What a difference a year makes. Even if this is your first season in Vail, I am sure you felt the energy the past three weeks generated here in our small mountain town.
With 100 percent of the mountain open, new and past guests came to enjoy the holiday season with us. From the cross-country skiing at the Vail Nordic Center to waiting for a table at the 10th, town was busy and spirits were high. It was great to see not only our guests enjoying the holidays but our local business community and employees delivering service with a smile. When you have a great product, like a snowy beginning of the season, to show off the feeling is contagious. You can’t help but be proud, excited and inspired at the same time.
But after the adrenaline from the Christmas and New Year’s holiday has faded how do we combat the exhaustion and customer service slump that can happen after going from 100 mph to about 50 mph? Time off helps, whether you use that time to catch up on sleep, spend time with family and friends, getting out on the hill or hopefully a combination of all of the above. But how do you bounce back to that high level of customer service from the holidays and make it last for the rest of the season? Because we all know we have a lot more season ahead of us.
What I have found helpful after 21 years in the hospitality and service industry is a self-audit of not only my team and business performance but also of my personal performance and how I managed the work-life balance through the busy time. I try not to focus on what would have been optimal performance but more on what actually worked and what didn’t.
Many times we get bogged down on the perfect and what we should be striving for and end up obsessing on how we fell short of that perfection. Instead, try highlighting the things that worked well, whether tried and true or unexpected. How can you optimize those highlights and create more opportunity to implement those “wins” into more areas of your business. On the flipside, what went wrong and how can you learn from that so that you can minimize those instances going forward. Getting caught up in the pursuit of perfection can ultimately keep you from actually doing the work that needs to be done and stagnate your progress towards optimization.
Small steps, small wins, noticeable patterns of consistency, all of these should become your new goals and implemented as small habits that over time will reap big gains and rewards.
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The Vail Chamber and Business Association wants to help and reward your employees too in a small token of appreciation. We are hosting a “Mountain Hospitality ReBoot” event Thursday at bol in Solaris from 2 to 5 p.m. We want to thank all our employees in Vail for their hard work on the holiday season and their efforts to provide exceptional service to our guests. We will be providing appetizers and cocktails, and longtime locals, adventurers and community ambassadors Chris Anthony and John Kedrowski will give presentations on Mountain Hospitality and how the Vail community helped in their successes.
If you have not had a chance to participate or get up to speed on our new Mountain Hospitality Program, this is a great time to do so. Program participants will also have the opportunity to obtain their Mountain Hospitality Local’s Card, which provides a myriad of discounts at local Vail businesses. Space is limited, so visit http://www.vailchamber.org or call 970-477-0075 to save your spot and learn more information.
Stay involved and stay informed. If you are not already receiving the Vail Chamber and Business Association’s weekly newsletter, email us at email@example.com to start receiving it. If you are interested in finding out more about the Vail Chamber and Business Association and what we have to offer to businesses in and that do business in Vail, call 970-477-0075 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Based in Vail Village, our office is located on the top of level of the Vail Transportation Center, so stop by and say “hello.”
Alison Wadey is the executive director of the Vail Chamber and Business Association.