Vail Resorts deserves credit for building our brand
The summer closure of the VistaBahn was the topic that brought many of Vail Village business owners and operators together with Vail executives for a lively debate at a Vail Chamber & Business Association meeting April 22.Although there was some disagreement, the fact that so many attend the meeting to share their collective knowledge and experience speaks volumes about the commitment merchants and Vail Resorts have to the success of Vail this summer. Spending time discussing controversial issues, being the target and having to defend onesself and dispel rumors is never easy or fun, but needs to be done from time to time. The Vail Chamber & Business Association, which organized the meeting, would like to thank Chris Jarnot, Adam Sutner and Kristen Kenny Williams from Vail Resorts for coming to the table to hear what was on the minds of the merchants. During the session a well-deserved reminder was delivered: Vail Resorts is willing to discuss issues and shoulder blame, when warranted, but also deserves credit when credit is due. When was the last time business owners thanked Vail Resorts for maintaining the highest levels of guest service when they were laying off staff and cutting salaries or for keeping all their lifts running and maintaining an extraordinary level of grooming instead of cutting costs? Were they thanked for hosting Spring Back to Vail, which brought record number of skiers to Vail during closing weekend? They are right in thinking many of us take the Vail brand for granted. Vails tagline, Like Nothing on Earth, has been earned through Vail Resorts vision, hard work and continued investment. They deserve some thanks. The outcome of the meeting was for both sides to realize they are on the same side, not competing sides. There is no hard line drawn in the snow where the mountain ends and the town starts. Vail Resorts acknowledges that their success is in part due to the commitment of so many long-time locals who have built a business in the village. These entrepreneurs have created a village with a unique character that attracts visitors from around the world. The merchants and Vail are co-dependent on each other and forever intertwined. When success comes it is shared by all. The Vail Chamber and Business Association is a conduit of communication between the merchant community, Vail Resorts and the town. Let us know if you have issues you would like to have addressed. Thanks to all our members who continue to be leaders in the industry. Susie Tjossem is a member of the Vail Chamber & Business Association, a Vail Planning and Environmental Commission member and Executive Director of the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Museum and Hall of Fame located in Vail Village Transportation Center. The museum has just opened its newest exhibit designed for the community, Vail Dream Realized.