Vail begins search for new city manager

Former Vail City Manager Scott Robson was the executive director of the Civic Center Conservancy in Denver before coming to Vail.
Vail Daily Archive

The city of Vail has launched a search for a new chief executive.

The city has hired Columbia Ltd., a Colorado Springs-based executive search firm. At a recent Vail City Council meeting, Columbia CEO Andrew Gorgey noted that Vail has only had six city managers since 1966. Two city managers – Greg Clifton and Scott Robson – have come and gone since 2017. Clifton resigned in 2019 and is currently the City Manager of Flagstaff, Arizona. Robson took over from Clifton in 2019 and stepped down this year to serve as city manager in Telluride. Still, Gorgey said, Vail is a “first opportunity” for candidates.

Stan Zemler, who held the position from 2003 to 2017, is currently acting director.



The process of finding a new person will go quite quickly. The May 31 job posting will be uploaded to the city and Columbia ltd websites, and the recruitment period will run until July 11.

The first reviews and searches will take place from July 11 to August 2, followed by candidate recommendations to the city. The finalists will be brought to town on August 11 and 12 for in-person interviews. A candidate’s hiring is listed “as soon as possible” following these interviews and thorough review.



When Robson announced his resignation in March, Mayor Kim Langmaid said the city would launch an “untraditional” search for a new manager. This search should target applicants in a variety of disciplines and industries, she said.

Board members also agreed to a starting salary between $200,000 and $235,000 per year. The job also comes with a city-provided home in West Vail.

Langmaid said the pay range is in line with similar communities.

“With the complexity of our community, I think we need to up our (pay) game a little bit,” said Council Member Jen Mason.

About Jefferey G. Cannon

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