Vail Daily column: World Champs were a rousing success
The local economies of many resort-oriented towns across the country rely on special events and festivals to help drive visitation, tourism dollars and sales tax revenues. This isn’t unique to the Vail Valley or to Colorado; it’s true across the country. Special events are big business, which benefit small businesses within resort communities.
Our community knows events. Special events are a key component of our brand, and we do events well; from statewide events such as the USA Pro Cycling Challenge to local events such as the GoPro Mountain Games and Bravo! Vail Music Festival, events are a significant economic driver for our business community.
All Events Are Important
Events occur on a variety of levels, and they are all important. Some events build community, others drive visitation and still others fill a cultural or participatory niche. Above all, each event we host should help support the brand.
It’s rare that an event comes that hits a verifiable home run for every measurable category. As such, we are fortunate to have had the opportunity to host the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships earlier this month.
Our community embraced the Ski Championships and filled Redtail Finish Stadium daily, creating a positive energy and positive buzz for the athletes and worldwide television viewers. The collaboration throughout the entire valley was impressive as the Apres Avon programming, awards ceremonies and nightly events in Vail added to the energy and to the visitor experience.
Impressive Guest Experience
Events such as the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships bring in outside dollars to support community facilities and services that might not otherwise be developed. The civic involvement and civic pride exhibited during the Championships was noticeable and created an impressive guest experience for our visitors.
Very Fortunate Community
The difference between events in other areas and events such as the recently completed FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in the Vail Valley is that we are fortunate to have the Vail Valley Foundation, Vail Resorts and local municipalities who understand and embrace special events and their role in driving our brand and future visitation.
Clearly, the Championships were a labor of love and required the active participation and involvement of numerous entities and organizations. Thank you to everyone involved for your engagement and support of such an incredible event. Events of this size, scale and impact don’t happen by accident.
Thank you to the:
• Vail Valley Foundation for spearheading and leading the efforts.
• Vail Resorts for their on-mountain support and international marketing efforts.
• Local Organizing Committee for arranging the lodging, community activation, transportation and all the other moving parts.
• Towns of Vail and Avon as well as numerous other local municipalities and governments for their financial and in-kind support, ensuring activation throughout the valley and an easy transit connection from each location within the upper valley.
• Beaver Creek Resort Company for creating a great village experience in Beaver Creek.
• Volunteers for taking the time to help make the event a success.
• Eagle County Schools for sending kids from schools throughout the valley to experience the races.
• O’Bos Enterprises for their efforts to supply the retail goods — as seemingly everyone had a hat or other 2015 logoed gear which will promote our brand for years to come.
• And last but not least, thank you to the entire community for filling the stands and creating a memorable two-week event.
Effects of Events
Events are big business and events such as the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships have both short-term and long-term economic and community benefits. But the most impressive component of the Championships isn’t the economic impacts, or the international television coverage or even the brand building likely to result in future visitation. The most impressive thing is watching our community come together as one to make an event of this scale a reality and a huge success. That’s a special side-effect to the Championships and we should all take a moment to recognize the community benefits that result from working together to showcase our valley to the world.
Chris Romer is president and CEO of the Vail Valley Partnership.