Vail Chamber looking toward Thanksgiving events |

Vail Chamber looking toward Thanksgiving events

Susie TjossemVail, CO, Colorado

Thankgiving 2009 is nine months away, but is top of mind for a group of Vail Village and Lionshead merchants. Nine months from now might seem like an eternity, especially in this economy, but it is the lead time required to plan, budget and implement new events designed to make the Thanksgiving through New Years 2010 time period even more festive and enticing to our visitors and locals than it has been in the past. If everything goes right, next year you will see Vail kick off its holiday season at Thanksgiving instead of later in December. Events dont come easily or cheaply, so Thanksgiving 2009 will need the cooperation and collaboration from the lodging, retail and restaurant communities. The town of Vail, through its special events commission, may provide seed money to get a new event off the ground, but those who benefit most (merchants) will also be asked to contribute something wealth, wisdom or time. We do not have to start from zero to create a new event. There are great events all over ski country that we can borrow ideas from, and then take them up a notch. Have you experienced a fun, energizing holiday event that would work well in Vail? If so, the Vail Chamber & Business Association would like to hear from you since it is helping develop plans for Thanksgiving 2009. Thanksgiving through New Years is the period that is under the microscope right now, but every month needs the same scrutiny. Events have proven to be the second-largest draw to Vail, just behind skiing, so they are something we should all take an interest in promoting and giving feedback about. Vail is known for hosting great events, but when you look at the event calendar there are gaps. For instance, just last weekend, Presidents Weekend, there were no events being staged in Vail. Think back what was the atmosphere in Vail? A little quiet, right? Events energize people; they give skiers a reason to linger in the villages after a day of skiing instead of heading for their cars, condos, hotel rooms, or second homes. In the shoulder seasons and summer, events give people an excuse to come to Vail. When asked, Denverites admit that Vail is the destination of choice when they have out-of-town houseguests they want to entertain with a day in the mountains. Ideally, Vail should have an event every weekend, year- round to attract this business. The chamber loves events because we know their power to increase sales and bring visitors to Vail. The Vail Chamber & Business Association will kick off the summer season and the June 20 opening of the gondola in Lionshead with a South of the Border Fiesta, followed by the BBQ Bonanza June 27 in Vail Village. And you wont want to miss another new event entitled Sweet on Vail, which will be held in Vail Aug. 15. The Vail Chamber Board of Directors and staff are working behind the scenes to create a better, more prosperous Vail. New members are welcome! Call Joyce or Jason at 970-477-0075 for more information.Susie Tjossem is a member of the Vail Chamber & Business Association Board of Directors and Executive Director of the Colorado Ski Museum located in Vail Village. The museum will be opening its newest exhibit, Vail A Dream Realized, in the next couple of weeks so plan to visit soon. Admission is free!

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