Vail-based group rolls out ‘PrimaVail’ to increase employee engagement
Program includes training, village tours and sessions to learn about Vail's history
VAIL — Guests don’t much care who hires the people who take care of them on a visit. With that in mind, the town of Vail, Vail Resorts and the town’s business community have unveiled a comprehensive training program.
The Vail Town Council Tuesday got its first full look at a new program called “PrimaVail,” a training program for just about everyone who works in town or on Vail Mountain. The program is a collaboration between the town of Vail, Vail Resorts and the Vail Chamber & Business Association.
The PrimaVail program is a combination of programs from the town, chamber and resort company. The multi-day sessions begin with a classroom session, followed by opportunities to learn about Vail’s history. In addition, networking, village tours and employee engagement activities wil be offered.
Chamber members that enroll in the program and complete at least two programs qualify for a Vail Resorts Merchant Pass.
Town of Vail Human Resources Director Krista Miller told council members the new effort is an attempt to “present a common voice across the community.”
Those who participate in the program will learn about connecting with guests on an emotional level, Miller said.
Beyond providing education on better, more comprehensive service, Vail Chamber & Business Association Director Alison Wadey said the sessions could help employee retention.
Wadey said program creators hope the sessions will help spur a “pride in place” for Vail, and, perhaps help create the resort’s next wave of managers and leaders.
In addition to education, the program also includes social events for participants. Those events will run monthly at first, but could become weekly get-togethers.
The Vail chamber’s program last season had about 400 participants, Wadey said.
Wadey told the council that the new program isn’t just “regurgitated customer service… We really have worked hard to make this very Vail-specific.”
The training and engagement is part of a bigger idea.
Yann Benjamin, Vail Resorts’ director of communications for Vail and Beaver Creek, told council members that PrimaVail is the start of a brand.
The guest service curriculum will run from October through January, with “train the trainer” sessions, and collaboration with the Vail chamber on a calendar of programs.
The employee engagement programming will also run from October through March. In addition to training and education, there will also be a recognition program for top performers.
Mayor Dave Chapin, an owner of Vendetta’s restaurant in Vail Village, said he’d expected fewer people to participate in the inaugural year.
“There’s a lot of potential here (for growth),” he added.
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