Vail Chamber: We are all ambassadors of our resort area; be warm, welcoming and engaging (column) |

Vail Chamber: We are all ambassadors of our resort area; be warm, welcoming and engaging (column)

Tony Herrera
Vail Chamber
Tony Herrera
Dominique Taylor | Special to the Daily

Try to recall an amazing travel experience. Maybe it was a family vacation, a backpacking trip or possibly it was the first time you visited the Vail Valley. Regardless of the destination, I would dare to say the people with whom you came in contact on this trip made you feel welcomed and appreciated or, at a minimum, extended a friendly smile and provided a positive attitude.

My journey in the hospitality industry began more than 20 years ago, and I have had the opportunity to work in some of the most successful hotels and resorts in the country. Throughout my career, I have witnessed service and client expectations on various levels and have discovered that the most effective businesses — and the most enjoyable places to work — maintain an environment that is warm, welcoming and engaging.

To me, and my place of business, this is part of the daily grind. Ensuring that the business is well organized, clean and well-staffed merely sets the stage to enable our team to provide service that ensures guests feel comfortable and welcomed, thus enabling them to create their own memories in our beautiful destination.

It is important for all of us to remember, however, that this does not only apply to the business in which you own, manage or work. It also applies to our town and being prideful of where we live. Whether we are aware or not, we — locals, semi-locals and seasonal workers — are all ambassadors of this town and the reflection of what all guests see when they visit the Vail Valley.

So, I ask you this, the next time you’re running through town and you see some garbage, pick it up, don’t pass it up. Open doors for a stranger, offer directions to one of the many guests in town that just might not be familiar. These tasks may seem simple, but they may be more important than you think.

Let’s be honest, it’s easy to get caught up in our day-to-day activities. We work hard so we want a break sometimes, right? Sure, but we owe it to our town, community, work families and home families to be better each day.

I have always said that each of us should “do the right things and get one percent better each day.” Sounds simple, right? Well, trust me when I say, it’s not. It takes work and you must keep working that muscle until it’s no longer sore.

Being warm, welcoming and engaging is not just something we do at work; it’s your life. You chose to live, work and play in a resort town. This comes with high expectations from each of us. Our guests who visit us expect this. If we don’t deliver, then they will choose another resort to visit. Remember the last time you had a bad experience traveling? Did you go back?

Be warm. Be welcoming. Be engaging.

Tony Herrera is the general manager of Bol, located at the Solaris in Vail Village, and a board member of the Vail Chamber & Business Association. The Vail Chamber & Business Association is a business advocacy group in Vail and a communications outlet for businesses that want to have a voice in community affairs. For more information, call 970-477-0075 or email

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