Romer: Public policy impacts community vitality | VailDaily.com
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Romer: Public policy impacts community vitality

Almost 59 years ago, the Vail Valley Partnership’s predecessor organization — then the Vail Resort Association — was established by a committed group of leaders to ensure the business community had a collective voice. This decision unlocked access to a collective voice for business and a workforce development focus that helped support the entire valley’s economic growth. 

The Vail Resort Association has morphed over the years, changed our name (more than once), expanded our programming, and elevated our advocacy voice both locally, statewide and on a national level. From humble beginnings in 1964, the Vail Valley Partnership is now the largest chamber of commerce between the Front Range and Salt Lake City and continues to be the premier advocate and voice of the mountain region and Eagle County’s business community. In 2023, we will focus on our ongoing priority to create opportunities for job growth, economic development, and community vitality. Nothing helps our families, neighbors, community, and economy more than the opportunity for more people to access great jobs.

To support this effort, the chamber works together with our members to focus on developing and enhancing the community vitality of Eagle County and the mountain region. In the simplest of terms, this means serving as the voice of business, via our role as advocates and a trusted source and information repository for the business community. We focus on issues that impact our trade region, our communities, our businesses and our citizens.



Much of these efforts center on being a voice for business through advocacy. The Vail Valley Partnership’s goal with our advocacy efforts is to advance issues and rely on local government to carry out their roles for good public policy. Our legislative strategy is to support policy proposals that fit our mission and oppose measures that detract from community goals.

The heart of Eagle County’s economy is small business, reliant on our key industry sector of tourism and recreation. It is incumbent to continue to strengthen our local economy by supporting our emerging sectors to provide economic diversification and a stronger community. Key focus areas of the Vail Valley Partnership include:

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  • Health insurance and lower health care costs
  • Immigration reform and DACA
  • Early childhood care
  • Regional equity
  • Broadband and high-speed internet access
  • Economic and workforce development 

We take an active role to advocate for a business-friendly community because a strong business community leads to a strong community. The ongoing resiliency of our region requires state and local officials to first focus on addressing our affordable housing issue. Housing is essential to the continued success and sustainability of our community.

We push for transportation infrastructure improvements, expanded transit access, and increased air service development. The new Eagle Valley Transit Authority is a great step toward improving our transit infrastructure, and the recent bipartisan infrastructure bill and omnibus funding are important steps toward improving Colorado’s transportation system.

Workforce development and retention are also focused areas. Workforce efforts are a key component to being more competitive by supporting high-quality education systems that address workforce needs through innovative programming such as youth apprenticeships and business training programs.



Since 1964, we have been the leading voice for pro-business policy, and we will continue our long-standing tradition of being the preeminent voice for the mountain region and Eagle County’s businesses at a local and state level in 2023. At the end of the day, economic competitiveness is the foundation for community vitality. We will continue to advocate for the tools and resources necessary to lead locally, regionally, nationally and globally.

Chris Romer is president and CEO of Vail Valley Partnership, the regional chamber of commerce. Learn more at VailValleyPartnership.com.


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