At the invitation of the Vail Town Council, a 12-member Japanese delegation will be visiting Vail on July 17 and 18 to explore the possibility of a sisterhood exchange. The officials are from the northeast area of Nagano Prefecture which includes the Town of Yamanouchi Downtown and the Yamanouchi-machi tourism region.
Following an orientation tour on July 17, the two groups will convene a formal meeting at 4 p.m. Tuesday, July 18 in the Vail Town Council Chambers to discuss future partnership opportunities. The meeting will include presentations by the visiting delegation as well as Vail Mayor Dave Chapin in an effort to share community programming and highlights. In addition, Vail’s environmental initiatives will be presented by Environmental Sustainability Manager Kristen Bertuglia along with a brief overview on Vail’s attempt to become the first certified sustainable destination in the U.S.
Next week’s visit follows a presentation to the Town Council in March by Souichi Nakamura, president of the Denver-based Interpacific Network Corporation, an international business development company that has been working with Nagano and Yamanouchi officials to help facilitate the discussions.
Yamanouchi Mayor Yoshitaka Takefushi will be among the dignitaries leading the visit to Vail. Other members of the delegation include Yamanouchi Town Council members, representatives from the Yamanouchi Tourism Federation, Shiga Kogen Tourism Association, Shiga Kogen Ski Resort Association, Shiga Kogen Hotels and Inns Association, Yamanouchi Ski Club, Association of Shiga Kogen Resort Landlords and Japan Travel Bureau.
Suggested areas of sisterhood cooperation include promotion of tourism, sustainable environmental development and educational exchanges.
According to the Go! Nagano official tourism site go-nagano.net
the region is surrounded by mountains on all four sides earning it the nickname “Roof of Japan.” Nagano hosted the Winter Olympics and Paralympics in 1998 and continues to attract winter sport enthusiasts every year. 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. Approximately 20 percent of the area is designated as natural parks.
During the earlier presentation on behalf of the Japanese delegation, officials noted both towns enjoy the spirit and the natural beauty of living in the mountains. The upcoming discussions will explore opportunities to encourage bilateral efforts to cultivate further development of the two economies, societies and a mutual cross-cultural understanding through interactions in a wide range of areas.
In addition to the joint meeting, the itinerary includes a visit to Epic Discovery on Vail Mountain, a Hot Summer Nights concert at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater and walking tours.
Vail currently enjoys a sisterhood relationship with San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, which has resulted in two delegation exchanges, a culinary exchange hosted by Sweet Basil and attendance at a writers’ and literary conference in San Miguel de Allende by two members of the Vail Commission on Special Events and a community member.
A possible follow up to the Japanese visit would be exploration of a reciprocal visit to Yamanouchi in 2018.
For additional details about the visit, contact Kelli McDonald
, economic development director, at 970-479-2454.