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PrimaVail: Guest service training program aims to elevate collaboration, employee engagement, guest experience

October 3, 2019, 5:18 pm

The Town of Vail, in cooperation with Vail Mountain and the Vail Chamber & Business Association (VCBA), is pleased to introduce a new, all-inclusive, guest service training initiative. Enrollment for the PrimaVail program begins Oct. 16 and will be offered at no cost to employees, managers and owners of Vail businesses to coincide with the 2019-2020 ski and snowboard season. Registration is available online at vailchamber.org or in person during the program’s kickoff activities taking place throughout November.

Building upon foundational work developed by the VCBA last winter as well as guest service training philosophies and programming unique to the town and Vail Mountain, PrimaVail offers a comprehensive, multi-day curriculum that begins with a 90-minute classroom session focusing on interactive tips and techniques related to Vail-specific guest interactions, followed by opportunities to learn about Vail’s history, peer-to-peer networking, village tours, employee engagement activities, as well as service recognition awards and an end-of-season hospitality certification – all designed to empower employees and elevate the guest experience. VCBA members who enroll in the program and complete two or more program events will qualify for a merchant pass (and if your business is a member of the Vail Chamber, participants will also receive a Locals Perk Card), while participation in all events whether a VCBA member or not will enable employees to achieve certification in the program.

PrimaVail is part of a larger collaboration between the Vail Town Council and Vail Mountain following a first-ever joint retreat between the two entities in 2018. The goal is to align the town and mountain in providing a world-class experience for Vail’s collective vacationing guests and grow a sustainable tourism economy. This work has also included strategies to create new traditions, including Vail Après that will feature daily mountain to village bell-ringing at the 3 p.m. après hour, as well as to bolster the early winter season and re-imagine the Thanksgiving holiday. Coupled by significant investment in snowmaking on Vail Mountain, a week-long period of traditions and programming to be known as Revely Vail will launch this November (11/23-30).

Vail Mayor Dave Chapin says the PrimaVail program recognizes and honors the significant role employees play in contributing to a guest’s experience. “This program not only provides employees with the tools to create memorable first and last impressions with our guests, but also provides a platform for professional development and networking. It’s my hope that Prima Vail will introduce employees to a variety of opportunities to further their careers in Vail.”

With a focus on employee recruitment and retention, Alison Wadey, executive director of the Vail Chamber & Business Association, says the PrimaVail program will build upon previous efforts by the VCBA to offer ways for employees to connect with one another. “We want our Vail employees to feel like locals regardless if they have lived here five years or just moved here last month. It is important to us that our employees are enjoying all that our wonderful town has to offer and are able to enjoy and enrich our amazing community.”

“My team and I could not be more excited about launching this collaborative effort with the Town of Vail and Vail Chamber,” said Beth Howard, vice president and chief operating officer of Vail Mountain. “PrimaVail, Vail Après and Revely Vail are innovative and transformational ways to further spread our mission, Experience of a Lifetime, to our guests and to all Vail employees.”

The PrimaVail guest service curriculum will be offered in four sessions per class curriculum October through January as follows with times and locations to be announced:

  • Learn Vail’s History: Oct. 29, Nov. 11, Nov. 17 and Dec. 5
  • Guest Service Training: Oct. 30, Nov. 12, Nov. 22 and Dec. 10
  • Vail Community Tour: Oct. 30 and Dec. 11
  • Leadership Forum: Dec. 9

Activities also include an employee season kickoff party on Nov. 20 at Donovan Pavilion. More curriculum dates will be added in January and February 2020, and conclude with an end-of-season celebration.

Additional information about PrimaVail is available at www.vailchamber.org/primavail/.

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