Avon Town Council OK’s $70K for concert at Nottingham Park in 2017
AVON — Who and when are not yet determined, but we know where another concert might happen in 2017 and the maximum amount it could cost.
The Avon Town Council approved spending the $70,000 that remains in the town’s event fund for something to occur at the Avon Performance Pavilion at Harry A. Nottingham Park this year and are leaving the rest of the details to their newly formed events board to work out.
At the regular meeting of the Avon town council on Tuesday, the 11-member events committee received praise from the council for their efforts thus far. Charged with overseeing events in Avon, the board’s job is not an easy one, council members acknowledged.
“We have seen struggles with events being successful when we provide seed money,” council member Scott Prince said.
Town Manager Virginia Egger detailed some of the expenditures that have been made on past events.
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“Town council appropriated about $115,000 for Flavors of Colorado, year one, upwards of $140,000 in year two. Cover Rock received $75,000 this year in year two; they received, I believe, 25 or 30 in year one. The aggregate for WinterWonderGrass was $140,000 throughout three years, and the Cielito Lindo also received $75,000. … But, as (the town council) pointed out, there has not been the kind of success wanted for those investments,” Egger said.
‘HOPE IS TO USE NONE’
By empowering the board, the council is hoping Avon finds a successful event in the months to come.
“It seems like a good opportunity to give a little more power to our ad hoc committee to make some decisions,” council member Megan Burch said. “I think maybe this is a little bit of money to use to be nimble. … If it were one event for $70,000, that seems overwhelming, but if it means being able to jump on an event that you may have to put $20,000 or $30,000 into the mix, I’m OK with giving a little bit of decision making power.”
Egger said the goal was not to use the entire $70,000, rather to work with a talent buyer to ticket the event at a price that tickets will sell.
“Our hope is to use none of it,” Egger said. “But the request is to have it available if needed.”
BOARD BE NIMBLE
A word used by several town council members to describe their vision for the board was “nimble.” For acts that make themselves available with little notice, the council wants the board to be able to make a quick decision.
“Whatever decision-making authority is holding the reigns in this type of scenario needs to be nimble and quick enough to actually be effective,” council member Matt Gennett said. “I think, at this point, we sort of need to go out on a limb and start getting some successful events lined up.”
There was some deliberation concerning whether or not that board should have to run the decision by council before finalizing any large deals.
“I would want, at minimum, to get a straw poll of the council on where we’re at,” Prince said. “If it were a much smaller amount I’d be totally willing to let the special events committee go with it, but not at that $70,000 level.”
no labor day event?
The final decision — approved by the council, 5-1, with Prince voting no and council member Jake Wolf absent — did not include a straw poll.
“I actually don’t feel like I would have to be polled on a decision because I don’t know much about special events,” council member Sarah Smith Hymes said.
Another suggestion, made by council member Amy Phillips, was to take a Labor Day event out of the realm of possibility. Last year, a Labor Day festival planned for the performance pavilion was canceled two weeks before the event.
“It’s already too busy,” Phillips said. “It’s the rubber duck race in Vail, it’s Gourmet on Gore in Vail, it’s Oktoberfest in Beaver Creek, and I don’t see any way, with all that going on, that it would be a success.”
In the end, the council approved the board to make a decision for any date, including Labor Day weekend.
“If you book something on Labor Day weekend and it fails, I told you so,” Phillips said with a laugh.