Vail Daily column: Happy anniversary
As everyone (likely) knows, Vail is celebrating its 50th anniversary season this winter. The entire ski season will be filled with special events and recognition of Vail’s history and pioneers who helped to make this the special place that it is. From the U.S. Ski Team announcement ceremony, to the opening of Vail Village’s new gondola and the various birthday bashes at Vail Snow Daze and Spring Back to Vail, the winter is going to be buzzing with excitement.It’s a really big deal and it’s worth celebrating as only Vail can.On a much, much smaller scale, and unknown to (most) everyone, the Vail Valley Partnership just celebrated our 48th anniversary. We were incorporated as the Vail Resort Association in the very early days of Vail – Sept. 4, 1964, to be exact – making us one of Vail’s oldest nonprofit organizations.A brief history of the Vail Valley Partnership through the years:1964: Vail Resort Association is chartered as an alliance between Vail Associates and the business community. It was formed as a marketing cooperative with the purpose to promote the common business interest of the commercial enterprises in the town of Vail. Areas of focus: Media, group convention business, and operation of central reservations, information/fulfillment inquiries and coordinator of special events.1988: VRA disbands. Lodging community takes over central reservations, which are expanded to include Avon and Beaver Creek. Group sales is abolished. Valley-wide marketing is contracted to outside source. Vail Valley Chamber of Commerce is chartered. The Chamber oversees Vail’s special events, information booths and member relations. Town of Vail passes ordinance creating marketing fund/Marketing Board credited to administer funds.1990: Vail Valley Chamber of Commerce closes doors. Business members are eligible to rejoin VRA. Group sales department is reinstated. Special events and Vail Information Booths are contracted to VRA.1992: Vail Resort Association changes name to Vail Valley Tourism & Convention Bureau to better reflect the purpose of the organization.2000: VVTCB Board of Directors and Vail Valley Chamber of Commerce Board initiate discussions about a formal merger of the organizations.2002: VVCTB mergers with the Vail Valley Chamber of Commerce to become the Vail Valley Chamber & Tourism Bureau (VVCTB). 2007: VVCTB becomes the Vail Valley Partnership to better reflect the organization’s partnership with the community, businesses and commitment to enhancing the region’s tourism industry. New bylaws and a new governing body, the Board of Governors, are adopted in addition to the motto: support, unite, lead.2012: The Vail Valley Partnership consolidates the regional economic development efforts of the Economic Council of Eagle County into our organization, creating increased local collaboration and regional economic development opportunities and expanding the voice of the Eagle River Valley business (and municipal) community with groups such as the Colorado Tourism Office and the State Office of Economic Development & International Trade.We have evolved and grown over the years from a marketing cooperative engaged in central reservations and managing special events within the Town of Vail to a county-wide regional chamber of commerce, Destination Marketing Organization and economic development agency. We remain committed to group sales (contributing over $69,000,000 in guest spending in 2012) and to providing excellent chamber programs and benefits to the business community.Looking forward, we remain dedicated to our mission, to be a regional leader in sustaining and enhancing the Vail Valley as a tourism destination and as a place to do business by contributing to the identity and economic wellbeing of the Eagle River Valley. The VVP takes a leadership role to bring groups, meetings, events and leisure visitors to the Vail Valley for the economic benefit of the community and our member businesses.Fifty years (or 48 in our case) can fly by pretty quickly. We’re happy to still be here, providing higher levels of service and doing more for the business community we serve than we ever have. Be sure to take the time to enjoy the anniversary celebration this winter and to reflect on all we’ve become, but don’t lose focus on the opportunities the future holds.The Vail Valley Partnership is a regional leader in sustaining and enhancing the Vail Valley as a tourism destination and as a place to do business by contributing to the identity and economic well being of the Eagle River Valley. We strive to benefit the community for at least another 48 years. Learn more about us at VailValleyPartnership.com.Chris Romer is executive director of the Vail Valley Partnership
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