Town launching new merchandise line | VailDaily.com

Town launching new merchandise line

Cliff Thompson

Vail’s newest merchandising promotion is infinitely sexier than its last-manhole covers and town officials are hoping it will be every bit as successful.

It’s called VailWear!, and it’s being modeled on the town’s web site by Ryan Sutter, arguably the town’s most famous firefighter and neo-celeb.

This new line of T-shirts is being launched by the town on its retail web site and hopes to leverage Sutter’s celebrity into a commercial success that will boost revenues in the town’s fire and police departments. There’s even a “Manhole Mania” T-shirt, which refers to the town’s successful manhole cover sales program.

“We noticed when monitoring our web site that we had a lot of hits ever since the connection was made by television viewers and the Vail Fire Department,” said Suzanne Silverthorn, town spokeswoman. “The idea to expand the town’s inventory of authentic merchandise is part of an overall strategy to create goodwill for the community while generating additional revenue and having a little fun at the same time,” Sliverthorn said.

The town’s souvenir manhole cover program initiated three summers ago has generated more then $60,000 in sales that supported the town’s Art in Public Places program.

Sutter rocketed to stardom last year when he won the heart of Trista Rehn on “The Bachelorette” reality television show last year. The couple’s wedding airs tonight on prime time television.

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“Despite his busy schedule, Ryan was willing to take time out and model the Vail Fire T-shirt to help the cause, which we really appreciated,” Silverthorn said.

The town isn’t going to stop there. It has tentative plans to offer VailWear! shorts, hats and even shirts.

The T-shirts will be available on the town’s retail web site: http://www.ownapieceofvail.com/shirts or at the town offices at 75 S. Frontage Road in Vail.

The Town of Vail will be presenting Sutter and Rehn with a gift for their wedding – a Town of Vail manhole cover.

Cliff Thompson can be reached at 970-949-0555 x450 or cthompson@vaildaily.com