Curtain will rise in Minturn |

Curtain will rise in Minturn

J.K. Perry
J.K. Perry/Vail DailyConstruction workers take a break at the Minturn amphitheater, which should be nearly complete this week. The first show, the Cowboy Poetry and Music Gathering, takes place Sunday from 3 to 6 p.m.

MINTURN ” Ernie Glesner struts across the wood supports of the “flying nun,” proudly pointing out features of the nearly completed Minturn amphitheater and looking to future construction at the venue.

“I think everything will be done by (Sunday),” the contractor and Minturn resident said a half hour before touring the Amphitheater in the drizzling rain Monday. “The rafters are up. I think probably by Thursday it will be buttoned up.”

Overhaul of the amphitheater and Little Beach Park ” formerly know as La Playuela Park ” began with volunteers like Glesner. The Little Beach Park Committee, of which Glesner is a member, raised $400,000 from private and public donors to fund the project.

Partial funding came from the Minturn Community Fund, a nonprofit designed to raise money for projects beneficial to Minturn. Members of the fund will manage the amphitheater.

The amphitheater ” dubbed the “flying nun” by Glesner for the structure’s resemblance to a nun’s hat ” is set to open Sunday with the Cowboy Poetry and Music Gathering, a five-act event focusing on Western poetry, songs, and stories.

“It’s going to be totally bitchin’ with the backdrop of the river and the alpine setting,” said Karen Early, Minturn Economic Development director and organizer of the event.

he cowboy event is just the beginning. The main event ” the Live in Minturn Concert Series ” begins later this month.

The six-act series, which runs from Aug. 19 to Aug. 26, is intended to promote awareness of the Minturn Community Fund, said board member Kelly Brinkerhoff, who also is a Minturn town councilwoman.

Because the concert series essentially pays for itself, Brinkerhoff said donations are needed to pay for some of the community fund’s other projects. Those projects include an expanded concert series and added events at the amphitheater as well as scholarships for Minturn kids, a new community center, property tax relief, mortgage assistance and others.

“The concert series is to generate interest in the community fund, amphitheater” and bring people to Minturn, Brinkerhoff said.

During the concert series, the amphitheater sells wine, beer and other beverages. JB’s Barbecue is supplying the food.

In the future, the amphitheater will be available for leasing to bands, concert promoters, weddings, corporate parties and family reunions, Brinkerhoff said.

The amphitheater, off Cemetery Road, includes two landscaped tiers of grassy seating capable of holding about 500 people. A state of the art sound system should be installed before the concert series, Glesner said.

A separate deck ” covered by a tent ” to the side of the amphitheater will be used for band members and others to congregate in before, during and after shows.

Portable bathrooms will sit to the south of the amphitheater. Parking is available near the park adjacent to the railroad tracks or at the Minturn Municipal Parking Lot, from which a shuttle will run to the amphitheater.

Future upgrades include a concession stand selling food, beer and wine, similar to the Ford Amphitheater. A patio with tables and chairs is planned next to the concession stand, Glesner said. Restrooms will be constructed next to the concession stand.

For now, Brinkerhoff is happy with the amphitheater is nearing completion and opening. “I’m really excited,” she said. “It’s pretty unbelievable. Ernie has just been busting himself up to get this done. There are so many people volunteering for this.”

Staff Writer J.K. Perry can be reached at 748-2928 or

Vail, Colorado

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