Vail Daily column: Merger helps grow Vail business community |

Vail Daily column: Merger helps grow Vail business community

In the words of the late, great David Bowie, “Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes … turn and face the strange.” The local chamber makeup in Vail is changing. It isn’t that strange, but it is different. But change is good, and I am happy to announce the merger of the Vail Chamber & Business Association and the Lionshead Merchants Association. The strategic goal of this merger is to foster and grow a strong Vail business community and to create one unified voice for Vail business from East Vail to West Vail and beyond. The two organizations have been talking for the past few months aligning goals and missions to help facilitate the merger. At the same time, the Vail Chamber & Business Association has committed to take special care to recognize the uniqueness of Lionshead Village, and will be sure to represent the area and its businesses and to help fund and promote certain Lionshead Village specific events and activities. To this end, the Vail Chamber & Business Association has added several new board members, including Ryan Kelsey from the Antlers, Sarah Franke from Group 970/Blue Moose, Dave Portman from Firstbank Vail, and me (Pat Flynn from The Arrabelle at Vail Square).

The Vail Chamber & Business Association board of directors is aware (as I am sure are longtime business owners and those involved in the community) that similar mergers have been tried in the past without tremendous success. This board is convinced, however, that with new blood, renewed enthusiasm, a strong executive director and careful strategic planning this coming together provides the best opportunity for local businesses to unite and be heard. With a recharged focus on growing membership and increasing involvement, the Vail Chamber & Business Association hopes to grow into even more of a voice within the community and leader for local business.

The interests in Lionshead Village will be better represented by an organization with dedicated staff, a passionate board and passionate engaged members that recognize the importance that together we are stronger and more effective.

The Vail Chamber & Business Association is committed to supporting local businesses while working with the town of Vail and Vail Resorts to foster an atmosphere of “communication, collaboration and cooperation.” The Vail Chamber & Business Association strongly encourages all town of Vail business license holders and those that have business interests or conduct business within the town of Vail to consider membership and stay involved in our local community.

Benefits of membership include access to the merchant pass program, complimentary listing on the website, local media and advertising discounts, continuing education discounts, strategic partner discounts including Mountain States Employers Council and the Vitality Center at Vail Mountain Lodge. Most importantly membership includes representation and involvement with the town of Vail and its boards and commissions as well as access to Vail Chamber & Business Association community meetings and mixers, which provide an excellent opportunity for creating new business relationships, staying aware of events within the community, and keeping up to date on current trends. We look forward to this new partnership and what it will bring.

If you are interested in finding out more about the Vail Chamber and Business Association, what we have to offer businesses, further details on membership, or to receive the weekly newsletter, then email us at or call 970-754-0075.

Pat Flynn is director of finance at The Arrabelle at Vail Square. He is a member of the Vail Chamber & Business Association board of directors.

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