Vail Valley Partnership ready to help all the valley, all the time |

Vail Valley Partnership ready to help all the valley, all the time

Michael KurzVail, CO, Colorado

While both the Eagle Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Vail Chamber and Business Association do their best to cope with the economy and reconstitute themselves to better serve their constituencies (which we sincerely and completely support and encourage) some misinformation has been circulating that I feel I need to address on behalf of our staff, members, sponsors and strategic partners. So, lets set the record straight. The Vail Valley Partnership is not an upvalley organization. Although our offices are in Avon, the fact is that of our nearly 800 chamber members from Denver to Glenwood Springs, more than 160 are in Edwards, Eagle, Gypsum and Glenwood Springs. More members from those communities join us every month. They are just as important to us as any member from any town and they know they are key to our mission of long-term business vitality for everyone. We did indeed go through a round of layoffs in the first quarter of this year, as have many other public and private organizations. Although losing some of our fine professionals has required our remaining staff to make sacrifices, put in longer hours and take on more responsibilities, that reduction in force has in no way compromised our ability to serve our members and the community at large. The Vail Valley Partnership continues to reach out to any and all organizations throughout the county and beyond, most recently demonstrated by our involvement in important programs with Colorado Mountain College, the Vail Leadership Institute, the Eagle County Air Alliance and the Vail Economic Advisory Council, to cite a few of our more noteworthy engagements, to make this a better place to be and do business. We continue to structure and present programs that benefit all businesses even when they are not members, for instance, the Sherman & Howard Labor Law Seminar this winter was a free event open to members of all intermountain chambers, including Breckenridge, Summit County, Avon and Eagle. In July of this year, all intermountain chamber members will be offered preferred ticket prices so they can more easily attend the 3rd Annual Vail Valley Business Forum. Speakers currently booked include: Rob Katz, CEO of Vail Resorts; Don Elliman, director of the Governors Office of Economic Development and International Trade; David Murphy, Chief Revenue Officer of the Denver Newspaper Agency; and John Ikard, CEO of 1st Bank. Our monthly After Hours Business Mixers take place at venues from Vail to Eagle and we now see more than 100 members at each event. The mixers are so popular with our host businesses throughout the county that we only have one month remaining available for hosting in 2009. Quarterly mixers have been added to our schedule solely to accommodate our Eagle, Gypsum and Edwards members. The next Eagle mixer is May 6 from 5-7 p.m. It will be hosted by Colorado Capital Bank and held at the Dusty Boot. Finally, the Vail Valley Partnership takes pride in making a significant cash donation to the Vail Valley Charitable Fund this year in support of its incredible service to Eagle County families in dire need, and offering reduced membership dues and marketing considerations to more than thirty non-profit organizations throughout the county.The point is that there are still some folks out there who take great pride in living in this town or belonging to that organization, and thats great. I hope we all have special loyalties that command our respect, admiration, time and attention. Its important however, that the Vail Valley Partnership is seen in its true light as an organization committed to supporting anyone and everyone engaged in the mission of economic and community development regardless of location. Through our memberships and affiliations with more than a dozen national chamber and business related organizations, our strong member programs and events, and our local and regional strategic partnerships, we feel we are and will continue to be a formidable ally to anyone of any group that has the best interests of all our valleys in mind.Michael Kurz is president and CEO of the Vail Valley Partnership.

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