Value of association |

Value of association

Don Rogers

Funding in Vail for business groups in next year’s budget may well prove an oxymoron, though the council would do well to take the overwhelming concern for the business community’s vitality to heart.

But suggestions these groups don’t do much are just ignorant. Take the Vail Chamber and Business Association, which last year received about $275,000 from the Vail Town Council from business license fees.

For Vail’s 40th anniversary, for instance, the Vail Chamber was a big part of the Vail Pioneer Weekend last September, a wildly successful kickoff for this milestone season. The same chamber was instrumental in carrying off Spring Back to Vail to close the season.

In between were the chamber’s contributions to the merchant pass program’s continuing success, as well as Turn It Up customer service training and the Pemier Impressions program recognizing outstanding service to Vail’s usual legion of guests.

The organization plays a large role in the governance and communty decision-making processes, as well as helping with town events and a variety of communication tools for the town.

The Vail Chamber and Business Association is the No. 1 local advocate for the Vail business community, which ranks No. 1 in the minds of town residents in this year’s annual community survey. This chamber serves as glue binding Vail’s merchants to the larger community, even if applying this adhesive politically at times can be acrimonious.

Quibble with whether this organization ought to be funded primarily by voluntary membership contribution, a portion of Vail’s government revenue or even end if a tax-earning business improvement district forms.

But it’s unfair to suggest the group doesn’t do much for the business community. That’s just not true. On balance, the coalescence of smaller business associations into the Vail Chamber and Business Association has been good for the town, particularly in these tough times. And providing a bit of competition for that other merged body, the Vail Valley Chamber and Tourism Bureau, hasn’t been a bad thing, either.

Nightmare stuff

Look out, deflation is on the prowl. Here’s the stuff of economic depression, a scarier prospect than the recession the country has not quite dug out from since the turn of the century.

Of course, sellers of televisions and pocket calculators – along with, alas, automobiles – are already well acquainted with this phenomenon in which stuff gets cheaper and cheaper instead of the other way. Problem is, what do you think happens to profits and wages and staffing when the real deal of deflation occurs? Most economists say this scenario is highly unlikely, right after acknowledging the possibility creeping up.


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