Vail considers entertainment signs |

Vail considers entertainment signs

Lauren Glendenning
Vail, CO Colorado

Who Vail talked to: Alby Segall, Gemini Consulting; and David Ehrlich, Finwater Advisors

What they talked about: The creation of the Vail Entertainment District, which they say would enhance and improve the Vail guest experience.

What they talked about: The Vail Entertainment District would be formed in consultation with stakeholders like the town of Vail, the Vail Valley Foundation, the Vail Economic Advisory Council and Vail Resorts. The District would fund itself – there would be no new taxes and no public money required to launch it, other than the consulting money spent in early stages.

The Vail Entertainment District would use various signs throughout a town “entertainment district” to direct guests to Vail’s hot spots, businesses and events. The signs, or “platforms,” would use light-emitting diode technology, which use less energy than traditional lights, to display information for guests, as well as advertisements, which would be the source of revenue from each sign. The project would cost the town about $40,000 in consulting fees, but the town wouldn’t pay for the installation of the signs, Ehrlich said.

The media companies interested in constructing the signs would pay for the installation, and would then collect portions of the revenues made from ad space sold. The town would also collect some of the revenues, as the signs would exist in town public rights-of-way and the town would act as a landlord.

Ehrlich said the signs would generate plenty of indirect revenue for the town through better guest experiences at local hotels and restaurants, which in turn would equal more sales tax revenue for the town.

The advertising space could be sold to local, national and international clients.

The project is in the early stages – the town would still have to hold multiple public meetings and vote to approve the district.

Potential problems during the approval process could be Vail residents opposed to any commercialization of Vail, zoning laws that currently wouldn’t allow for such platforms in town, stakeholders who are concerned it’s repetitive of current efforts and business owners in other commercial areas who feel that the streets within the district would be receiving an advantage.

“This doesn’t work if it doesn’t flow from the community,” Ehrlich said. “We’ll do whatever it takes from an outreach standpoint.”

Vail Homeowners Association Executive Director Jim Lamont said he had concerns such commercialization could make the town start to look like a carnival.

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