Vail Daily’s View: Vail’s $9.7 million in potential stimulus still sitting unused |

Vail Daily’s View: Vail’s $9.7 million in potential stimulus still sitting unused

Vail Daily Editorial Board
Vail, CO, Colorado

Vail doesn’t need to tap into its flush conference-center fund to hire a renowned consultant to help the resort through the world’s economic doldrums, but some or all of the $9.7 million might help fund some of his ideas.

Maybe that consultant ” James Chung, of Reach Advisors ” will even have ideas about how to use the conference-center money to give Vail its own economic stimulus.

Vail’s marketing board is hiring Chung, who’s worked for the town before on national marketing strategies. Chung’s job this time will be to bring more exposure and create more events for the resort ”

in other words, bring people to town to spend money.

A Vail lodging committee has been searching the past few years for the right project to spend the conference-center money on. But the town and its residents could use a $9.7 million economic jolt if the lodging committee’s ideas don’t excite the citizenry.

If Chung will talk to the lodging committee to see if any of its projects are a better long-term bet for the town than the short-term help the money could provide. That money could definitely help the town through these dark financial days. Businesses are laying workers off at the height of ski season, and though holidays have given shops a boost, most merchants say they’re having a tough year. And a recent survey of Eagle County businesses shows wide pessimism about 2009.

Vail has $9.7 million lying around and shouldn’t be afraid to use it if the consultant, the Town Council and some of the very bright business minds in the community think his ideas will bridge the gap between what’s likely to be an ugly off-season and when the world’s economy show signs of life again.

By law, any use of the conference-center money would have to be approved in a town vote, which at the earliest would take place 90 days after any decisions are made.

That means the town needs to act more boldly than it sometimes has in the past.

Even so, no one can predict a major upswing in the economy anytime soon, and $9.7 million of extra marketing might just make businesses a bit more optimistic about next ski season.

Vail Daily Editorial Board

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