Vail Daily column: A New Year’s resolution for the business community
I’m not generally a fan of New Year’s resolutions; another trip around the sun and the turning of the calendar seem an altogether arbitrary reason to change your habits when you could simply change your habits at any time to achieve your goals.
That said, I understand the appeal of the New Year’s resolution and offer a simple resolution to the business community: Grow your business in 2014.
What’s the most cost effective and time efficient way to grow your business? Get engaged in the community.
GET INVOLVED THIS YEAR
How best to get engaged in the community? More often than not, it’s by partnering with your local chamber of commerce.
Chambers of commerce are unique; few other organizations interact with as many businesses locally as a chamber. We’re fortunate in Eagle County to have a number of local chamber groups helping our business community connect with each other, connect with their governments and ultimately to grow their business.
Vail Valley Partnership is unique among chamber groups in that we focus on tourism and economic development as well — connecting our members not only to other local businesses but to our destination guests and helping to create a vibrant business community and connection to regional and state efforts.
Resolutions are not the only thing we’re inundated with as the calendar turns to a new year. Another trend that is hard to avoid is the list of the top things (movies, news events, pictures, etc.) from the prior year.
PARTNERSHIP’S ACHIEVEMENTS IN 2013
Here are the top achievements that I am most proud of from the past year:
• EGE Air Alliance: Specifically, Vail Valley Partnership’s role in working to bring a new nonstop flight from Houston to Eagle last summer. This new flight resulted in over 3,000 passengers flying into the Eagle County Regional Airport, supporting our local economy and small businesses.
• Economic Development Plan: We launched a seven-month public process that resulted in a comprehensive economic development plan with an overarching goal to help retain and expand our current businesses and to recruit new businesses.
• Collaboration: Internally at the Partnership, we like to say that we’re “relentlessly collaborative.” When researching a program or considering a new endeavor, we always ask, “Whom can we collaborate with to make this even better?” This commitment to collaboration within the community pays dividends as it reinforces the need for everyone to work together to ensure the greatest outcomes. Our various community programs (Economic Development, Group Sales, Health & Wellness, Merchant Alliance) were all developed with a sense of collaboration at the forefront.
• Destination marketing: We’re committed to representing the entire valley as a destination, from Gypsum to Red Cliff, from Minturn to Eagle, not just the resorts which often stand on the strength of Vail Resorts marketing efforts and their brand strength.
• Customer centric approach: Last, but certainly not least, I’m inherently proud of the Vail Valley Partnership being customer focused in all we do. Our first question is always, “What do our partners need?” This commitment to looking outside our organization for the answers to business issues ensures that as a community chamber group, we’re committed to meeting the needs of our stakeholders and we’re not doing things for the sake of checking something off a list — or worse yet, because “that’s the way it’s always been done.” With this in mind, we’re offering online payments for membership dues and are also offering a monthly payment plan for our business members who prefer to spread their membership over the course of the year.
THANK YOU, MEMBERS
To our 820-plus members, thank you for your continued membership. To steal from George Brodin and his team at Leadfoot Linda’s, “Please accept our appreciation and sincere ‘thanks’ for letting us serve you. Sometimes in the rush of business life we fail to say ‘thanks’ loud enough to hear. But you can be sure your patronage is never taken for granted.” We resolve to continue to provide a connection to the business community and to focus on (and improve) the above accomplishments on behalf of you, the members who we serve.
To those businesses and organizations who are not yet members, consider a New Year’s resolution to get engaged in the community and join the Partnership to utilize our local and destination marketing tools to grow your business.
Chris Romer is president and CEO of the Vail Valley Partnership.