To the editor: To prosper, Chester must embrace new technologies

Letter to the editor logo2It was only just a few short years ago that 99.9 percent of all phones had a tail on them, earning the coveted name, “land line.” Today the reverse is true; 99 percent of phone users are not subjected to the anchor of a landline tail.

Today’s standard communication mode is digital, principally through the use of “smart phones”… phones that tell us the temperature and time, allow us to text, give us the news while it is happening, serves as a calendar, camera and mirror and offers thousands of apps to support our busy lives.

Our businesses — Inn Victoria, Royal Academy Education and Cote Risk Consulting — are marketed almost exclusively via digital mode and the overwhelming majority of our inn reservations are generated through these marvelous tools. Without this form of media, we would be operating a business using “status-quo” thinking and hope we could get enough market-share through rack cards, terribly expensive newspaper ads and other forms of print media, which is at best, a spotty form of marketing these days.

Business owners cannot survive without the most effective use of cutting edge technology available; it is a market differentiator. In 30-plus years of working in executive level positions, my teams and I have stood out against the crowds of competitors by not submitting to the status quo but have rather have sought to differentiate ourselves.

Indeed, our community of Chester is not in much of a different situation. We are competing for resources, notoriety, new business development and talent. You can bet our neighboring communities are seeking to differentiate themselves as well. And our neighboring states are doing the same. They are doing it through digital means because the people who we want to attract to move here, to invest their lives, talent and money here and to move their businesses etc. to Chester are reading smart phones and tablets. We must broaden our thinking about who we are and how we communicate or we will, once again, fall into the trap of the status quo.

We are not just another pretty little village in Vermont. We are Chester, we are the hub of this region, we are a tourist attraction, we are an advanced digital community with the world’s most robust fiber digital system. We have incredible potential … let’s go for it!

Just my thoughts. I can be reached anytime through my personal cell phone at 207-749-9313 or by e-mail

Dan Cote
Member, Chester Select Board
Co-owner of Inn Victoria

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  1. John Garison says:

    I couldn’t agree more, Dan.

    One of the things that sets Chester apart from 99 percent of the rest of the country is the amazing gigabit fiber optic internet connectivity that is available to us via VTel. I work for a software compapny based in New York City and telecommute from my home in Chester. I have better, faster and more reliable service than is available in my company’s headquarters in Manhattan.

    I am able to sit at home and chat, email Skype and attend virtual face-to-face meetings with my teammates across the globe.

    Chester is years ahead of most of the rest of the country in this regard, and yet I never see it mentioned or publicized. Does your inn offer exceptional wireless to your guests? If so, say so. One thing that we could easily provide to visitors would be a free, very high speed internet connection available in the downtown and Depot areas. It would set us apart and could well be an enticement to bring real new high-tech businesses to town.