Snow Ball could get business rolling in Avon |

Snow Ball could get business rolling in Avon

Sarah Mausolfsmausolf@vaildaily.comVail, CO Colorado

AVON, Colorado – One person called it “computer music.” Another described it as “electronic, DJ-driven stuff.”Whatever you call their sound, Pretty Lights and Bassnectar seem to have a strong following here in the Avon area. In fact, town resident Drew Barber, 27, said he recently went riding with a few friends who were all listening to Pandora playlists based on Bassnectar.The bands will be playing the new Snow Ball music festival planned for March 4-6 in Nottingham Park.”I think there will definitely be a big crowd for it,” Barber said. “I think it will put Avon on the map.”As word of the music festival circulates around the valley, people are starting to speculate on what it could mean for the town. Promoters of the Snow Ball have said they hope it will bring 10,000 people each day.”I think everyone was pretty excited about the prospect of bringing in additional people into the town, especially on what is traditionally a really dead weekend,” Avon councilman Chris Evans said.Snow Ball promoters predict the event will attract music fans in their 20s and 30s. Town Councilwoman Kristi Ferraro said that’s a great thing for Avon.”We’ve definitely tried to target a younger crowd for Avon,” she said. “We sort of feel like that could be our market niche, so I think that’s right in that demographic we’re trying to attract.”If the Snow Ball becomes an annual event, Evans said it could spark more discussion on whether Avon should build a proposed stage in Nottingham Park. However, Evans said he’s still concerned about the cost.”Right now, budgets are very tight and getting tighter into the next year,” he said.Estimates have put the cost of the pavilion at about $600,000. Avon councilman Dave Dantas, who has been a big supporter of the pavilion, has argued the cost could be whittled down to $300,000 and covered by a combination of fundraising and Holy Cross Community Fund grants.Ferraro said the town wants to build the pavilion eventually but still needs to come up with the money.”If we know we’re going to have this annual event, maybe that would incentivize us to get that done quicker,” she said.

Nottingham Park stands in the heart of Avon, so a big music festival there could affect local businesses.Maggie Parker, owner of Finnegan’s Wake, said the bar plans to host an after party starring Frogs Gone Fishing.”I think it’ll be good for local businesses, especially the bars and restaurants here,” she said.Saltwater Cowboy owner Steve Bullock said a music festival here is long overdue.”It will definitely draw people,” he said. “I think it’s about time Avon does something like this. If they build the pavilion there, we could do it all the time.”He said the event will definitely help local businesses, although he questions whether restaurants will make out as well as the hotels.”If they’re selling pizza inside the event, why would you walk somewhere else to buy pizza?” he said.Chad Donnelly, event promoter for the Snow Ball, has said charter buses will transport people from the Front Range into Avon for the event. He has said the event could generate some $4 million in economic stimulus for the town.Fred Gessner, general manager for The Comfort Inn in Avon, agrees the event will bring people to Avon.”I don’t know if it’s going to bring $4 million worth,” he said. “I think quite a few of them are going to be locals anyway that are going to it.”That said, he thinks the festival will generate business for the Comfort Inn, which is within walking distance of the park.Bob Trotter, general manger of the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa in Avon, also had good things to say about the festival.”Any time I hear there’s 10,000 people coming to town, I get very excited because we’re in the center of Avon and anything good that happens in this town is good for the Westin.”Nick Konidaris, who works at the front desk at The Seasons, echoed that sentiment. As a longtime Avon resident, he also thinks the event could add to the town’s identity.A few cover bands play during the annual July 4 celebration, he said, but a festival will help promote the town and Beaver Creek.”Everyone knows us just for the fireworks show, so it’s nice to see some other activities out there that will draw a crowd and help the local businesses,” he said.Staff Writer Sarah Mausolf can be reached at 970-748-2928 or

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