Vail local chosen as event planner of the year |

Vail local chosen as event planner of the year

Daily Staff Reports

VAIL ” Vail resident Dana Coates, of Eventmakers International of Stuart, Fla., was chosen as the Event Planner of the Year at the annual Spotlight Awards presented by Event Solutions, a magazine and Web site for the event, meeting and planning industry.

Coates was one of seven finalists for this prestigious title. She was a full-time Vail resident from 1990 before relocating to Florida in 1996.

She has remained a summer resident of Vail for the last 16 years.

An avid tennis player, Coates spends her summers on the courts playing with friends and hiking.

The first place honors were awarded Wednesday at the Spotlight Awards ceremony at the Event Solutions 10th annual Idea Factory Convention at the Denver Convention Center.

Industry professionals from across the country are nominated by their peers and must submit a 250-word profile of three events. Judging criteria include: scope, caliber, technical challenge, creativity, innovation versus budget, management skills, teamwork and meeting and exceeding client expectations. A photo that captures the essence of the event accompanied each the entry for each event.

Nominees must also write a 300-word essay regarding an interesting challenge faced in 2005 and how the challenge was met and exceeded client expectations. A panel of industry experts reviewed all the entries and chose the top finalists in each category.

George and Dana Coates purchased Eventmakers International from founders and owners Phil and Kathy Spier in 2001 with no experience in the event-planning industry. Eventmakers International is a full service event planning, catering and rental company that caters events throughout the state of Florida.

ASPEN ” When ski area advertisements appear in sports magazines next month, don’t expect Aspen Skiing Co. to rely on beautiful models in bright outfits slicing immaculate white power under a brilliant blue sky.

“Every ad is the same,” said Skico senior VicePresident David Perry. So the Skico will distance itself from the Vails, Deer Valleys and Stowes of the world by making a bold statement focusing on global warming rather than skiing.

“To be heard, you have to have a message that’s bold and able to break through,” said Skico CEO Pat O’Donnell. The company wants to expand its role as an environmental activist by taking its message beyond the Roaring Fork Valley, he said.

It’s doing so with its major print advertising campaign for the 2006-07 season. Three ads with environmental messages will run starting in the October editions of Ski and Outside. They will continue running for three months.

Perry declined to offer a sneak peak of the ads but described them as conveying a message “consistent with this community’s intense concern with global warming.” The ads will steer readers toward a Web site that offers more information about global warming and, presumably, with actions people can take to decrease greenhouse gas emissions.

Skico has gone against the grain of the sterotypical ski resort ad campaigns before. In the late 1980s its “Aspens” campaign, which showed the many faces of the town and resort, featured ads with images like an old pair of skis leaning against a log structure. It avoided skiers on the slopes.

That campaign received mixed reviews locally (what doesn’t?). Some people thought the ads were sophisticated; others thought they were dull and too much of a soft sell.

Perry said Skico’s homework indicates customers and potential customers will be receptive to the environmentally-based ads this year. Five years ago only 10 percent of its customers said the environmental policies were important.

Vail Daily, Vail, Colorado

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