Greg Clifton, Vail’s newly-appointed town manager, is transitioning to his new job over the next few weeks. Mayor Dave Chapin will introduce Clifton at the Tuesday, Sept. 5 Town Council meeting. Clifton is only the seventh town manager in Vail’s 51-year municipal history. He comes to Vail from the town of Telluride where he has spent the last seven years as town manager. Mayor Chapin says Clifton is a great fit for Vail given his extensive background and familiarity with resort community dynamics.
With 20-plus years of public sector experience, Clifton’s management style is described as results-oriented with an emphasis on collaboration. He’s also known for being resourceful and visionary with a strong work ethic and a sense of humor. During his tenure at Telluride, Clifton led numerous projects and topics familiar to Vail. These include assisting in forming a voter-approved Regional Transportation Authority, instituting a parking enterprise fund for an underground parking structure and future parking improvements, forging an intergovernmental partnership to successfully fund a highway roundabout, initiating a Main Street Task Force to enhance Telluride’s commercial core, assisting in logistics planning for iconic events and leading several environmental sustainability programs, including his leadership and service on the Colorado Communities for Climate Action, a statewide organization of local governments advocating for policies and programs to protect Colorado’s climate.
With an annual budget of $31 million, Clifton has managed large projects in Telluride including an $18.5 million water collection and treatment plant as well as workforce housing projects and numerous park amenities including a new pool, stage and enclosed pavilion in partnership with the Telluride Film Festival.
Internally, Clifton is credited with helping to cultivate a high-performing organization with 78 full-time and 43 seasonal employees. He’s also overseen the issuance of municipal bonds while reducing the overall debut. Telluride’s sound fiscal policies have resulted in a distinguished budget award presented by the Government Finance Officers Association.
Clifton says he’s elated to have been selected as Vail’s new manager. "It is with great honor and a lot of excitement that I look forward to making the move to Vail and serving the community there,” he said. “After a very thorough recruitment process, and now with some familiarity of the projects, the programs and the strategic plans (there was a lot of homework!), I can’t wait to contribute and help the organization with its many achievements."
Clifton will begin full-time employment with the town on Sept. 25. A community welcome reception for Clifton and his family, which includes wife Tammy, their daughter Emily, who works in Vail and lives in Avon, and son Travis, will be scheduled this fall.
Clifton was selected during a national search process that began earlier in the year following the resignation of Stan Zemler. Town Clerk Patty McKenny has been serving as interim manager.