North America's Premier International Resort Community

Global Friendship Exchange


Fostering cultural exchanges and idea-sharing across the globe in pursuit of stewardship excellence.


Global Engagement - Looking to the Future

In keeping with Vail’s vision to be the premier international mountain resort community, the municipality has endeavored to identify and cultivate relationships with peer resorts in which challenges, opportunities and best practices are shared in the spirit of mutually beneficial partnerships and friendship.

The global friendship exchange with San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and Yamanouchi-machi, Japan, are officially recognized by the Vail Town Council and serve as a means of enhancing economic vitality, expanding our cultural and educational reach, exchanging environmental stewardship best practices, highlighting our international presence and nurturing connections with our guests.

As this exchange programming grows, strategic discussions with Vail’s international counterparts will look to the future in exploring how our resort communities approach operations, economic and business development, as well as alliances in supporting the growth of international exchanges and visitation. This is the foundation from which Vail’s global friendship programming will thrive.

Mexico Global Friendship Exchange Program


San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato | Mexico

Surrounded by mountains at an elevation of 7,000 feet, San Miguel de Allende is located in the state of Guanajuato about 170 miles northeast of Mexico City. Founded in 1541, San Miguel is best known for its art and cultural influences. Historic buildings feature Colonial and Spanish architecture that date from the 17th and 18th centuries. The city has since evolved from an agricultural center to an international tourism destination with a vibrant art scene, culinary offerings and cultural festivals. San Miguel has become a popular destination for many of Vail’s Mexican guests and second homeowners and the exchange is seen as an opportunity to further strengthen Vail’s relationship with its Mexican guests.


  • Fact-finding trip to San Miguel de Allende led by Vail Mayor Andy Daly | May 21-24, 2015
  • Reciprocal visit to Vail by San Miguel de Allende counterparts | July 16-20, 2015
  • Global Friendship Exchange Agreement signed between the two resort communities | July 17, 2015
  • Outlines numerous partnerships, including educational, environmental and cultural exchanges, as well as identification of tourism and promotional opportunities.
  • Culinary exchange hosted by Vail’s Sweet Basil restaurant and attended by San Miguel delegates including elected officials and their local chefs | June 23, 2016
  • Participation in Writers and Literary Conference in San Miguel by representatives from Vail Commission on Special Events and a community member | February 15-19, 2017
Japan Global Friendship Exchange Program


Yamanouchi-machi, Nagano Prefecture | Japan

Yamanouchi is Japan’s leading all-season resort which is visited by 4.6 million guests annually. It is home to Shiga Highlands, the biggest ski area in Japan, and was one of the venues for the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics. One of the most unusual attractions is the Jigokudani Wild Monkey Park where snow monkeys can be viewed relaxing in a natural hot spring. In the summer, the area celebrates its culinary heritage and is also known for its nature, history and culture. Opportunities for partnership interactions in the areas of tourism, environment and education have been identified, among others.


  • Introductory correspondence by Nagano Prefectural Government – July 16, 2017
  • Exploratory on-site meeting in Vail with Japan officials led Nagano Prefecture Governor Shuichi Abe | August 24, 2017
  • Fact-finding trip to Vail by delegation from Yamanouchi-machi led by Mayor Yoshitaka Takefushi July 18, 2017
  • Global Friendship Exchange visit to Japan by Vail delegation led by Mayor Dave Chapin January 20-26, 2018
  • Business meetings conducted with Yamanouchi-machi (local government) and Nagano Prefecture (state government) January 25, 2018
  • Outlines numerous partnerships and exchanges in the areas of business, economy, tourism, transportation and environment


Vail, Colorado


Under blue skies more than 300 days each year, Vail is an extraordinary mountain resort destination. The vacation experience is exceptional, from the awe-inspiring terrain and natural beauty of the surrounding Gore and Sawatch Ranges to world-class events, activities and festivals, shops and spas, and the abundant culinary experiences and luxurious accommodations that line the pedestrian- friendly streets of Vail Village and Lionshead.


Vail is where outdoor pursuits meet village sophistication. Offering more than 5,200 acres of developed ski and snowboard terrain including seven legendary Back Bowls in winter, and flourishing with new summer activities with the debut of Epic Discovery in 2016, the options for year-round adventure are endless. Coupled with the vision inherent in the spirit of Vail’s founders, and a modern day commitment to excellence in all aspects of guest service and operations, Vail is a mountain resort like nothing on earth.

Town of Vail