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June 25, 2012
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SnowBall won't return to Avon

AVON, Colorado - The SnowBall Music Festival will be held in 2013, but it won't be in Avon.

Event promoters were invited to talk to the Avon Town Council this week about the event's future in town. Promoters Monday told town officials that meeting wouldn't be necessary - they're going to find a new home.

While SnowBall promoter Scott Stoughton said he and his partners have nothing but praise for Avon's efforts to host the festival, it's time to move on.

"We just don't think that fit is there," SnowBall partner Scott Stoughton said.

While he didn't name any towns that might host next year's event, Stoughton said he and his partners would pick the community that "poses the fewest logistical challenges."

The question of whether Avon is the right place to hold a festival that attracts people between 18 and 34 years old went both ways. Three Avon Town Council members were ready to withdraw the town's invitation at the June 12 meeting, citing drug use and other problems they witnessed at this year's event.

People who took the time to write the town about the event were overwhelmingly opposed, including a group of lodge managers.

That group - which included the managers of Beaver Creek West, Falcon Point Resort, the Sheraton Mountain Vista, the Westin Riverfront Resort and Avon Center - stated they were worried about the extra private security they'd had to hire, property damage at lodges and drug use by those who attended the festival.

In a separate letter, Falcon Point manager Andre de Lucinges wrote that the lodge would be unlikely to accept reservations from anyone attending the festival.

Other businesses welcomed the festival, though, including the Christie Lodge and several of the town's bars and restaurants.

But the topic of drug use has dogged SnowBall promoters. While the festival's website urged attendees to leave their substances at home, drug use appeared to be widespread at the festival.

Stoughton said drug use at SnowBall isn't any different than it is at Lollapalooza, Coachella or similar festivals. He added that he didn't think drug or alcohol use would have been much different even with different musical acts.

Avon Town Council member Amy Phillips said it's "unfortunate" that the festival won't return, but acknowledged the fundamental difference of opinion about how the event fits into the town's efforts to market itself.

"I don't think it would work unless they'd totally change the nature of the event," Phillips said.

Business Editor Scott N. Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930 or smiller@vaildaily.com.


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The VailDaily Updated Jun 27, 2012 09:12PM Published Jun 25, 2012 10:47PM Copyright 2012 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.