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Vail working on plans to restart events when it’s safe

Town is working with events producers to postpone, rather than cancel, events

The Vail Arts Festival is set for June 19 - 21. It's unclear whether the event will go as scheduled or be postponed.

Events are a big part of the town of Vail’s economic engine. But like much of life these days, events are on hold for the foreseeable future.

During a Tuesday meeting of the Vail Town Council, Town Manager Scott Robson said the town is “spending quite a bit of time” on economic development strategies, including events.

Robson told council members that the town has already spent money on a number of events, and isn’t likely to ask for refunds.

“I would like to see (event producers) retain those dollars,” Robson said, adding that cash flow is crucial for producers right now.

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Mia Vlaar, the town’s economic development director, told council members that her office is working with producers on a case-by-case basis, and hopes to have agreements in place soon for when those events might return, and how they might look.

Vlaar said she’s working first on events that are closest on the calendar — 30 to 60 days out.

While the focus is on restarting as quickly as possible, Vlaar noted that the town’s top priority is the health and safety of guests.

“We’re going to take all the public health orders into account.”

Laurie Asmussen is the producer of the Vail Arts Festival, which is scheduled for June 19-21. The festival hasn’t been postponed yet, but Asmussen said there are any number of things to consider in deciding whether or not to hold the event.

“We’re working with colleagues throughout the state and the country,” Asmussen said. The festival draws artists from more than 20 states, all of whom make a serious commitment of time, travel and lodging.

“A lot of artists are concerned with shelter in place (orders) in various states,” Asmussen said. “They’re wondering if they’ll have customers.”

Robson told council members that when travel does resume, the town is working to be “quick and nimble” in working to bring people and events back to town.

Asmussen said she’s confident the town will do the right thing and will take care of producers. But it’s going to be hard to put postponed events back into an already busy summer calendar.

Whatever happens, Asmussen said she’s looking forward to the all-clear. And besides guests, she said, “I know our local population will be excited when events come back, too.”

Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at smiller@vaildaily.com


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