Vail hospital spurs $5.8 M in local spending |

Vail hospital spurs $5.8 M in local spending

Melanie Wong
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado – The Vail Valley Medical Center has a relatively small direct economic impact on the town, but the hospital’s “intangible impacts” are substantial, a recent study says.

The town commissioned the study in the fall in response to the hospital’s announcement that it might move some departments out of Vail and expand downvalley. Worried about the impact such an expansion would have on the town, the town council asked to see the economic impacts of the hospital.

The study, which will be presented by BBC Research and Consulting at next Tuesday’s town council meeting, showed that the hospital generated only $5.8 million in local spending.

That amount includes employee spending while working, employees who live in the town and purchases from local merchants made by the hospital. The biggest economic contributor came from spending at lodges, stores and restaurants by patients and their family and friends staying in town for medical care. Steadman Hawkins particularly attracts “destination” patients who stay and spend in the area.

“As a rule, hospital operations can bring broad economic benefit to a host community, primarily by the acquisition of local goods and services, the attraction health care associated visitors and services, and by providing well-paid employment for local residents.

However, the study concluded that while only a small amount of the hospital’s $150 million budget stays in town, the hospital’s other benefits are very valuable to Vail.

“VVMC brings other benefits to the Vail besides direct economic stimulation,” the study said. “Second-home owners and guests have access to high quality medical services, which is an unusual attribute for a small, relatively isolated community and provides some competitive market advantage.”

Staff Writer Melanie Wong can be reached at 970-748-2928 or

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