Vail, Colorado Discusses Cultural Exchange With Japanese Ski Town

With the world taking notice of Japan’s white slopes, places like the Madarao Kogen Ski Resort are now more popular than ever, their reach and influence being felt across the world.

Take for instance, the proposal sent by the ski town of Yamanouchi, Japan to the city of Vail, Colorado, which proposes a cultural exchange between the two ski towns. The city of Vail is currently in a cultural exchange agreement with the Mexican city of San Miguel de Allende, a partnership that sprung up due to the popularity of foreign visitors to Mexico City, from places like Vail. Much like San Miguel de Allende, Yamanouchi is a United Nations World Heritage Site with a notable art and culture environment.

Kelli McDonald, Vail’s Economic Development Director, states that the agreement with the city of San Miguel have been mutually beneficial. Since the agreement, representatives and officials from both cities have visited each other, with exchanges between both cities happening. According to one of the representatives the city of San Miguel is an opportunity for Vail, and that they could be doing a lot more to make full use of their resort environment. On San Miguel’s side, the city of Vail shared ideas about maintaining a sustainable resort environment.

Vail’s mayor, Dave Chapin, states that both cities realize the importance of the cultural exchange, as both have a lot to learn from each other. He states that a similar opportunity lies with Yamanouchi’s offer. He states that an agreement with Yamanouchi would also give a lot for learning, as well as a way for both cities to be promoted.

Mayor Chapin has pointed out that there is quite the bit of viability in cross-promoting with Yamanouchi, pointing out the considerable amount of Colorado tourists who visit the surrounding Nagano prefecture, including Iiyama, site of the Madarao Kogen Ski Resort, for vacationing.

Mayor Chapin has stated interest in the exchange, pointing out the benefits both cities could gain from such a mutually beneficial agreement. He does however, state that the city needs to consider its options, but that they will try to take advantage of any opportunity the city is presented with.