Vail first again this year in SKI mag? |

Vail first again this year in SKI mag?

Lourdes Ferzacca
Vail Chamber and Business Association-

I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that the majority of Vail residents and employees would love to see Vail ranked No. 1 again this year. If Vail was voted first in the famed SKI Magazine reader’s poll, the 2007-08 season would be the 15th honored as such. Imagine the possibilities.

Of course, much of the award criteria pertains to the mountain; however, what you may have forgotten is that the honor is actually given based on 18 different standards, including service, lodging and dining and nightlife. Therefore, it is noteworthy that we merchants also have an important part in having our resort recognized as the best ” and favorite — in the nation. We just have to start now if we want to be No. 1 again.

It’s no secret why we have ranked well in the service category in the past. The majority of Vail employees are happy, and they are happy because at one point, they chose to come here and live (at the very least for the winter, if not year ’round). A huge number of employees have attended the Turn It Up! customer service sessions at some point in the past 12 years, and the chamber received a record number of Premier Impressions nomination forms this year.

We can only hope that this progress is due to improved guest satisfaction. As long as we continue to focus on customer service amid the town renaissance, we are confident that guests will see past any inconvenience and delight in the fact that Vail is still able to host with style.

We should all be extremely excited to see what develops when our many lodging projects are realized. Undoubtedly, the number of lodges and quality of these developing projects will be enough to consistently keep Vail at number one in the future, as there is really no other ski town that can compete with such growth.

And although it has been difficult, the proverbial “buzz” about Vail’s “Billion Dollar Renewal” is positive, and will certainly bring curious guests to visit.

These new lodges will draw visitors of a newer demographic, old standards such as the Sonnenalp and The Lodge at Vail will continue to draw their devoted customers, and smaller, quaint lodges will accommodate those seeking a more vintage Vail.

The town will be more able than before to suit all visitors’ needs, and we’ll be No. 1 in that respect.

-Vail certainly has old favorites when it comes to dining, and those are what keep the town ranked high in guest surveys. It’s rare that a new restaurant opens in Vail, and that consistency says quite a bit for the existing places. However, it will be exciting to add a new crop of dining experiences, once they are available. If anything, what the town needs in the way of culinary delights is more variety, in order to maintain a cosmopolitan flair.

Increasing choices as well as augmenting the type of meals available will promote guest interest. Let’s just hope that the new restaurants live up to the standards set by the current favorites!

While I’m no expert on the subject of nightlife in Vail, one of the most common complaints we hear is that there aren’t enough family activities. Obviously, changing that aspect was a necessity for those up-and-coming projects, and with the completion of a few ice rinks, movie theaters and more, I am confident that families will be able to find enough, if not more, than they can do for the duration of their stay.

Another common complaint about the nightlife in Vail is that it’s too casual. To attract the type of crowd that will keep spending late into the night, it is important that we open more upscale venues that appeal to our target demographic. Additionally, without 8150, it is essential that someone opens another livemusic facility that can accommodate larger, and more importantly, younger crowds. If we can continue to bring big name performers here in the future, and keep the town’s young workers happy, Vail’s nightlife will be incomparable.

We are certainly on our way to cementing our position at No. 1 for years to come, but let us not become complacent.

Keep in mind that each guest leaves with an indelible perception of our town, whether it be in summer or winter, and let that vision be improving at the same time that Vail currently is.

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