Vail Valley: You can’t keep a good town down
Vail, CO, Colorado
Remember the blow-up clowns with the sand-weighted bottoms? It was an amazing toy.
You could bop it, tackle it, slug it, kick it and the darn thing rebounded right up and back at ‘ya. I didn’t think much about the goofy thing at the time, but what a brilliant lesson it taught us kids. The watchmaker, Timex, later used a tag-line that illustrated the same concept – “It takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’.”
When I think about the Vail Valley, our guest-reliant economy and the weird events locals have endured this past year I’m feeling that one of the key characteristics that makes this a wonderful place to live and work, just like toy clowns and tough watches, is resilience.
What is it in this valley that, despite, tragedy, misfortune, economic downturn, and job losses make us praise the snow, paste on a smile and pass the lift tickets? Is it the joy of living here? Or is it the ever-present possibility that the fun meter will go off the scale again? Maybe.
I think a lot of it though, has to do with the ingrained behavior that makes a successful service-based economy possible here. Face it, we all get jazzed when we see other people having fun. We want them happy. It makes us happy.
The same is true, I think, when we see locals in misery and need. If they’re hungry we try our best to feed them. When they need the community to come together and shoulder a big burden, we do. When someone’s lost, figuratively or literally, we guide the way.
So, the way I see it, economy be damned, we’re going to make the coming year the absolute best it can be. But, Pollyana won’t be here to help. She took the last ship to the Gray Havens about this time last year. It’s going to take another 12 to 18 months of butt-busting hard work and, given the occasional attitude adjustment we all need, a continued commitment to each other. I have no doubt that we can.
It may take a few more tequilas or long runs in the clear air or whatever you do to gather strength for the continuing battle, but I don’t see any failure in will or determination that would possibly get or keep us down for the count.
Just keep your air pressure up and your base full of sand and you’ll be popping back into the fight for a long time to come.
• Dec. 3, 8 – 9 a.m.: Partner 101: Benefits Orientation, Vail Valley Partnership Office, Traer Creek Plaza, Avon.
• Dec. 8, 5:30 – 7 p.m.: Ask the Experts: Greening your Business, CMC Room 204.
• Dec.9, 8 – 9:30 a.m.: Success in 60 Seconds, Manor Vail Resort, Vail.
• Dec.16, 3 – 4 p.m.: Vail Valley Partnership Annual Report and Meeting, at the office in Traer Creek Plaza, Avon.
• Dec.16, 5 – 7 p.m.: Business After Hours Mixer, Minturn Saloon, Minturn, members only.
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