Vail Daily column: A case of mistaken identity |

Vail Daily column: A case of mistaken identity

I’m not running for Mayor of Denver.

There, it’s been said. It’s officially on the record – the Chris Romer running to lead our friends on the Front Range is a different guy from the Chris Romer running the Vail Valley Partnership.

For the record, Chris Romer (Vail) wishes Chris Romer (Denver) would stop advertising on television – seems that each time he runs a campaign ad, I get stopped on the street asking me if I’m “that guy running for Denver.” It’s tempting to tell people that I’m giving it a shot and plan to move if I get elected, but I’ve found it best to just smile and reinforce that I live here in the Vail Valley.

Chris (that other guy) does have a fairly appealing campaign. He’s running on a platform of improving public education, economic development and fiscal responsibility. Throw in the importance of sustainability and transportation infrastructure and it’s not a bad start to keeping Denver on a strong course moving forward. That’s all good – regardless of who gets elected, we all benefit by the Denver economy being strong.

But given the fact that I’m asked on a daily basis if I’m the guy running for mayor of Denver, I think there exists an opportunity for the Vail Valley. Not one to let an opportunity sneak by, I’m thinking that we can use this mistaken identity to our advantage.

The Vail Valley Partnership has been working with the Economic Council of Eagle County and a variety of interests here in Eagle County to develop a local economic development platform as part of Gov. Hickenlooper’s statewide economic development efforts.

I’m thinking that Chris Romer (me) could leverage the visibility of the “other” Chris Romer (that guy in Denver) by taking out radio and television advertisements in the Denver market advocating vacations in the Vail Valley as a campaign issue. Imagine the possibilities. Denver voters, head to Vail for the summer – take advantage of the great events all summer. Denver voters, get to Beaver Creek this summer – enjoy the resort village. Denver voters, head to Eagle for great mountain biking just two hours from home. Denver voters, escape the summer heat in the Vail Valley.

The Denver Post has already endorsed Chris Romer (the other one), as have a variety of other entities. Again, Chris Romer (me) senses an opportunity here to create some free publicity for the Vail Valley. A simple call to each of these groups letting them know that Chris Romer loves Denver but really feels pretty strongly that Denver businesses should set up satellite offices in Eagle County, Denver residents should buy second homes in Eagle County, Denver airlines should fly to Eagle County, Denver residents should vacation in Eagle County and simply that Chris Romer feels Eagle County is where it’s at and we should use any discretionary income to fix I-70 traffic problems. Maybe the Denver Post could have weekly headlines espousing the benefits of a Vail Valley vacation to the Front Range masses. So many opportunities exist, all based on mistaken identity.

Now, someone get me a yard sign. That would be cool.

As always, I encourage all member businesses to get engaged with the Partnership and to contact us with any suggestions you may have to help us better serve you. Call us at 970-476-1000 or stop by our offices in Avon at Traer Creek Plaza to share your feedback. Just don’t ask if I’m that guy running for mayor.

Chris Romer is executive director of the Vail Valley Partnership.

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