the power to connect the seemingly unconnected.” I agree. I think it’s also the confidence to avoid the obvious. Some examples:

– A free dessert means nothing to someone who doesn’t eat dessert. What if you offered your guest their choice of a free cocktail, appetizer or dessert?

– A 10 percent discount on a purchase over $100 is meaningless to someone who doesn’t intend to spend that much. Isn’t an add-on gift or fun free sample better?

– A third night free doesn’t help if your guest can only stay the weekend. Would a complimentary box lunch for two on departure day be better?

– What if you made no offer? Just, “No discounts, just great food and we’ll fawn all over you!”

– Or, “When you order a bottle of wine with dinner, take another home with our best wishes.”

– How about, “Half price massages the day after your party of four dines with us.”

– “Reserve this special meal. The owner will serve you. The chef will tell you how he did it and the bartender will make you his most special after dinner libation and leave you the recipe.”

Food for thought? I hope so. You see, it’s the fun and the surprise and the pride in your enterprise that makes lasting and loyal customers. Think hard. Involve partners. Put some energy into it and I guarantee the word of mouth will be positive and persistent.

When you’ve got your promotion figured out, let us know. We blog and tweet and post newsletter briefs about our partners’ efforts all the time.

You’re not a partner? This would be a great time to jump in and let us help build your business. To find out more, just call Suzanne Sloan at 970-477-4009. She’ll be happy to speak with you about Vail Valley Partnership membership and the great marketing benefits you get here.

And, for you Vail marketers, make sure you post your offer on the “Vail all the Love” Web site by contacting Meggan Kirham at 970-331-5073 or meggen@sitemarketingco.com. She’s got all the details on “All the Love” and can get you started fast.

Event update

– June 16, 8 ” 9:30 a.m.: Success in :60 Seconds, Manor Vail Lodge.

– June 17, 5 ” 7 p.m.: Business After Hours Mixer, Ruggs Benedict Carpet One Floor, Avon.

– June 24, 8 ” 9:30 a.m., Partner 101 Benefits Orientation, Vail Valley Partnership Offices, Traer Creek Plaza, Avon.

– June 25, 11 a.m. ” 2 p.m.: Platinum Service Program Awards Annual Luncheon, Beaver Creek Chophouse

– June 26, 9 a.m. ” noon: Non-Profit Network Seminar: Fund-raising in tough economic times. Members-only event at the Vail Valley Partnership offices, Traer Creek Plaza, Avon. RSVP to Ruth Carlson, events coordinator, 970-477-4001 or rcarlson@visitvailvalley.com.

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

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