Vail’s recession plans in place |

Vail’s recession plans in place

Melanie Wong
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado ” A group of prominent Vail, Colorado citizens have offered their help in forming a plan to help Vail through the recession, and hiring a ski-industry expert to advise the town will likely be part of that plan.

The Vail Local Marketing District will decide Thursday how much it will cost to bring in James Chung, of Reach Advisors, who does market research for resort areas.

Chung will help introduce Vail to nationally known companies and organizations with the hope of bringing more business and events to Vail, said marketing district member Beth Slifer.

Others are hoping that Chung can do even more. Vail resident and former town councilman Kent Logan approached the council Tuesday night asking that the town hire Chung to come up with an economic plan for the next two years and also to determine what Vail might look like post-recession.

Logan represents a group of community members that includes Alan Kosloff, president of the Vail Homeowners Association; Harry Frampton, of Slifer Smith and Frampton Real Estate and East West Partners; Johannes Faessler, owner of the Sonnenalp Resort; John Gorsuch, of Gorsuch Ltd.; and John Cassin, president and CEO of the Vail Valley Medical Center.

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“We already are doing that,” Vail Mayor Dick Cleveland said of the group’s plan. “I think it’s something we should leave to the marketing district to decide.”

Research shows that Vail’s revenue generation and hotel occupancy rates aren’t suffering as much as those of other ski areas.

However, strong marketing and work are needed to keep Vail in that position, said Councilman Andy Daly.

“We need to stay ahead of the curve and aggressively protect our market in this economic environment,” he said.

Logan’s group has suggested using some town funds originally set aside to build a conference center to market Vail over the next couple of years.

“But this isn’t about the use of the conference center funds,” Logan told the Town Council. “This is about saving small businesses in Vail. The business community is hurting. People are being laid off at the height of the season. The question is, what are we going to do about it?”

Slifer said the marketing district intends to work with Chung as well as continue working closely with Vail Resorts marketing to get Vail through tough times.

“To do what (Logan) is talking about would cost about $20,000 to $30,000,” she said. “I think we could find the money for that within the marketing-board funds.”

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