Vail’s events funding group praised; 13 new events to be funded in 2019
By the numbers
$15.4 million: Economic impact of 15 special events in Vail.
$453,000: Spending on those events from the Vail Commission on Special Events.
13: Newly funded events for 2019.
$70,000: Largest funding grant, to the Vail Craft Beer Classic & Rocky Mountain Burger Battle.
Source: Town of Vail
VAIL — Special events are a crucial piece of Vail’s economic engine. For 2019, a number of new events will receive town funding, from both the town’s general fund and through the Vail Commission on Special Events.
The Vail Town Council in 2019 will put roughly $1.9 million into events including the Burton U.S. Open Snowboard Championships, the Vail Dance Festival, the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival and the Hot Summer Nights concert series.
The special events board funds other events both old and new, from the Taste of Vail to the Outlier Off-Road Festival to new events trying to become established in town. The group’s proposed budget for 2019 is just less than $895,000.
Commission members met with the Vail Town Council on Tuesday, Nov. 6, to talk about some of those new and returning events.
Events funding brings a significant return on investment. Commission chairman Barry Davis told council members that a third-party evaluation shows that 15 of the commission’s 22 funded events in 2018 generated $15.4 million in economic impact. That came with a total boost of $453,000 from town coffers.
New events for ’19
Among the 13 newly funded events for 2019, council members appeared most interested in CampSight: An Innovation and Marketing Unconference. That event is set for April 10-12, 2019.
The event is billed as geared toward “outdoor-inspired brands, visionaries and storytellers.”
The idea is apparently to link people through both social events and seminars.
“It’s the type of experience professionals are paying for,” Davis said.
Mayor Dave Chapin said he’s excited to see what comes from the event.
Another newly funded event is actually a return to town funding of the Vail Film Festival. The town stopped funding the festival for 2018. Davis said the festival is under new ownership and has shifted its dates to Aug. 23-25. It had been in April since its founding.
The timing of the festival lands between the 2019 Whistle Pig weekend and Labor Day. And, Davis said, the 2019 festival will focus on women filmmakers.
Another new event is an addition to the Vail Craft Beer Classic in June. For 2019, the town is putting $70,000 into the craft beer event along with the Rocky Mountain Burger Battle.
There are plenty of existing events receiving town funding for 2019, including the spring and fall versions of the Taste of Vail culinary event, the Vail Summer Bluegrass Series and the Vail Whitewater Race Series.
The commission’s 2019 funding also includes $17,500 for another Legacy Fighting Alliance event. The first event, in May of this year, generated some controversy but did put a number of people into Dobson Ice Arena.
Chapin said he was glad to see the event return for a second year.
‘Education and enrichment’
In addition to those events, the town is putting more than $150,000 into its “Education and Enrichment” events.
The CampSight event is among those, along with money for the Global Solutions Forum. That event, set for Oct. 16 to 18, is for high school students and includes field studies and seminars on “ethical leadership.”
The Education Foundation of Eagle County is also recommended for funding for its annual Project FunWay event.
Council member Greg Moffet asked if the town might be better served by just donating the budgeted $4,000 to the foundation. Davis replied that the event is “well produced and brings people to town.”
Council members praised the commission for its work, work that takes hours of presentations and meetings.
Chapin said the compliments for the committee don’t just come from town officials.
“I hear it from the (event) producers and people applying,” Chapin said. “I’m impressed by the job you did.”
Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and 970-748-2930.