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First-year guest experience program, PrimaVail, deemed a success

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April 7, 2020, 4:10 pm

The goal was to re-imagine how Vail delivers guest experience, and with more than 700 individuals and 80 businesses participating, the creators and facilitators of PrimaVail reported to the Vail Town Council on Tuesday that the first-year initiative was a tremendous success.

“Considering how the winter season came to an abrupt halt due to coronavirus-related health and safety concerns, implementing and executing on a program of this stature will be more important than ever when we’re able to welcome our guests and local residents back into our collective businesses and reconnect them with our remarkable recreational opportunities,” said Alison Wadey, executive director of the Vail Chamber & Business Association.

PrimaVail, the community-inspired guest experience initiative that launched at the start of the 2019-2020 winter season, was produced by the Town of Vail in cooperation with Vail Mountain and the VCBA. The program not only educates employees on the importance of premier hospitality, but it also creates a sense of community among its participants who work in Vail.

PrimaVail gives Vail employees the ability to learn new guest service skills and fascinating Vail history; a walking tour to see what’s new around town; monthly social events like parties, broomball and bowling; eligibility to receive local discounts; qualify for a merchant pass; attendance at a Leadership Forum; networking; relationship-building; quality service awards; and an end-of-season Guest Experience Certification.

“The importance of collaboration and employee engagement to elevate the guest experience was very apparent,” said Town of Vail’s economic development director, Mia Vlaar. “We are very pleased with the results of our winter guest intercept studies that include an overall net promoter score of 83 percent and 86 percent of respondents saying they felt very welcome in Vail and Lionshead villages.”

Kris Cureau, a Vail Police Department employee, was the March winner of the PrimaService award. Due to public health restrictions, Cureau was informed of her award via a Zoom meeting that was taped and played for the Vail Town Council Tuesday.

Wadey also announced that most PrimaVail participants will receive Guest Experience Certification, having completed these four components, an exciting resume builder:

The Guest Experience Training focuses on interactive tips and techniques related to Vail-specific guest interaction, empowering employees to elevate the guest experience.

With Vail’s History and Vail 101, you learn about the history and founding of our mountain resort community, instilling a sense of pride for all of those who call Vail home.

The Vail Community Walking Tour shows you unique elements of Vail that even long-time locals may not know of.

The Leadership Forum is a casual atmosphere with an inspiring panel of Vail business people who discuss their work and life experiences in the Vail Valley.

Vail Revely and Vail Après are two additional and very important initiatives of the PrimaVail guest experience, said Beth Howard, vice president and chief operating officer of Vail Mountain. 

“A commitment to re-imagining what Vail, from mountain to town, can offer our guests is critical to Vail being like nothing on earth,” Howard said. “It was very exciting to build upon our new snowmaking investment and solid snow offering on mountain, early season, with an expanded event and activity calendar throughout the two villages over the Thanksgiving holiday. And then to see more than 60 businesses acquire bells to ring in Vail Après every afternoon, plus 14 offering après specials, were truly authentic Vail experiences.”

The PrimaVail team say they plan to roll out a summer program that includes a FAC (Friday Afternoon Club) component of Vail Après. They are also hard at work planning for next winter.

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