SnowBall may land in Breckenridge
Ryan Summerlin July 12, 2012
EAGLE COUNTY – SnowBall and the town of Avon broke up this year, but remain on friendly terms.
Earlier this week, the Summit Daily News reported that the three-day music festival, which premiered in Avon in 2010, might find a new home in Breckenridge for the 2013 edition.
SnowBall’s two years in Avon were popular with fans and many town business owners, and helped boost March sales tax revenues. But the festival was criticized by many of the neighbors around Nottingham Park, and drew criticism for what some perceived as abnormal drug and alcohol use. Nearly 200 people were arrested over the two-year run, more than 140 at this year’s event.
“It was the way that Avon approached it,” AEG Live director of operations Rob Thomas told the council at Tuesday’s meeting. “These same artists play Red Rocks, which is a city-owned venue, all summer long without incident. That’s the bottom line with it, is it works at Red Rocks.”
But the problems in Avon – along with a pledge from some town lodging managers to never again rent rooms to festival guests – had town officials on the brink of withdrawing their 2013 invitation. Festival promoters pre-empted a possible council vote by announcing they would seek a new site for the event.
This week, SnowBall gained the support of a four-member majority of the Breckenridge Town Council.
“I think we should give this a whirl,” Councilman Mike Dudick said at this week’s council meeting. “We’ve all heard of the X Games in Aspen. There was probably a lot of heartburn on that one, and look where they are now.”
The council members who opposed hosting SnowBall in Breckenridge said they worried about the event’s image and the audience.
Avon officials said they’d be happy to talk about their experiences, good and bad, if anyone from Breckenridge asks.
“If they ask, we’ll provide them with our information about crowd dynamics, and we’d certainly share our experiences with arrests, drug use and medical issues,” Avon Police Chief Bob Ticer said, adding that he’d be happy to share his department’s action plan from this year’s event.
Avon Mayor Rich Carroll said he’s mostly worried about his town, but said, if asked, he’d have high praise for the concert’s team of promoters.
“They’ll get a team of experienced, first-class promoters,” Carroll said. “I’m sure (Breckenridge’s council) will come to the right decision for their town. … Different events have different fits for communities. SnowBall was not the best event for Avon.”
Jim Pavelich, owner of Northside Coffee and Kitchen, said he was sad to hear SnowBall would move.
“It was a good weekend for us,” he said.
Pavelich said if asked, he’d advise businesses in Breckenridge to staff up and stock up if SnowBall comes to town.
“Expect to be busier than usual, and to have a great weekend,” he said. “Breckenridge would do well to have it.”
Summit Daily News reporter Caddie Nath contributed to this story.