Vail Daily column: Bringing people together

Chris Romer
Vail Valley Partnership

I was fortunate to attend the wedding of two locals last weekend; weddings are always a fun time, filled with love and a sense of what the future might bring the couple.

A number of guests were chatting prior to the reception and, much like any other wedding, the conversation turned to “How do you know the couple?”

It turns out that the couple met at one of Vail Valley Partnership’s After-Hours Business Mixer and a number of the guests knew the couple due to their involvement in the Partnership. Logically, someone made a joke that the Partnership should change our tagline to “Bringing People Together.”

Ironically, this is exactly what we do on a regular basis: We bring people together. Our goal isn’t to serve as a matchmaker in the sense of creating personal relationships that end in a wedding. It is our goal to bring people together to help connect people to business resources. On a regular basis, we help to unite industry sectors to work together and tackle issues as a group. We constantly strive to bring people together across the valley to work in a collaborative manner.

Bringing people together is increasingly important as chambers of commerce (and most every industry group or membership based association) across the country continue to fight for relevancy. We continually strive to provide businesses with resources, tools and programs for business success or cost savings, or to simply connect businesses to resources within the valley or outside the valley.

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We’ve also been involved and continue to focus efforts on bringing visitors to our valley and connecting them with our members — thus bringing people to our businesses. These efforts range from our group sales effort to our special event recruiting, and include our continued efforts to promote the entire valley to leisure guests in Visit Vail Valley, our annual visitors guide, to our work with the EGE Air Alliance to increase flights to the Eagle County Regional Airport.

There are numerous community efforts that exist to bring people together.

Recently, and a great example of helping to bring people together, Vail Valley Partnership announced that in partnership with the 2015 World Championships Organizing Committee, the two organizations are offering Eagle County businesses the opportunity to participate in the Road to 2015 World Championships Vail-Beaver Creek Cooperative Buy-In.

The buy-in provides local businesses and organizations preferred member pricing during events that will garner unequivocal media attention on a global scale — an opportunity that might not be possible for members without the cooperative element. Participating members will be able to choose from a number of different sponsorship opportunities, including volume sponsorship during this year’s early season World Cup men’s and women’s races, as well as the 2015 Championships.

This program is designed to bring businesses together and provide an opportunity to participate in the World Cup Weekend and 2015 World Championships in a cooperative manner. For more information on the cooperative buy-in opportunity, please contact Vail Valley Foundation sponsorship sales managers Ross Herr at 906-869-7118 or or Jessica Stevens at 817-726-5186 or

The idea of bringing people together isn’t the sole jurisdiction of any one group. A great example is the upcoming Vail Living Well Summit from Sept. 19-21, produced by DiscoverWell. This event is an interactive health, fitness and longevity event designed to bring people together to learn from a variety of experiential sessions. It is right in our backyard at the Sonnenalp Resort.

Technology also plays a big part in bringing people together. Northwest Colorado Council of Governments is asking all community members to complete a short survey and Internet service speed test, which will help build information for the regional broadband plan the council is developing. This plan’s goal is to help ensure residents and businesses in the region have sufficient access to broadband, certainly a key to our continued economic growth. You can take the broadband test by visiting the council’s survey site at

While we don’t guarantee that it will end in a wedding celebration of happily ever after, we do believe that bringing people together is an important role that the Partnership (and your local chambers of commerce and industry groups) can and do play in our community.

Chris Romer is the president and CEO of the Vail Valley Partnership.

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