Vail/Beaver Creek seems to have a ring to it |

Vail/Beaver Creek seems to have a ring to it

Susie TjossemVail, CO, Colorado

Vail/Beaver Creek might have a special ring to it========Vail chamber bug/Susie Tjossem mug============Hmmm… Vail sharing an event with Beaver Creek? The Vail/Beaver Creek Film Festival? The Vail/Beaver Creek 2015 World Championships? The Vail/Beaver Creek experience? Can you remember back when Vail gave birth to Beaver Creek? When Vail and Beaver Creek were marketed as one entity? When Beaver Creeks base area facilities were housed in a tennis bubble? When the area between Vail and Beaver Creek was referred to as the Vail Valley? This combined approach was a strategic marketing plan created to give the new fledgling resort the exposure it needed to become successful by being closely associated with Vail. Once Beaver Creek was deemed successful, the “Beaver Creek” was broken off with its own advertising and marketing campaigns. Now, guests at Beaver Creek tend to stay in Beaver Creek and there is not a lot of synergy between the two resorts. In fact, they act more like major competitors instead of Vail/Beaver Creek.To trust that a combined effort between Vail and Beaver Creek could work once again we need to look no further than Park City, Utah which is a great example of how one community can successfully be home base to three separately-owned ski areas that work together to host events. This is the case with The Canyons, Park City Resort and Deer Valley. The 2002 Winter Olympics and the Sundance Film Festival are examples of how these three ski resorts share one stage. Unfortunately, Vail and Beaver Creek are not like Park City. Park City is one community with one tax base encompassing an area comparable to Vail, Minturn, Eagle-Vail, Avon, Beaver Creek, Edwards and Eagle combined. It works because there is one sales tax base and one community working together for the common good instead of seven towns all competing for attention and sales tax dollars from guests. At Park City a high tide really does float all ships, while in Eagle County the towns and businesses are competing to keep their slice of the customers and their resulting sales tax revenues. Hmmm… Are the communities within the Vail Valley ready to start working together for the common good? Do we really believe that a high tide floats all ships? The Park City model of cooperation and cross-sell may be one to which we should aspire. To prove the Park City model could work, perhaps the first step for Vail is to figure out how to cross-sell and promote Vail Village and Lionshead. Vail needs to start thinking and acting like a major mall operator and borrow the successful strategies malls use to move their guests past all the shops and restaurants, such as signs on each end promoting the other end, with simultaneous events on each end promoting the other end. Before we think big we need to do a better job thinking small – like a mall!Vail/Beaver Creek? Hmmm… it has a nice ring to it. Susie Tjossem is a member of the Vail Chamber & Business Association Board of Directors, a member of the Vail Planning and Environmental Commission and Executive Director of the Colorado Ski Museum. The museum now proudly showcases the history of skiing in Colorado on its exterior walls. Next time you are in Vail stop by and see this beautiful piece of art which has been painted by Austrian artist and Vail ski instructor extraordinaire, Horst Essl.

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