Vail Daily editorial: Avon events scene moving in the right direction
July 25, 2017
With Nottingham Park and its new-ish, expensive stage, the town of Avon seems primed to take a more prominent role in the Vail Valley's events scene.
But the town's history with events has been mixed, to put it charitably. That's why it's good to see the town borrowing a page from the town of Vail's playbook by giving some of the responsibility for finding and vetting events to a group called the Avon Ad Hoc Special Events Committee.
That group recently put out a request for proposals from event promoters — both for new and existing events. Promoters are asked to submit a lot of information, particularly whether or not proposed events will seek town funding or other "in kind" support.
The committee will review those proposals and then make recommendations to the Avon Town Council.
With the request for proposals, the committee hopes to hear from producers of a variety of events, from culinary festivals to concerts to sports tournaments to film festivals and car shows.
If this seems an over-broad net to cast, then remember Avon's struggles with events of all types, as well as the relatively recent loss to Steamboat Springs of the successful WinterWonderGrass Festival.
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But seeking events and landing them are two different things. The same is true of landing events and working to produce successful ones.
In the past, the town council was generally asked to approve and fund events with a relatively small amount of public discussion. The new events committee can bring more focus to the town's search. And, since the meetings are open to the public, residents can weigh in before a recommendation is made to the council.
If this group tackles its job with the same commitment as Vail's Commission on Special Events, then there could be some successes in the town's future. Vail's events board has a dedicated budget and a set of well-defined criteria for applications. Given time, that could come to Avon. Here's hoping it does.
But Avon's committee — as well as residents and the council — also needs to be prepared to move on from events that aren't panning out.
Who remembers the Vail Soul Music Festival? Or the seemingly endless procession of Memorial Day events that didn't catch the public's eye — and visitor dollars — as planned?
Think about baseball, where someone with a sparkling .350 batting average still fails to reach base 65 percent of the time.
Success in events is probably different, but this committee and the town council need to assume a baseball player's mentality: No one likes to strike out, but the next time at the plate could result in a solid hit or, sometimes, a home run.
The Vail Daily Editorial Board is Publisher Mark Wurzer, Editor Krista Driscoll and Business Editor Scott Miller.
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