Vail Daily column: Ever Vail talks continue |

Vail Daily column: Ever Vail talks continue

Richard tenBraak
Vail, CO Colorado

Last weekend saw some great spring skiing and some great mid-winter skiing, too. Saturday was a picture-perfect blue-sky ski day. I believe the temperatures even hit 50-plus degrees in town. The warm weather was making the snow soft, fun and very spring-like. Then, a cold front moved in Sunday, which turned in to a complete opposite of Saturday. Temperatures dropped and so did the snow – over 11 inches of new snow were reported on Vail Mountain that day. It was the equivalent of a mid-winter storm, dropping some of that great powder that we just love to ride! You just have to love springtime in the Rockies!

Tuesday was the Vail council meeting. At first glance, the agendas didn’t look to be overly exciting as the council was covering some old business and getting updates on other items. But anyone who attended soon found out there were some very long and at times interesting discussions taking place.

First was the update regarding the collaboration between the Commission on Special Events and the Vail Local Marketing District. It’s definitely moving in the right direction. Concerns of some council members are that the two groups need a better alignment of the mission statements. In short, both need to be driving more “destination” business, or “heads in beds.” Where will this leave the events that may not directly bring people into town, but give them something to do while here? Another topic being considered is the potential for event funding and whether the town can better leverage sponsorships.

At the evening session, there were two topics that got a lot of discussion and will definitely need more community and council input.

The first was the proposed use of the conference center funds tax. Three items being considered as possible uses are the expansion-remodel of the Vail golf course clubhouse, the fields at Ford Park and expansion of the Vail Village Information Center.

These three proposals are all viable uses of the funds, but are they the correct use of the funds? Shouldn’t these projects be done with or without this funding source? We all know that the clubhouse needs help. But adding additional space for weddings or meetings may not be needed. Does the town really need additional small-meeting facilities that compete with the private sector businesses, i.e., the local lodging community?

Artificial surfaces for the ball fields – is this just a benefit for a few groups and not a benefit for the community as a whole? If it’s done, will the soccer groups benefit and be able to host more tournaments? Will the softball and volleyball groups want to play on artificial turf or move down valley for real grass locations?

As you can guess, there is going to be more discussion. We at the VCBA need you to let us know your thoughts, ideas and opinions regarding these and any other ideas for the conference center funds. This will be the main topic at the next VCBA Community Meeting on April 19.

Ever Vail was the second item of much discussion on Tuesday evening. The primary concern was the potential long-term parking needs of the town and Ever Vail. They also discussed how making changes now to the Lionshead Master Plan may have an effect on the calculation of future parking needs. This discussion got tabled for a later date as much time was taken on just this one particular point. You can be sure more discussions will be taking place in the near future, and we’ll keep you posted on the progress.

Thursday evening was the 2011 Premier Impressions Award Gala at Eagle’s Nest at the top of the gondola. This year, in a joint partnership with Vail Resorts, the town of Vail and the Vail Chamber and Business Association, we recognized over 100 individuals who offered exemplary customer service this past winter. We like to refer to it as “extraordinary people doing extraordinary customer service.” Each of the qualified nominees received a $50 gift card to a local business. Then they were eligible for drawings of some great prizes. The grand prizes consisted of travel vouchers, multiple cash prizes, mountain bikes, skis, snowboards and much more. A big thank you to all of the nominees and sponsors for making Premier Impressions a success.

Also this past week, Beaver Creek was host to Mountain Travel Symposium. For those not familiar with Mountain Travel Symposium, it is the longest-running annual gathering of mountain travel professional in North America. MTS is probably the single largest event with the most influence of the programs and offerings between supplies and wholesalers that will affect the end consumer of winter mountain travel. Wednesday at the Executive Summit luncheon, I was able to meet some old acquaintances and make new ones while listening to the proverbial movers and shakers in the mountain travel industry.

The Vail Chamber and Business Association is the leading business advocacy group in Vail and is a communications outlet for businesses that want to have a voice in community affairs. If you are interested in finding out more about the Vail Chamber and Business Association and what we have to offer to business in and that do business in Vail, please contact us at 970-477-0075 or email Based in Vail Village, our office is located in the transportation center and our doors are open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Stop by and say hello!

Richard tenBraak is executive director of the Vail Chamber and Business Association

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