Vail gift card program offers a boost to employees, businesses
Town has paid for 4,000 cards, worth $25, to be spent only at Vail businesses
- 3,000: Vail gift cards distributed to local businesses for employees.
- 1,000: Gift cards distributed to local media for giveaways.
- 42: Business participants listed Oct. 19 on the town’s website.
- $2.7 million: Town spending so far on economic recovery.
Correction: Kim Newbury-Rediker is the assistant general manager at Antlers Vail.
For most of us, $25 isn’t a lot of money. But an extra $25 is always nice to have, perhaps the reason to order an appetizer with dinner or a nice discount on a retail item.
The town of Vail last week kicked off a two-month program in which it’s paying for, and distributing, 4,000 $25 gift cards. The cards are intended to be a little boost for both residents and local businesses.
The program is distributing 3,000 cards to local businesses, most of which will be handed out to employees. Another 1,000 cards are going to local media outlets as a way to draw people into Vail for a bit of retail therapy.
Beyond a nice gesture for employees, local businesses will also benefit. According to the Vail Economic Development Department, card programs in Aspen and other mountain resorts have shown that a person with a card will spend more than just the card’s face value. Getting $25 off a $100 purchase is a significant disount.
Kim Newbury-Rediker is the assistant general manager at the Antlers Lodge in Vail. Newbury Rediker said the property is handing out cards to employees. But, she added, the lodge could see some additional room nights from the program. A couple with a pair of cards could use both cards for $50 off the Antlers’ current off-season room rate of $150. Again, that’s a nice discount.
Tip on the total, folks
Newbury-Rediker and her husband both live and work in Vail, so they’ll get cards of their own. Those cards will probably be used at their favorite Vail dinner spots. The cards might buy an extra cocktail, or something else with their meal.
If users tip on what would be the meal’s total before discounts — which you should do — that could mean a bit of extra cash in the pockets of tipped workers.
The program just started Oct. 15 and runs to Dec. 15. Vail Chamber & Business Association Director Alison Wadey is excited about how the program will work.
“I think it’s going to be great,” Wadey said. “Getting $25 off any purchase is $25 that individual isn’t having to spend.”
Wadey praised the town for financing the program.
“They wanted to support the local economy, and they also wanted to reward people for sticking it out through this crazy summer and all these new ways of doing business.”
People are excited
Vail Town Councilmember Jenn Bruno is the co-owner of the Luca Bruno clothing shops. She’s in Vail Village talking to other business owners just about every day, and said she’s also hearing excitement for the program.
“It’s a great way to support local business during a slower time of years, and it’s a nice benefit for local employees — it really is meant to give our working locals an opportunity to go to some of the businesses that are open during shoulder season.”
The gift card program is just part of the town spending roughly $2.7 million so far on relief and economic development. Those programs range from rent relief at the Timber Ridge and Middle Creek Village apartments to commercial rent relief to $500,000 distributed to nonprofits for human services efforts.
Vail Town Manager Scott Robson said the town saw “quite a lot of utilization” from residential program. The commercial rent relief program requires participation from the town, a business and the business’s landlord. Response to the program has been “steady, but not wildly utilized,” Robson added. “There are some landlords who don’t feel like they’re in a position to participate.”
The overall effort — which includes small musical performances through Vail Village and Lionshead — has been positive, Robson said, adding he and other town officials have been hearing good feedback from both employees and employers.
“We feel we’re making a positive impact,” Robson said. “Stores are open, there’s something to do for people, and we’re doing all that in ways that can meet public health orders.”
Bruno said the gift card program is a way to acknowledge both workers and businesses.
“Local businesses work really hard to support the town,” Bruno said. “This is a way to give back in a difficult time.”
Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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More base areas open means more space for guests to disperse upon, even if those base area openings don’t translate into more actual terrain openings.