Vail Town Manager Greg Clifton resigns |

Vail Town Manager Greg Clifton resigns

Vail town manager's resignation effective immediately

Vail Town Manager Greg Clifton, left, on Wednesday announced his resignation. He'd been on the job since September of 2017.

VAIL — Vail Town Manager Greg Clifton announced his resignation Wednesday, effective immediately. Assistant Town Manager Patty McKenny will serve as interim manager until a replacement is hired.

Clifton held the town’s top administrative job for about 19 months. He was hired in August of 2017 and started work in September of that year. Clifton previously was Telluride Municipal Manager from 2010 to 2017.

Clifton replaced longtime Vail Town Manager Stan Zemler, who held the job from 2003 to 2017. Zemler announced his departure in early December of 2016 and served through early April of 2017.

In a release, Clifton described his decision to resign as a “mutual parting of the ways that is entirely amicable. This experience has been extremely enriching and rewarding for me both personally and professionally,” he wrote. “I have come to love this community and the many wonderful people here. I know that it has been a short tenure, but there have been some accomplishments to show for it. Notably, the directors who have been hired over the past year-and-a-half are solid leaders who will help move this organization in a positive direction for years to come. I am also proud of the relationship with Vail Resorts that has been strengthened with much collaboration and innovation.”

In the same release, Vail Mayor Dave Chapin wrote that the organization has made progress in several areas during Clifton’s tenure, including the new parking garage at Red Sandstone Elementary School and Vail’s certification as a Sustainable Mountain Resort Destination. Clifton was also instrumental in formation of a new Housing Department.

“We wish Greg the best and appreciate all that he has done to move this community forward,” Chapin wrote.  

While in Vail, Clifton served on the Colorado Municipal League board of directors, the I-70 Coalition, the Colorado Association of Ski Towns and as a founding member of the Colorado Communities for Climate Action.

Clifton was hired at the end of a pair of nationwide searches, both conducted by Strategic Government Resources of Keller, Texas.

The first search began while Zemler was still on the job. That search ended in May of 2017 when one of the two final candidates withdrew from consideration. The town reopened the search, and Clifton’s hiring was announced in August of that year.

According to the release from the town, the council is still determining the next steps in starting a search for a new manager.

McKenny, the town clerk at the time, served as interim town manager from April through late August of 2017.

Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at and 970-748-2930.

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