Vail gives preliminary OK to budget |

Vail gives preliminary OK to budget

Daily staff report
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado – The Vail Town Council approved the town’s $55.3 million budget for 2013 on first reading Tuesday. Councilwoman Margaret Rogers was the only member who voted against the first reading of the budget.

The town’s budget is funded by a projected $53.8 million in net revenue for 2013, which is 5.5 percent less than the 2012 amended budget and 8 percent less than 2011.

Sales tax is expected to produce about 37 percent of the town’s 2013 revenue with $20.1 million, or 1.5 percent more than 2012 collections and 2.6 percent more than 2011 collections.

The town’s expenditures are $55.3 million in 2013, which includes capital projects that will be reimbursed from the Vail Reinvestment Authority. Sixty-six percent of the expenditures are for municipal services and 34 percent are for capital improvements. Currently, the town doesn’t have any debt service payments due in 2013, however the council is considering financing for its municipal building project as well as refinancing for Timber Ridge, which is likely to include a combination of cash financing and certificates of participation bonds.

The town’s operations would be supported by 284 full time equivalent positions in 2013, flat with 2012 and down from 300 at the beginning of 2009. Of these, 212.8 are full-time regular employees. A four percent performance merit pool is proposed in the budget – something council members discussed Tuesday and are expected to discuss again Nov. 20.

Reserves for the town are projected at $47.7 million by the end of 2013, not taking into account any cash financing the town could choose to use for either Timber Ridge or the municipal project.

The council is expected to discuss those financing options, as well as approve the 2013 budget on second reading, at its next council meeting Nov. 20. The council will also get feedback from the Commission on Special Events on funding needs for 2013 in time for that meeting.

Summer visitors happier about Vail

VAIL – A town of Vail summer intercept survey reveals that summer guests are generally more satisfied with their experience in Vail than they were two years ago.

The town conducted the surveys in 2007, 2010 and again this past summer to “gain a picture of where town of Vail guests reside and how satisfied they are with their experience; to identify which summer events and activities guests participate in; and to understand additional event themes that guests would be interested in seeing.

The study found a 17 percent increase in the number of visitors who flew into Colorado rather than drove – a possible sign of a recovering economy.

One of the main reasons visitors reported coming to Vail is for rest and relaxation. Activities that don’t require much physical exertion are most popular during the summer, according to the study.

More than 80 percent of respondents said special events are important in Vail, with music festivals, concerts and sporting events being the top events that guests said they would return to Vail for.

Summer demographics are also changing slightly, with continued international growth from Mexico and England. The number of visitors in town with family increased 4 percent from last year, and the mean income of those surveyed increase by more than $5,000 from those in 2010.

The study recommends to continue driving marketing messages to Vail’s core clients, including to continue to market to families to increase overall visitation. The study also recommends aligning the summer marketing message to attract international clientele, and to continue to push for new activities that are in line with what guests want, specifically low exertion, family-oriented activities.

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