Vail Valley: Let’s ‘shoulder’ the slow seasons together |

Vail Valley: Let’s ‘shoulder’ the slow seasons together

Michael NortonVail, CO, Colorado

If you live here, you get it. You know what the shoulder seasons are and what you can expect. This year, residents of the Vail Valley will need to shoulder more of the season. We need to infuse our own local economy. As locals, we have so much to be grateful for throughout each season. Certainly, there is much rejoicing in town during the ski season as we endeavor to reach new heights as we ski, ride and snowshoe whenever we can and as often as we can. That is why we live here, and it is an awesome privilege. In the summer, we turn to mountain climbing, biking, golf, horseback riding, hiking, kayaking, rafting, fishing and other outdoor adventures. There is no shortage of things to do here in the Vail Valley winter or summer. And as locals, we have tremendous appreciation and gratitude for our guests and visitors as we recognize that they fuel our economy so our local businesses can operate year round. Those are the same businesses we truly need in town the ones that have provided excellent products and services for such a long time. This year has been different for every one of us. Numbers were down in most areas. Some were off just a little, while others felt an even greater impact. As locals, we support our businesses year round and I know first hand how much the merchants appreciate us. This year, this shoulder season, lets all step it up just a little bit more. Savvy businessmen and women are taught to go the extra mile in customer appreciation, creating loyal fans who come back time and time again. What if we as locals turned that around, and instead of having customer appreciation month, lets lift up our local merchants and show them how much we appreciate their being here to serve us?In difficult times, friends and families unite and communities come together, not to offer a handout but, rather, a hand up. I know that some of you reading this article are feeling the pinch, too, and as consumers, the current crunch is just as hard on you. But if you have the resources, lets all shoulder the season together here in the valley. Here are some of the things I know I will be doing this spring: Having the pork loin BLT from Sweet Basil. Enjoying the buffalo chicken salad from Gore Range Brewery. Taking in a movie or three at the Riverwalk Theatre. Going to the Back Bowl for a few games with my kids down in Eagle. And, if you are on my list for birthday gifts, you can expect something from one of our local retailers. What do you say will you shoulder the season with me? I love all of the feedback and e-mails, so let me know your plans, what you will be doing and where you will be eating and shopping. Send your thoughts to me at, and I hope you make it a better-than-good week.Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach and motivational speaker and CEO of He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.

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