‘Vail’s New Dawn’ sparks Aussies’ interest | VailDaily.com

‘Vail’s New Dawn’ sparks Aussies’ interest

VAIL – Vail Mayor Dick Cleveland will finally rack up some frequent flier miles for a business trip.

Cleveland has been on the Vail Town Council for the better part of a decade, and has never traveled outside Colorado’s borders on town business. But this week, Cleveland and a handful of other Vailites are in Australia as guests of a consulting company. Their mission is to talk about Vail’s decade-long renovation during a symposium on “creating special places” put on by Regional Innovations Australia.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” Cleveland said before leaving the country. “It’s a place I’ve always wanted to visit.”

The best part is that the business trip comes at no expense to Vail taxpayers – the Australians are picking up the tab.

The business part of the trip is to talk with town representatives of Maryborough and Ipswitch about redevelopment. Maryborough is a tourist-driven town in the Australian state of Queensland. Ipswitch, also in Queensland, is more of a suburb of Brisbane.

Vail Community Development Department Director George Ruther said representatives of the consulting company were in Vail during parts of the town’s renovation, and were impressed with what they saw.

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Ruther said he plans to talk about the successes of the renovation, and how local government and private businesses were able to work together to get a number of projects finished.

“Those partnerships are crucial,” Ruther said. “None of it could have been done by any one person.

“The way we run a municipal government is unique in their experience,” Ruther added.

Ruther said he also plans to talk about the “catalytic effects” of projects such as the Arrabelle at Vail Square and the Vail Village streetscape project.

Cleveland said he plans to talk about many of the same topics, with some historical perspective thrown in for good measure.

“It really goes back to the dream that started Vail and how that’s progressed over the years,” Cleveland said. “It was definitely time for Vail’s renewal – it was 40 years old when we started, and we had deteriorating infrastructure.”

“The town had also long talked about attracting higher-end clients,” Cleveland added, and the renovation project was a way to get that accomplished.

The success of the work is undeniable. Some of that success was a matter of timing, Cleveland said. But a big part was a matter of planning, he said.

“Behind the luck was a lot of work,” Cleveland said. “We’re reaping the rewards today.”

LeVine was invited for his expertise in customer service and working on various industry and tourism groups. He said he plans to talk about the Vail Economic Development Advisory Council, as well as customer service tactics.

“The people who visited were blown away by our customer service,” LeVine said. “I’ll talk about (the Vail Valley Partnership’s) Platinum Service Program, and what else got us here.”

Business Editor Scott N. Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930 or smiller@vaildaily.com.