Vail Daily column: Chamber success is community success | VailDaily.com

Vail Daily column: Chamber success is community success

When I started at Vail Valley Partnership in 2007, I envisioned that it would be a good career opportunity and that it would be fun to work with an organization that helped local businesses. Almost 10 years later, it is safe to say that I didn't expect to be so happy to always "be on," or that the work to be as much fun as it is. Turns out it's easy to be all in when you're doing something you are passionate about and something you know has a positive influence on the community you love.

I share this because Vail Valley Partnership is committed to collaborating for success of our community, and the support of our businesses through membership and engagement is needed to continue the positive momentum we've built over the years. Vail Valley Partnership continues to provide innovative economic development efforts and chamber programming that strengthens our business community — resulting in sustainable businesses, less community and workforce turnover, and a stronger local economy. We fully recognize that we only succeed when local businesses — our members — succeed.

Our vision is to develop and enhance the economic vitality of the Vail Valley. We're here to promote the long-term economic health of Eagle County and solidify an economic base that is strong, diverse and resilient.

The Vail Valley Partnership's efforts and benefit to the community include three distinct yet connected roles:

• Regional Chamber of Commerce — We provide the valley's businesses with networking, educational, professional development, marketing and collaborative opportunities with the goal of strengthening our local business community and to advocate for our business community at a regional and state level.

• Destination Marketing — We work to promote the entire Vail Valley as a year-round destination to potential in-state, out-of-state and international visitors. We are dedicated to helping attract groups and meetings from all over the country to the Vail Valley.

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• Economic Development — We work to ensure the Vail Valley's economic health stays strong for years to come. We work to help existing Vail Valley businesses thrive and recruit new businesses that have the potential to support our local economy.

What's this mean in layman's terms? We are focused on helping to build and sustain a business-friendly community. We exist to bridge the gap between business and government and ensure that both businesses and government partners are connected with the resources needed to succeed. It is often thankless work that happens behind the scenes, but the thanks that we do receive from our members and stakeholders goes a long way to letting us know we're on the right track with our efforts and our member benefits.

Vail Valley Partnership, in our own way, contributes to the strength and vitality of our communities through our programing and business support services. We help build strong partnerships and create lasting value in our communities by developing and coordinating programs that address key community needs and enhance the economic vitality.

Of specific interest in good times which pays dividends in the inevitable tough times ahead (whenever that might be), we encourage activities and provide programming and services that promote community development. Our programmatic activities include, but are not limited to, economic development, educational offerings, business services, workforce development, tourism promotion and facilitating continued community collaboration. These programs positively impact the business community through information, costs savings, business resources, local marketing efforts, destination marketing efforts, educational programs and signature programs.

Vail Valley Partnership relies on support of the business community through membership to initiate and continue our programming, and we are thankful for our members, our stakeholders and our volunteers. We are especially proud this year to have been named the 2016 Chamber of the Year by the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives — providing a proof point to the world at large that our community isn't just a place for recreation, but we are also a place that commerce (business) can thrive.

Vail Valley Partnership is a community information and data center, a lobbying center and a marketing center for local businesses in addition to the above-mentioned programming — and more — for a modest annual investment to your business. Make it your New Year's resolution to research membership for your business. I'm confident you won't find a better bang for your buck, or a better return on your investment.

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