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Vail Valley: Business is about more than the winners

Michael Kurz
Vail, CO, Colorado

Last Friday evening I walked to the podium and stood before a few hundred business professionals at the Vail Valley Partnership’s 6th Annual Success Awards Gala at the Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch. The moment brought a flood of thoughts and emotions.

It was a year ago yesterday that I took the helm. The organization had been dragged over a couple of rough spots back then and there was a lot of hope and, I’m sure, some skepticism as Greg Repetti presented me as the new president/CEO to some very polite applause.

Looking back, we’ve accomplished a lot at the partnershipo since then. We have a great, dedicated and talented staff, we’re building respect for the organization in the community, event attendance and support is strong, programs are better than ever and people are saying some nice things about us. All that’s important to keep spirits up and the work at a high level and we really appreciate the goodwill, good works and good words.



What I appreciate more than anything else, though, is the privilege of standing before the awesome power, energy and determination of the finest business men and women the valley has to offer and acknowledging their achievements over the past 12 months.

Not everyone won an award Friday night. Such is life. Such is business. But truth is, as in any competition, the difference between the winners and the finalists may have been only one point on the judges’ scorecards. Some awards could likely have swayed to another finalist under prolonged vetting. The point is that even in difficult times, so many have put so much into the success of their businesses, their livelihoods, and those of their employees and vendors, that everyone at the event deserves recognition.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.



All of us face uncertainty in life, but those of us who run or take part in the daily operations of a successful enterprise put countless hours into what we do. We eat, sleep and dream about the business. We try to keep it on an even keel, protect our assets, fight to keep our employees happy and at their best, we watch the mail for checks, take pride that we can meet our financial obligations and worry about every small detail under our purview.

In the midst of all that, some naturally rise to the top. Friday night, the Vail Valley Partnership recognized: The Vail Valley Charitable Fund, HR-Link, The Antlers at Vail, Columbine Bakery and the Evans-Chafee Construction Group, deserving winners all.

But I also want to recognize the nearly 800 other partnership member businesses that didn’t take home first prize. These fine people and their companies are the backbone of the Vail Valley and are hugely important to the communities, clients and customers they serve.



We sincerely hope that all of them continue to strive to win a Success Award next year. Believe me, there are many more winners out there than we can ever recognize. Keep the faith folks. We sincerely respect your efforts and stand ready to help you keep winning to the best our ability.

Michael Kurz is president and CEO of the Vail Valley Partnership.


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