Vail Daily column: A time for thanks
The start of a new ski season is a cause for celebration, as we embark on new possibilities and the anticipation of powder days and the energy of full villages, restaurants and businesses. It’s all in front of us and everything is possible. It presents the opportunity to improve our service levels, increase our guest satisfaction and increase revenues over past seasons.
While we are excited for and busy looking ahead at the season to come, it is equally important to reflect and be thankful for what we have. I am thankful for so many things as president of Vail Valley Partnership, including (but certainly not limited to):
• A community that understands collaboration is required for success. We know we can’t go it alone, and that working together often results in better outcomes for everyone.
Consider the EGE Air Alliance as a proof point — we have new flights this winter from Phoenix and Washington, D.C. (and continued summer service from Houston) thanks to the contributions from Eagle County, local municipalities, and the business community. These new flights are anticipated to have an economic impact of more than $8.8 million.
• A community that understands and recognizes the importance of a strong school system to our continued growth. Strong schools provide the foundation to a strong community, and the recent passage of 3A (mill levy) and 3B (bond measure) to invest in our teachers and our infrastructure are a very positive sign that we support our future workforce needs. This is important to our business community, as a strong school system is vital to our business retention, expansion and recruiting efforts
• A ski company that continues to invest in the on mountain product, with new lifts, new infrastructure, and innovative marketing approaches to continue to position Vail and Beaver Creek to our target audiences. Vail Resorts, as the driver of our tourism economy, takes a fair amount of community criticism (often unfairly) — and deserve recognition for their continued investment in product development and community support through their Epic Promise program supporting our non-profit community.
• A nonprofit community that works in concert to strengthen and support each other. Eagle County Gives is a coalition of more than 48 Vail Valley nonprofits dedicated to strengthening the collaboration, fundraising capacity and awareness of the nonprofit sector that enhances the quality of life in Eagle County. Support for Eagle County Gives provides over 48 local organizations the means to provide basic human needs, protect the mountains you explore, and develop and protect the next generation. (Don’t forget to mark your calendar for this year’s Colorado Gives Day on Dec. 6).
• Community leaders across industry sector who are willing to donate their time to participate in our Next Vail Valley emerging leader program. These leaders volunteer their time to share their experiences and expertise with program participants, helping to nurture and develop our future community leaders. These community leaders show that giving back isn’t always through traditional methods, but is often through giving their time to support the professional growth of the next generation.
• Our staff and team at Vail Valley Partnership, who work tirelessly to help achieve our mission of leading collaboration for community success. We are invested in the success of our business community.
It is a tribute to our staff (and board and members) to have been recognized earlier this year as Chamber of the Year by the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives — no small feat considering thousands of chambers are part of this group.
• Our members and stakeholders, who continue to actively engage in our programs, events, and meetings, and who continue to utilize their marketing and membership benefits, as well as municipalities and special districts who understand the importance of regional economic development. At the Partnership, we do what we do on behalf of our stakeholders and we thank you for your continued support.
This list is not all-inclusive. We have much to be thankful for in this valley. I encourage everyone to take a moment and reflect on what you are thankful for as a new ski season starts and all the possibilities are ahead of us.
Chris Romer is president and CEO of the Vail Valley Partnership.