As Slifer Designs heads into its 36th year, the woman behind the operation, who is well known for combining her passion for interior design and business acumen to help turn Vail’s indoors from rustic decor to resort beauty, is reimagining her award-winning firm that has completed more than 1,000 residential and commercial projects largely throughout the Rocky Mountain West.
Beth Slifer, the Edwards business owner since 1984 and Vail Village resident, announced Friday that she will bring her passion for developing entrepreneurial leadership to a strategic Slifer Designs restructure.
“Slifer Designs grew to a company of more than 100 employees by the early 2000s,” Slifer said. “As we embarked on our strategic planning for 2020 and a successful next decade, it became very apparent to me that transitioning our design studio from staff positions to contractor positions working out of home offices or our shared studio space in the Amber Building in the Edwards’ Riverwalk shopping center feeds beautifully into the designers’ entrepreneurial drive and creativity.”
As Slifer puts the restructure into place this month, lead designers, Kim Toms and Frances Karsh, will take the Slifer Designs reins as lead contract design consultants. Slifer, too, will continue to offer design consulting services as requested while Slifer Designs continues to complete current projects and honor all commitments. One of the main projects the team will continue to oversee and complete this year is the All Points North Lodge, offering rehabilitation services in Cordillera, Edwards, in an elevated, quality-designed remodeled space.
“Beth has been an incredible mentor to both me and Fran,” said Toms. “Her passion and leadership have set us up for success, in addition to anyone else on the design team who continues to contract with us. We’re grateful to Beth for allowing us to carry the iconic Slifer Designs name forward.”
While the design studio will be phasing out over the next nine to 12 months, the Slifer Designs retail store, also located in Riverwalk, will continue its successful operations. Separately, Slifer’s 20,000-square-foot, Eagle-based warehouse will also continue operations, serving the Eagle River Valley, including independent designers and their clients, with high-end furnishings, artwork and accessories of every style: contemporary, rustic, mountain modern and more; in addition to general receiving, storing, moving and product distribution services for the construction and design industry.
What’s next for Beth Slifer? In addition to spending more time with her husband of 37 years and former Mayor of Vail, Rodney, she says she is looking forward to continuing to forge an equally-trailblazing path to prioritize the look and leadership of the Vail community she so deeply cares about. Slifer has chaired the Vail Local Marketing District Advisory Council since 1999 and expects to become particularly involved in the execution of the Town’s civic area master planning process. She will partner with the Vail Symposium and the Vail Valley Partnership on the subject of women entrepreneurs, and continue her scholarship work for local high school graduates.
And what a background she has to draw from: Slifer, the daughter of a female business owner, was the first-ever female corporate loan officer at Citibank New York. She worked on Jimmy Carter’s presidential campaign, and was ultimately appointed to the Environmental Protection Agency during the Carter Administration. She earned her master’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago and moved to Vail in 1983. Slifer will be featured this year on the PBS educational series “Behind the Scenes” with host Laurence Fishburne, highlighting her path as a woman entrepreneur.
“I have long admired Beth as a professional leader and equally, for her community leadership and philanthropic endeavors,” said Susie Davis, Director of Community Impact for the Eagle Valley Community Foundation. “I cannot wait to see her next chapter play out.”
Davis also noted Slifer’s impressive efforts to gather and host local non-profit leadership to foster communication, collaboration and understanding. EVCF is a co-sponsor with Slifer of what is now a bi-annual event.
Longtime friend Harry Frampton praised Slifer for her steadfast commitment to making Vail a better place: “Beth’s style in how she ran three business divisions, providing mentorship and empowerment to other women — there are still so many things to learn from her and I am so pleased she will continue to provide her wisdom and counsel to the evolution of Vail.”
The 1,000 project accomplishments of Slifer Designs — and Beth Slifer — will be celebrated with a Red Party in the former Edwards design studio in September.