President's Post: Looking forward by looking back

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A chamber of commerce is a network of businesses designed to promote and protect the interests of its members. A chamber of commerce is often made up of a group of business owners that share a locale or interests.

Chambers of commerce exist all over the world. They do not have a direct role in creating laws or regulations, though they may be effective in influencing regulators and legislators with their organized advocacy efforts. At the local level, chambers of commerce help shape policy that relates to the business and overall economic environment.

Vail Valley Partnership is a different kind of Chamber – and we think that is a good thing. We are focused on economic vitality and leading collaboration on behalf of the Eagle County business community. Never has this been more important than the past 9 months, or the upcoming years.

Despite COVID, we remain focused on our strategic pillars: Advocacy & Public Affairs, Tourism & Economic Development, and Member Services & Engagement. We are honored to have been named the national Chamber of the Year in 2020 and pledge to build on this in 2021 and beyond.

We know this: the health of the business community and the health of the larger community in which it lives are inextricable. And our work at the Partnership – providing the tools businesses need to succeed, and advocating for our businesses in Washington, Denver, and locally – is central to the success of the community as a whole.

Our programming allows us to be a catalyst for growth within the local business community, but that growth shows in larger ways; not as a creator of jobs but as a partner in growing the businesses and leaders who create the jobs that strengthen our communities. Strong businesses are the foundation of a strong community, and Eagle County is filled with strong businesses.

Our primary goals in the short and medium term are focused on COVID recovery and providing opportunity for member connections. These recovery efforts will continue to focus on shorter-term relief and business information as well as longer-term economic rebuilding that could need to be measured over years. Vail Valley Partnership remains focused on leading long-term recovery by:

  • Building communities to which residents, visitors and investors are attracted;
  • Promoting the communities;
  • Striving to ensure future prosperity via a pro-business climate;
  • Representing the unified voice of the employer community; and
  • Reducing transactional friction through well-functioning networks.

We are pleased that so many in this community realize we are a “different kind of Chamber,” always looking for new ways to serve and make things better. As we look to 2021, we are thankful for you, the Eagle County business community.

You, who came to work to serve others, despite the risk to yourself.
You, who wore a mask every day, even when it was difficult.
You, who chose to spend time alone or with your family, rather than the normal social settings you know and love.
You, who kindly asked others to follow the guidelines, even when they didn’t want to hear it.
You, who dealt with your kids schedules and schooling, while still managing everything else.
You, who chose kindness and compassion in a time where others were paralyzed by fear.
You, who risk your lives every day, we are forever grateful.
From our team at Vail Valley Partnership to you, our community: thank you.

Here’s to 2021 and brighter days ahead!


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