Vail Daily column: A made-up holiday worth celebrating |

Vail Daily column: A made-up holiday worth celebrating

There seems to be a day for everything, from National Margarita Day on Feb. 22 (yes, please) to National Tortilla Chip Day on Feb. 24 (which raises the natural question of “Why didn’t they pair this day with National Margarita Day?”). While some of these “national day of … ” are designed to raise awareness for worthwhile causes (National Alzheimer’s Awareness Day, June 21), most are head-scratching (National Frozen Food Day, today) at best and mind-numbing at worst (National Name Your Car Day, Oct. 2).

Today is one of those made up holidays that is both silly and yet at the same time meaningful. March 6 is (or so they say) Employee Appreciation Day; a day that is meant to encourages managers of all levels to support and reward their employees and show their appreciation.

Good leaders should probably make practice of making every day “employee appreciation day.” Of course, it is easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day tasks of working life and organizational leaders sometimes push employee appreciation to the backburner. That’s no excuse, however, for managers, CEOs and employers to forget just how important and valuable their employees are.

No organization is successful without hard-working employees who dedicate their time and expertise to further the operation; Vail Valley Partnership is no different and I consider myself fortunate to have a strong team of community minded individuals focused on our mission to take the leadership role to create and manage collaborative programs that encourage economic development and result in increased destination tourism in Eagle County. Employee Appreciation Day seems as good a day as any to publicly thank them for their efforts.

Appreciating What All You Employees Do

Our group sales team includes Kim Brussow, Margaret Coyle, Sandra Perrig-Holst and Tina Schwab. The group sales team works to increase visitation to the Vail Valley through our group sales efforts. Groups and meetings are vital to our tourism economy as they fill need times on our calendar, create compression for non-group lodging properties and increase our lodging occupancy (and related guest spending in retail, restaurant, activity providers and ground transportation).

I’m appreciative of the positive exposure and professional attitude of the VVP’s group sales team and their consistent efforts to promote our valley across the country to meeting planners, participatory sports planners and other group entities. I’m appreciative of these sales efforts, which help to contribute over $51 million in direct spending in our economy and benefit businesses throughout the valley.

Our chamber of commerce team consists of Maren Cerimele, Ashley Albrecht and Haley McNeil. They collectively work to enhance business vitality for our member businesses by running and managing our educational events, signature programs and marketing benefits. Also included here is our Lodging Quality Assurance team, consisting of Kathy Lichtenheld and Sloane Pagal, who work with property managers, second-home owners and member businesses to maintain a high quality of standards in our rental condominiums and lodging properties.

I’m appreciative of our partnership team for their genuine commitment to this community, and to their efforts to always consider “what’s best for our members?” when reviewing new opportunities. I especially appreciate their commitment to collaboration and providing the highest levels of guest service and professionalism in all they do to help businesses succeed in our valley.

Our economic development programming has grown quite a bit in the past year thanks in large part to the efforts of Jeremy Rietmann. Our economic development plan leads efforts of economic growth in terms of wealth generation, economic diversification, job creation and preservation and building the local tax base.

I’m appreciative of Rietmann’s commitment to the implementation of this plan, and his dedication to facilitate business retention programs, community branding efforts and being an ambassador for the Vail Valley as a place to do business.

No football team is complete without an all-star quarterback and no organization is complete without leadership in place to pull it all together and make sure everyone is working with the same end goal in mind. For this, I am thankful to Jill Lammers for her quarterbacking skills, empathy and commitment to excellence in supporting the operations of the Vail Valley Partnership.

Hallmark holidays such as Employee Recognition Day or International Day of Slayer (June 6, which is an international holiday for all metal heads to celebrate the heavy metal culture) might not serve much purpose in the big scheme of things, but one thing that metal heads and organizational leaders alike can likely agree on is that these Hallmark holidays give us a reason to celebrate our employees (or our questionable taste in music) in a public manner at least one day of the year.

Chris Romer is president and CEO of the Vail Valley Partnership.

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