Vail Valley business briefs, Oct. 22 |

Vail Valley business briefs, Oct. 22

GYPSUM A former Vail Valley resident and 24-year ski and snowboard industry veteran is launching the first location of GearBox Mountain Sports in Gypsum in the Caddis Corner Marketplace next to Costco. The store is set to open Nov. 1Owner Steve Hill calls GearBox a next generation sporting goods consignment and closeouts retail business that will transcend the flea market atmosphere usually associated with this type of store.The store will have a mix of new and used products not available at traditional retailers, Hill said, adding that the store will have gear for all kinds of activities.Like many residents of Colorado resort communities, I came here 22 years ago to ski, party and enjoy all the things that these mountains and lifestyle have to offer, Hill said. But, Hill added, he watched many friends and their kids go without due to the high cost of the toys that make many of our favorite activities possible. Hill said GearBox is built on three guiding principals: Commitment to the environment, commitment to community and commitment to the financial sustainability of its customers and neighbors.What other types of retail businesses actually let you walk out with more money than when you came in now and again? Hill said. For more information, call 970-309-3188.

All Vail merchants and Vail Chamber & Business Association members are invited to a mixer being held at the Lodge at Vail on Thursday from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn more about the Elevate Excellence program and also hear from Vail Resorts regarding the EverVail project. To learn more, call 970-477-0075.

VAIL The Eagle County Merchant Pass is now available, but buyers have to complete one of several customer service training programs to qualify. Those programs are:Elevate Excellence: New this year, merchants can complete the Elevate Excellence Customer Service program online through March 15, 2009. This class replaces the former Turn It Up! program. The fee is $50. For more information, e-mail or call 970-754-3080.Platinum Service Program: This program evaluates and recognizes outstanding customer service in the Vail Valley. Participating businesses are evaluated throughout the winter season by secret shoppers who grade performance on core customer service principles. Businesses can choose from three program levels. Participation level will determine the number of mystery shops the business receives over the course of the year. For more information, contact Suzanne Sloan at the Vail Valley Partnership, 970-477-4009 or e-mail View from the Top: The Vail Valley Partnerships View from the Top seminar takes place on Nov. 19 at the Vilar Center in Beaver Creek from 8-11 a.m. and includes breakfast. The keynote speaker will be Carol Verret, with her seminar Creating a Culture of Customer Service One Manager at a Time. For information or to register call 970-477-4001 or email Disney Institute The Disney Keys to Excellence: Businesses that participated in the Disney program in September can call 970-754-3080 to learn how to qualify for a Merchant Pass.For additional information about the 2008-2009 pass program, call 970-476-9090.

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