Vail Valley Partnership: Opening days offer reminders to business community (column)
November is the time of year that we tend to express our thanks, and we are excited to join the community in celebrating another ski season, with Beaver Creek’s Opening Day on Wednesday, Nov. 22, and Vail’s Opening Day on Thanksgiving — Thursday, Nov. 23. As we celebrate our opening days, it also serves as a great reminder of some additional thanks to our community.
I’m thankful for Vail Resorts, for its leadership in providing a best in class on-mountain experience for our visitors and locals alike. They deserve recognition for their continuous investment in capital projects, helping keep our communities vibrant, and the guest experience front of mind. I’m thankful they offer local businesses the ability to purchase Epic Merchant Passes as an employee retention tool and benefit.
I’m thankful for the EGE Air Alliance and the Eagle County Regional Airport, for providing convenient access to our guests and second homeowners. The economic impacts of the airport equal $635.9 million, and growing our air service is vital to our continued growth as a tourism destination and as a community. Approximately 25 percent of guests report they would visit a different destination if they could not access Vail and Beaver Creek via the Eagle County Regional Airport, and new flights have been added to and from San Francisco and Salt Lake City in addition to increased capacity to and from Chicago.
I’m thankful for Eagle County Schools, Colorado Mountain College, YouthPower365 and the leadership of both its boards and staffs. They are committed to excellence, and are important partners in the CareerWise Colorado youth apprenticeship program being implemented in the community.
I’m thankful for Eagle County Gives, a way to aid our vibrant nonprofit community. There are too many worthy nonprofit organizations to list — and too many different areas that our nonprofits impact — but we wouldn’t be the community we are without its efforts and contributions. Don’t forget Eagle County Gives Day on Dec. 5 for your opportunity to support these groups.
I’m thankful for our community being filled with business leaders who volunteer their time and expertise outside of their own businesses, providing leadership and vision to our community. We are all stronger and greatly benefit when business professionals volunteer to serve on nonprofit boards, chamber boards and other volunteer groups such as school PTA’s and community groups (metro districts, property owners associations, school boards, etc.). I’m especially thankful for the Vail Valley Partnership board — helping lead our organization. Servant leadership — putting the needs of others first and helping others develop and perform at a high level — is evident in the Vail Valley and we’re all better off for it.
I’m thankful for the culture of service that exists in the Vail Valley. We tend to treat our visitors as guests, welcoming them to our community with open arms and a smile. The culture of customer service creates a welcoming environment and helps build our brand and create customer loyalty. The focus on creating an atmosphere of customer service is not evident in all communities and it’s essential to our continued success. Thank you to the businesses committed to high guest service levels by participating in the Platinum Service Program.
I’m thankful for the staff at Vail Valley Partnership, a group that works hard every day to provide the highest level of service and to continuously focus on adding value to our members and our stakeholders.
We have a lot to be thankful for — including a community that continues to strive to be better.
Chris Romer is president and CEO of the Vail Valley Partnership, the regional chamber of commerce. Learn more at http://www.vailvalleypartnership.com.