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Orchestrating the economy

Chris Lee/The Philadelphia Orchestra AssociationChristoph Eschenbach became the Philadelphia Orchestra's seventh music director in September 2003.
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VAIL – Valley business are hoping that the Philadelphia Orchestra’s brotherly love extends to their cash registers.Officials expect the addition of the Philadelphia Orchestra to augment the economic boost that the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival already brings to the Vail Valley. John Giovando, executive director of the Bravo! festival, said he expects the festival will benefit the valley both economically and culturally.”It will definitely push it up a notch,” he said. “A big notch.”The orchestra inked a three-year agreement for residency at the summer festival in Vail, starting in 2007. The festival runs each year from late June to early August.

Bravo! officials determined that the festival brought $10 million to the Vail Valley economy last summer. That spending also brought in more than $866,000 in taxes for the summer, including more than $355,000 to Vail.A study done in 2003 indicated that the New York Philharmonic attendees alone brought almost $2.8 million in spending to the Vail Valley that year.The Philadelphia Orchestra is expected to bring large audiences on the same level as the New York Philharmonic does, said Liana Carlson Moore of the Bravo! festival. Giovando said with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic, the festival will now have two of the top five American orchestras.The Philadelphia group will replace the Dallas Symphony, Moore said.’It’s absolutely amazing’

Ian Anderson, communications director for the Vail Valley Chamber and Tourism Bureau, said the chamber regularly books tickets to performances and lodging deals designed around Bravo! concerts.”Bringing in yet another world-renowned orchestra just helps to further establish the Vail Valley as a world-class summer destination, which complements our winter product nicely,” Anderson said.Rod Slifer, Vail mayor and a member of the Bravo! board, said Bravo! has become one of the best summer festivals, especially with the addition of the Philadelphia Orchestra.”I think the summer has always been an area where we can increase our business, and I think that Bravo! and what they do with their music series is almost immeasurable,” he said.The town of Vail gave $116,375 to the Bravo! festival last year, $95,000 of which was earmarked for the New York Philharmonic. This year, the town is budgeted to give $125,000 to the festival.

“We spend a lot of money on marketing and events, and I think the money we spend on the festival is well spent,” Slifer said.The 2005 economic impact study said 64 percent of Bravo! audiences ate out the night of the concert. Kevin Furtado, beverage director and sommelier at Larkspur, said the restaurant often has more than 100 people walk into the restaurant as soon as Bravo! concerts are over.”It’s absolutely amazing,” he said. “It brings a tremendous amount of business.”Furtado is excited to see the festival add another top-tier orchestra, he said. “We’re excited, and we hope the Bravo! continues to grow,” he said. “If Bravo! continues through August, it would be great for us.”Vacationers who came to Vail mainly because of Bravo! stayed for seven nights and spent $157.92 a night, the study said. Those vacationers alone spent $8.5 million in the valley last year, the study said.

Dave Pease, general manager of the Vail Marriott, said the Bravo! festival is one of the components that adds to Vail’s attractiveness in the summer – including when his group sales people are trying to promote the resort.”The more things we can have going on, especially in the summertime, the more it’s going to benefit all of us,” he said.Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14623, or estoner@vaildaily.com.Vail, Colorado


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