Vail Daily’s View: Don’t fear Vail as a group-stay location, corporate America
Vail, CO, Colorado
It’s good to be Vail, at least most of the time.
Our resort’s success is the open or secret envy of the rest of the ski business, and our valley is blessed with two very well-known brand names.
Then there are times like these. Vail and Beaver Creek are rightly known as winter playgrounds for the wealthy, which sometimes saddles us with the assumption by outsiders that everyone here is well-to-do and trades in the family Range Rover every couple of years, whether we need to or not.
Those of us who live here know better, of course, but that’s the perception.
Another reality is that Vail and Beaver Creek are exceedingly good deals in the spring and fall, when the lifts aren’t running and our jam-packed non-skiing calendars have vacant dates. That’s what has made the valley an attractive spot for corporate retreats and events.
These days, though, a lot of corporations are looking over their shoulders when they book events. It’s the fallout from tone-deaf companies that took federal bailout money booking expensive trips, rewarding executives with ridiculous bonuses and, until forced to reconsider by public scorn, go through with the purchase of private jets.
President Barack Obama recently wondered out loud and in public why places such as Omaha, Neb., weren’t getting any of that corporate retreat business.
Don’t take this the wrong way, Omaha ” you’re a decent, livable city ” but that’s just crazy talk.
Still, people in places such as Las Vegas, Vail and other sparkle spots are worried about the further erosion of group business, which was already dropping because of the economic slump.
The fact of the matter is that the Vail Valley has plenty of people who earn big parts of their livelihoods from corporate business. Shaming people away from cool places will hurt regular working people here, too.
We’ve editorialized before that companies taking federal money aren’t entitled to their accustomed perks until they’ve paid back Uncle Sam with interest.
But we hope those companies don’t start a trend to public parsimony that ends up hurting even more regular working people.
Vail Daily Editorial Board