Vail Valley: It’s time to recognize our businesses |

Vail Valley: It’s time to recognize our businesses

Michael Kurz
Vail, CO, Colorado

As I write this, I’m about to jump into a meeting with the 2009 Vail Valley Partnership Success Awards Selection Committee. This is one of the best and most interesting things the Partnership does all year, selecting the finalists and winners in the categories of Non-profit of the Year, Business of the Year, Small Business of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year, Green Business of the Year and the First Annual Citizenship Award.

Our members have nominated 40 local enterprises that have, in turn, submitted multi-part applications stating why they think they should win a particular award. It’s going to be a very difficult job selecting the best of the best.

When you look at the challenges our businesses are facing these days, including cost control, staffing, marketing, pricing, purchasing, customer service, forecasting, etc., it’s a wonder we have so many fine individuals and firms making it through with such professionalism and thriving despite the formidable problems they face.

It really is a testimony to the entrepreneurial spirit of the Vail Valley. Yes, it’s been hard. We’ve lost some valuable long-time members this year. Many of them just couldn’t make a go of it. Many are so closely husbanding their resources that it’s not just line item expenses that are getting the scrutiny, but service mix, hours of operation, product lines and personnel expenses that are being put under the microscope.

Still, the Partnership has added more than 50 new members this year. Quite a testimony to the will and confidence of new business owners and those who are doing everything they can to leverage personal and business networks, brain banks and employing every salient marketing tool they can get their hands on.

So, all in all, it’s very exciting to be able to make a stab at recognizing these fine people for what they are; community leaders, business professionals and folks who contribute hugely, every day to the economic vitality and longevity of every community in the valley.

Not everyone can win; such is the nature of the effort. But that doesn’t mean that many don’t deserve to. Whether your company wins or not, by the fact that you compete every day and strive to make your products and services better, and provide income and benefits to your employees who live, work and play here, you are doing this community a great service.

So thank you, Vail Valley businesses, whether you are Vail Valley Partnership members or not. You are what makes our local economy tick and we very much appreciate that you are diligently and determinedly striving to do the best you can for your family and future.

To those of you who would like to join us, the Vail Valley Partnership’s 7th Annual Vail Valley Partnership Success Awards Gala, this year themed, “The Candlelight Ball,” will be held Feb. 5 at The Lodge at Vail. It will feature cocktails, dinner, dancing, a silent auction – the proceeds of which will be shared with the “Non-Profit of the Year” award winner – and an opportunity to celebrate with our best and brightest business pros.

For reservations, contact Partnership Member Services Manager Suzanne Sloan, 970-477-4001, or

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

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